Carolina Panthers: Who Quietly Stepped Up in Week 2?
The Carolina Panthers had a lot of preparing to do for their week two match-up against the Buffalo Bills. In order to get a win, they needed several key players to step up and really shine. The team had its ups and downs, but ultimately left with yet another disappointing loss. One player that made some plays and impressed the coaches was wide receiver Ted Ginn. Finally, someone on the Panthers roster made a contribution to the game at the No. 2 receiver spot.
It is difficult to tell just from the stats that Ginn made a huge impact. However, those who watched it know what I am talking about. Ginn had three receptions on the day for 62 yards and one touchdown. He was second on the team for receiving yards behind tight end Greg Olson, who also had a touchdown. The Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton, finally spread the ball around, passing to other players than just Olson and Steve Smith. 50% of Newton’s passes were to other receivers.
Unfortunately, Newton didn’t have the best game. He only completed 55% of his passes, and he threw an interception on the opening drive that could have led to points if he hadn’t done so. The reason Ginn deserves props for his performance is because of the opportunities he created for the Panthers. At least three times, Ginn was open down field for a long play, but Newton could not complete the throw. Ginn also had an exceptional day on special teams putting the Panthers past the 20-yard line on almost every kick return, and averaged 10 yards in punt returns.
If Newton had been more accurate with the football, Ginn could have easily had a huge day with a couple more touchdowns under his belt. Since Ginn was able to get open on numerous occasions, it forced the Bills to pay more attention to him. Even the announcers on TV were surprised that Smith wasn’t double-covered as much as usual. If Ginn can continue to utilize his speed and get open, expect Newton to finally catch a rhythm and start completing more passes to him for big gains. This could be a key factor for the Panthers to get their first win of the season.