The Carolina Panthers are in their bye week for the season and are coming off a superb victory against NFC opponent New York Giants. This bye week can hurt the Panthers because they have so much momentum going into week four and no opponent. However, this does give the Panthers plenty of time to re-evaluate the situation, mimic their preparation and attitude from week three, and strategize against the struggling Arizona Cardinals.
A good position battle to watch unfold for the Panthers offense is the No. 2 wide receiver spot. During their bye week, the Panthers will have plenty of time to evaluate the player’s performances during the first three weeks and make the appropriate roster adjustments.
Coming into the season, the second starting wide receiver position was given to Brandon Lafell. However, the position was not for certain and could change depending on performances. Ted Ginn was the best player to contend Lafell for the No. 2 spot.
Week one was a terrible performance for the Panthers in general. Between the two receivers, only Ginn had a reception for 10 yards. Ginn also had one punt return for 10 yards and all the kickoffs landed in the back of the end zone. Week two was a better performance, even though the Panthers still lost. The offense stepped up a lot more than the first week. Ginn had a fantastic game with three catches for 62 yards and one touchdown. However, Ginn was wide open downfield on several occasions, but Cam Newton couldn’t deliver a good pass. Lafell reeled in four balls on the day, but only for a total of 13 yards.
Week three was a different story for everyone on the Panthers. They destroyed the Giants in Bank of America Stadium 38-0 making team history with the biggest win margin ever. Both Lafell and Ginn had a fantastic game, even out-shining No. 1 receiver Steve Smith. Ginn caught three passes for 71 yards and a touchdown while Lafell caught three passes for 53 yards and two scores. It is apparent that both of these players are great contenders for the No. 2 wide receiver spot and it is still unclear who will get the start in week five.
Ginn has more production over Lafell on offense and special teams. He has fantastic break out speed and is a serious deep-ball threat when Newton can deliver an accurate pass. Lafell is a bigger target with good speed and hands. Newton has good targets in these two receivers and if he can be accurate, these players will have a good season ahead of them. Ginn and Lafell are very good, experienced players.
I expect the Panthers to build on this friendly competition between the two players to see them battle it out for that No. 2 starting spot. They need to work on their consistency, but if they continue to get open and make catches, the Panthers offense will be a high-scoring force that defenses will fear.