Five standouts: Panthers vs. Patriots

TE Greg Olsen: With Kelvin Benjamin out of the picture, the Pro Bowl tight end is quarterback Cam Newton's clear favorite target. Olsen led the team with six catches for 51 yards. His blocking also stood out, especially when he sealed the edge for running back Jonathan Stewart to pick up 11 yards early in the game.

CB Charles Tillman: It looked at first like the veteran cornerback had been beaten deep by Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson in the first quarter, but not so fast. Tillman took the ball away from Dobson as they went to the ground for an impressive interception. The 37-yard return wasn't too shabby either.

LB Luke Kuechly: The entire first-team defense had its best outing of the preseason and Kuechly was at the center of it all. Carolina's star middle linebacker finished with a team-high six tackles and two stops for loss. If anyone is ready for the start of the regular season, it's Kuechly.

WR Jerricho Cotchery: Always steady, always ready to make a tough catch when needed. Cotchery isn't going to burn through the secondary, but he's reliable and productive. Newton targeted him four times Friday night and Cotchery recorded four catches for 38 yards.  Three of those receptions went for first downs.

QB Derek Anderson: The backup quarterback's outing against the Patriots was brief but effective. Anderson completed his first four passes and just overshot running back Jordan Todman in the end zone on his fifth attempt. That was his only series, but it led to three points to extend Carolina's lead.

View game action photos from Carolina's 17-16 preseason loss to New England.

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