PLAYING PANTHERS TAKES A TOLL:Scroll down to the third musing from Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter on ESPN.com, and you'll find some interesting perspective on the effects – and aftereffects – of playing the Panthers. The NFL insiders credit head coach Ron Rivera for creating a physical identity that is taking its toll on opponents and paying dividends for the Panthers. (Incidentally, the piece leads off with some thoughts on the uncertain future of an NFC South superstar). READ MORE
PANTHERS HAVE A TOP BACKUP QB:Field Yates of ESPN.com ranks the Panthers' backup quarterback situation the second-best in the NFL thanks to strong play from Derek Anderson. READ MORE
PANTHERS TRENDING UP IN JERSEY SALES: Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review cites a recent report that states the Panthers lead the NFC South in jersey sales by a large margin. On NFLShop.com Luke Kuechly's home Panthers jersey is also the No. 22 top-selling jersey of September and the most popular among NFC South teams. Kuechly's jersey is also the fourth most popular among defensive players. READ MORE
MORE LOVE FOR THE DEFENSE:Eliot Harrison of NFL.com mentions a unique stat in his weekly NFL picks: "According to Stats LLC, Carolina's defense has allowed successful offensive plays (a "successful" play is defined as one in which the offense picks up 4-plus yards on first down) gains half the yards needed to convert on second down or picks up the first on third down -- only 37.8 percent of the time." READ MORE
KAWANN SHORT CLOSING IN ON DOMINANCE:Defensive tackle Kawann Short is a handful for opposing offenses, and Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer writes that the third-year player could have a handful of quarterbacks in his grasp soon. Short doesn't yet have a sack this season but had six quarterback pressures against the Texans last week, and he's getting the job done against the run game as well. READ MORE
View photos from the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their game versus the Saints.