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Carolina Panthers

Panthers in the power rankings before Week 2

NFC South: Saints 4th, Buccaneers 13th, Falcons 24th

ANALYSIS: "You need a foot on fourth down with the game on the line and you use Christian McCaffrey ... as a decoy? That was the call from offensive coordinator Joe Brady -- the wrong one as it turned out -- after fullback Alex Armah was stuffed for no gain late in a 34-30 loss. Some pages of a playbook should be set on fire. It capped a strange day of usage of the game's best running back. McCaffrey had just 10 touches with a little more than five minutes to play in the third quarter. His number was called with regularity from that point on ... just not when it counted most. It's a shame, too, because the Panthers offense had an otherwise solid day with Teddy Bridgewater at the controls."

NFC South: Saints 3rd, Buccaneers 13th, Falcons 21st

ANALYSIS: "Jeremy Chinn, the second-round pick out of Southern Illinois proved the Panthers made a smart move trading up in the second round to get him. He played every down defensively and finished second on the team in tackles with eight. His play was defined by the athleticism and speed it took to stop what appeared to be a touchdown at the 4-yard line during a key defensive stand after the Raiders had first-and-goal from the 6."

NFC South: Saints 3rd, Buccaneers 10th, Falcons 18th

ANALYSIS: "The offense got off to a good start, but the young defense struggled against Las Vegas. Now they have to try and slow Tom Brady."

Pro Football Talk
NFC South: Saints 5th, Buccaneers 10th, Falcons 19th

ANALYSIS: "Matt Rhule is ready for prime time, even if it make take a while for the results to get his team there."

NFC South: Saints 3rd, Buccaneers 15th, Falcons 23rd

ANALYSIS: "The NFL is a results-driven business. And in that respect, Matt Rhule's debut as head coach in Carolina was a letdown, in large part because of a terrible fourth-down play call late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's shootout with the Las Vegas Raiders.

But there were some bright spots in Sunday's loss.

Running back Christian McCaffrey picked up right where he left off a year ago, piling up 134 total yards and finding the end zone twice. Teddy Bridgewater played well in his Panthers debut, passing for 270 yards and posting a passer rating of nearly 100. Wide receiver Robby Anderson shined in his first game with the team as well, finishing with six catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

But if Carolina's defense continues to be gashed like it was in Week 1, the offense will have to put up huge numbers every week. The Panthers allowed 372 yards of offense and 23 first downs and had no answer at all for Raiders tailback Josh Jacobs."

Go behind-the-scenes with the best photos from the Panthers game against Las Vegas in Week 1.

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