Panthers in the Power Rankings: Week 1

Kuechly power rankings graphic

Here's where the Panthers stand in various power rankings following their Week 1 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in their first home opener since 2013.

NFL.com

Panthers rank: 8th (6th in NFC)

NFC South: Falcons 7th, Buccaneers 19th, Panthers 8th, Saints 12th
This week's opponent: Falcons 7th

Beyond the numbers: Elliot Harrison felt that Dallas provided little resistance, writing that the Panthers were "out-hustling, out-hitting and out-working" the Cowboys all game.

ESPN.com

Panthers rank: 11th (7th in NFC)

NFC South: Falcons 10th, Buccaneers 19th, Panthers 11th, Saints 9th
This week's opponent: Falcons 10th

Beyond the numbers: The ESPN staff cites the versatility of the run game as big contribution to the win, noting that new running back C.J. Anderson did a solid job of spelling Christian McCaffrey with seven rushes for 35 yards (5.0 yards per rush). Both Panthers touchdowns in the Cowboys' win came as a result of red-zone rushes (QB Cam Newton, FB Alex Armah) and the team totaled 147 rushing yards to Dallas' 94.

Yahoo Sports

Panthers rank: 9th (5th in NFC)

NFC South: Falcons 11th, Buccaneers 22nd, Panthers 9th, Saints 13th
This week's opponent: Falcons 11th

Beyond the numbers: Frank Schwab believes that the Panthers' receivers need to step up in the wake of tight end Greg Olsen’s recent foot injury. Outside of successfully targeting Olsen twice, Newton completed 15 of his 23 passes to his other options on Sunday. If Olsen ends up missing a substantial amount of time, rookie Ian Thomas - who had two catches for 4 yards in the win - may be called upon to help fill the gap.

Bleacher Report

Panthers rank: 8th (5th in NFC)

NFC South: Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 17th, Panthers 8th, Saints 13th
This week's opponent: Falcons 9th

Beyond the numbers: Paul Kasabian credits the defense for a strong season-opening win, saying, "The Carolina Panthers defense showed why it is one of the best units in the league on Sunday." Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thompson, Mario Addison, and Kawann Short made major contributions in a dominant showing against Dallas; the Falcons' offense should be weary of defensive coordinator Eric Washington's group.

CBSSports.com

Panthers rank: 10th (5th in NFC)

NFC South: Falcons 11th, Buccaneers 19th, Panthers 10th, Saints 13th
This week's opponent: Falcons 11th

Beyond the numbers: Injuries to Olsen and right tackle Daryl Williams stand out most to Pete Prisco, who believes that Atlanta- Carolina's Week 2 opponent - are still playoff-bound despite a rocky start to the season.

Advertising