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Stats and Superlatives: Sacks and explosive plays lead to victory

  • Carolina won its first season opener since beating Dallas to start the 2018 season.
  • The Panthers' defense recorded six sacks, their most since a 2019 win in London over the Buccaneers.
  • The Panthers had eight passes defensed, tied for their most since that game in London.
  • After allowing opponents to convert nearly 50 percent of third downs last season, the Panthers held the Jets to 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) on third down.
  • Carolina held the Jets to 45 net rushing yards, marking the fifth time in the last nine games (dating to Week 11 in 2020) that the Panthers have held an opponent to fewer than 100 rush yards.
  • Carolina's 272 net yards in the first half were its second-most first half yards in a game dating back to 2015 (2020, Week 5 at Atlanta, 312).
  • The Panthers struggled in the red zone, converting just one touchdown on four tries.
  • After a 2020 season where Carolina went 3-8 in one-score games, the Panthers held on in the fourth quarter to win by 5.
  • This was the first time the Panthers have won a game with a final score of 19-14.



  • Quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 279 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for a score. It marked the seventh-most passing yards in his career and the fifth game where he recorded a rushing and passing touchdown. His 234 yards in the first half were the most he's ever thrown in the first two quarters.
  • Running back Christian McCaffrey had 30 touches for 187 scrimmage yards, including 98 yards on the ground and 89 through the air. He passed Walter Payton with his seventh career game with at least 75 rushing and 75 receiving yards. McCaffrey also passed Wesley Walls (324) to move into fourth place in franchise history with 329 career receptions.
  • Wide receiver Robby Anderson had a 57-yard touchdown catch, his 10th career receiving score over 40 yards. That's tied for second-most in the NFL since 2016.
  • Linebacker Shaq Thompson had a career day, making 10 tackles with an interception, a sack, a tackle for loss and three pass deflections. It was his second career interception and 10th career sack, but the first time he did both in the same game.
  • In his debut with Carolina, defensive end Haason Reddick had 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, while fellow defensive end Brian Burns also had a sack.
  • In his first game with Carolina, kicker Ryan Santoso hit field goals of 22 and 29 yards, but missed an extra point.


  • In his rookie debut, quarterback Zach Wilson threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Both of his touchdowns and 174 of his passing yards came in the second half.

View in-game action photos of Carolina's season opener against the Jets.

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