If we learned one thing in the 2013 season opener, its that the Panthers are severely lacking in the receiver department.
The roster consists of Steve Smith and a bunch of other guys not named Steve Smith.
Just glancing at the box score tells you all you need to know. While Seattle had 8 players receive passes for positive yards, the Panthers had only four. Only two of those four players are wide receivers. Tedd Ginn's single 10 yard reception saved the team from featuring a Steve Smith exclusive receiving day.
If you have only one receiver in this league, you won't be winning many games.
So what happened to the most promising receiving corps in camp and preseason the Panthers have seen in years? Lets take a look....
Brandon Lafell - Played all but four offensive snaps and failed to get adequate separation. Was open on a single long ball, but was overthrown by Cam Newton. Lafell is in a contract year and needs to showcase what he can do. With that type of incentive, we are seeing him at his absolute best as a pro. Some would argue that the Seahawks defensive backs were just too good for Lafell. I would argue if that is the case, Lafell just is not good enough. Lafell needs a great game against Buffalo to redeem himself.
Tedd Ginn - Played twenty two snaps and had a single ten yard reception while being covered by Seattle DB Richard Sherman. To be fair, he was open a number of times down field, blowing by the Seattle defenders, but was not thrown to. Ginn appears to be our best hope at this point for a second receiver. The Panthers may be wondering if they should have played him with the first string more in the preseason to help develop his chemistry with Cam Newton.
Armanti Edwards - Played one snap on Sunday and posted a single run block. At least that is something. Armanti had the best camp and preseason of his career. Apparently he has not earned the coaches trust enough to give him a chance.
Domenik Hixon - Was inactive due to an injury. Hixon was vocal in saying he thought he could play and was puzzled by his inactive status. If that is the case, I expect Hixon to play on Sunday against the Bills. Hixon rose to the challenge in preseason, can he do it again?
If there is any hope for a Panthers post season, one of these players must rise to the occasion. It all starts this weekend in Buffalo, gentlemen.
Lets see if we can get this open position filled.