not sure if this has been posted yet but PFF had us Number 1 in the Lawrence sweepstakes BEFORE yesterdays game and of course before CMC's injury
1. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Carolina came in 29th in our preseason offensive rankings and 32nd in our preseason defensive rankings. In Week 1, however, the Panthers looked better than anticipated to start, thanks in large part to Joe Brady's offense and a little bit of luck. Despite Teddy Bridgewater being the sixth-lowest-graded quarterback of the week, Carolina managed to rank 19th in the percentage of passes that generated positive EPA. It still isn't great, but it's better than expected.
The defense, on the other hand, looked like one of the three worst units in the NFL. No team missed more tackles against the run (10), no pass-rush produced fewer pressures (4) and no coverage unit gave up a higher rate of positive EPA (65.6%). And PFF's simulations suggest that this mediocre play isn't likely to maintain — it's going to get worse.
Teddy lucked out with two clear turnover-worthy throws that the defense couldn't capitalize on, and he finished sixth-to-last in accurate passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield. The Panthers' offense still comes in at 28th in our Massey ranking, and they have one of the toughest schedules to face this season, according to our metrics.