Who: Kansas City Chiefs Vs Carolina Panthers What: Preseason Game 2 Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC When: 8:00pm EST
This week, the Panthers will play their second pre-season game against the Kansas City Chiefs after coming off of a 20-18 loss in week one to the Buffalo Bills.
The Chiefs' pre-season team seems to be one that can score big against weaker defenses, but their own defense is not capable of holding off opposing teams. The Bengals recorded 39 points to the Chiefs' 41 during Kansas City's loss last week. With the Panthers' dominant defense and offense that seems to be well refined and working all throughout its depth chart, this could be an easy win for Carolina.
Cam Newton will return this week, allowing us to see how he is fairing on his recently surgically repaired ankle. Also, hopefully last week was the last time we will ever have to see Matt Blanchard play again, with Joe Webb jumping over him on the depth chart this week. I look forward to seeing Joe Webb’s electrifying play once again today.
Running back Kenjon Barner had a rough go of things last week. After coming to training camp with more muscle and a year of NFL experience, people were hoping to see Barner be more capable of running up the middle and see improvement in his overall development. But last week I saw no difference in the 2014 Kenjon Barner compared to the 2013 Kenjon. He will need to step it up quickly if he wants to fight off an impressive Fozzy Whittaker and Darrin Reaves for a possible roster spot.
After the game against the Bills, Cam Newton was recorded calling Kelvin Benjamin “Schmoo” for reasons I am not quite sure anyone knows. For whatever reason this nickname was put in place, Kelvin Benjamin and Cam Newton seems to be building a very strong relationship, which can certainly carry onto the field. Word from training camp is that both seem to be on the same page and work very well together.
Remember to keep an eye out for WRs Brenton Bersin and Tavarres King, as both are locked into a tight battle for the last receiver spot on the roster. I am honestly at the point where I hope the Panthers elect to keep six wide receivers for this year, because both deserve to be here.
Offensive tackle positions are still up in the air, as neither Byron Bell nor Nate Chandler did anything to separate them self from the other in last week's game. Overall, however, Nate Chandler is still my favorite, but Bell seems to have the inside track as it stands now.
On the defensive side of the ball, a quiet position battle is taking place between Chase Blackburn and A.J. Klein for an outside linebacker spot. Both played well last week with Blackburn remaining first on the depth chart, but Klein has expressed his strong desire to start, and has shown promise and talent to do so.
The Panthers' cornerback stable was not without its flaws last week. New starting corner Antoine Cason had several receptions made off of him and seemed to be having problems adjusting. Hopefully, he will find his footing this week. Charles Godfrey also struggled adapting to his new position at nickel corner, as he allowed several big plays over the middle of the field. However, Godfrey has played well at the nickel position in the past, so this is hopefully is just some rust he needs to shake off after missing the entire 2013 season due to injury.
Robert Lester was an undrafted rookie safety last year who had his flaws but overall played well in 2013. Unfortunately for him, these flaws did not appear to be fixed quite yet. He still has issues with bad angles, this was one of the main problems that was highlighted last year during the Panthers playoff game against the 49ers. With both Harper and DeCoud manning the safety spots, it is safe to say that Lester should not receive any significant amount of playing time compared to last year.