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Panthers Week three- Four players trending up after an important win.

Who are four players trending up for the Panthers following a vital Week three win.

For the first team in 371 days, the Carolina Panthers won a home game, beating their NFC South rival New Orleans Saints to snap a league-long nine-game losing streak and get back to 1-2 on the season. This was a much-needed win for head coach Matt Rhule, despite a pre-game report from Ian Rappoport of the NFL Network that Panthers owner David Tepper would exercise patience with Rhule there’s only so long you can lose before your seat gets too hot.

The Panthers have done what they always do when they face current Saints starter Jameis Winston and that is send pressure, as we’ve seen whenever he plays Carolina the former FSU star struggles to pick up blitzes. For the most part yesterday the Panther’s defense was dominant despite only sacking Winston once the former Buccaneer was constantly running for his life.

We also saw the special teams unit outperform the Saints. A perfect day of kicking from Eddy Pineiro coupled with legendary Punter Johnny Hekker showing why he is still one of the best. New special teams coordinator Chris Tabor has revitalized a unit that struggled under the previous coach Chase Blackburn with Panthers even managing to block a field goal.

Despite the struggles again with the passing game we did see some positives on the offensive side of the ball, Christian McCaffrey logged a second straight 100-yard game to further outline his importance to this team. We also saw the Panthers’ interior offensive line continue to improve, the three interior players who were all ranked in the top ten according to PFF heading into week two impressed again in week three.

Let’s take a look at four players who are trending up following week three.

Laviska Shenault Panthers WR

Where on earth have the Carolina Panthers been hiding Laviska Shenault?

The former Colorado star was brought over to Charlotte in a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars in the week leading up to opening day. Through the first two weeks of the season, we saw Shenault was a healthy scratch as he worked on getting to know new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system, Shenault a former second-round pick was finally activated Sunday and announced himself at Bank Of America Stadium.

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Shenault in total touched the ball four times in this game, with two kick returns and two receptions, incredibly he ended the game with 144 total scrimmage yards. On one drive in particular he was responsible for all 103 yards of the Panthers’ offense as he had a 36-yard kick return which was then followed by a 67-yard reception on a quick screen which he took all the way.

And he just kept going…@Viska2live — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 25, 2022

A quick look at the snap count and Shenault was on the field for 11 offensive snaps which were the fourth most in the Panthers receiver room. Robbie Anderson and DJ Moore are the clear starters at WR as they both played over 80% of offensive snaps but after that, it seems there are snaps up for grabs under Ben McAdoo.

Starting the season Shi Smith who excelled in training camp and the preseason was named the Panthers starting slot receiver, however, after three games Smith struggled to make an impact and on Sunday saw his snaps drop to just 22 snaps. Don’t be surprised if heading into week four we see Shenault overtake Smith, with his big frame he seems the perfect player to start in the slot for Carolina.

Frankie Luvu Panthers LB.

Heading into the season I predicted Luvu to be a contender to break out on this exciting Panthers defense, and through two games the former Washington State man has made his mark in a big way.

A week on from being the Panthers’ highest graded defensive player according to PFF as he recorded an 80.0 grade and had an impressive ten solo tackles against the Giants, Luvu was again a spark on this defense. Five total tackles for the former UDFA but most importantly he was responsible for the Panthers’ first takeaway of the season as he stripped the ball from the hands of Saints RB Alvin Kamara which was scooped by Marquis Haynes for a vital score.

"This is 6 quick"@frankluvu7 x @MarquisHaynes98 💪 — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 25, 2022

Luvu is a tone setter on this Panthers’ defense, he played 100% of defensive snaps for the Panthers in week three after playing 96% of snaps in week three. After an impressive season in a limited role, last season for Luvu the coaching staff signaled their confidence in him during the offseason when they let Haason Reddick walk in free agency which meant a more prominent role for Luvu. He’s shown through the first three weeks he has the fundamentals to be a starter in this league.

The Panthers extended Luvu in the offseason with a two-year nine million dollar deal and so far that is proving to be somewhat of a steal. The Panthers would be wise if Luvu continues his upward trend to try and extend him in the offseason before he starts to garner interest from other teams.

Derrick Brown Panthers DT

Heading into training camp I picked Defensive Tackle Derrick Brown as a player to watch in what is a critical 3rd year for the player. Next offseason the Panthers must decide if they want to pick up the former Auburn star’s fifth-year option and judging by his play in the first two years of his NFL career it was undecided whether or not the Panthers would do that.

Fast forward to week one a clip of Brown went viral on Twitter of the former seventh overall pick being pancaked by a Cleveland Browns offensive linemen and the noise started to grow that Brown may not live up to his lofty draft selection. Well, it seems since week one Brown heard the noise from fans and responded in a big way.

In week two against the New York Giants Brown was the Panthers’ second-highest graded player according to PFF as he graded out at 78.1. He followed that up in week three with another solid performance, he was part of an interior unit that seemed to have Jameis Winston running for most of the game, couple that with the Panthers holding star RB Alvin Kamara to just 61 rushing yards, and the Saints offense as a whole one managed 84 total rushing yards. To top Browns’ day off we even saw a big man INT something which everyone loves to see.

Jaycee with the hops. DB with the hands. — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 25, 2022

It seems Brown has benefited from having a genuine pass rusher alongside him in Matt Ioannidis. Couple this with the emergence of Marquan McCall a hulking UDFA Nose Tackle out of Kentucky, and this has allowed the slightly smaller Brown to play more outside which means he’s not getting swallowed up amongst the interior.

While it’s been just two weeks the Panthers should be encouraged by the play they’ve seen from Derrick Brown. If he can continue this level of play for the duration of the season, one would imagine the Panthers would have no issue exercising his fifth-year option.

Jeremy Chinn Panthers S

Heading into the season new defensive backs coach Steve Wilks stated he wanted to get Jeremy Chinn playing at an all-pro level. However, through the first two weeks of the season, Chinn had seriously struggled in week two against the Giants the former Southern Illinois man was one of the five lowest graded Panthers defensive players. Not what you’d expect from a player whose minimum aspirations should be a spot on the pro bowl roster.

However in week three, we saw a reaction from Chinn, he was extremely active on a Panthers defense that seemed to be flying around the field. The second-round pick ended the game with eight total two passes deflected and a sack. Some reaction from Chinn after his disappointing performance in week two.

His sack turned out to be vital, as the Saints drove down the field Chinn sacked QB Jameis Winston on a third down pushing what would have been a chip shot to a 40+ yard field goal which Saints kicker Will Lutz sent wide left. This makes that sack from Chinn even more vital in a low-scoring game like this one points are vital.

No chance against Chinn 😤 — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 25, 2022

Chinn is one of only three Panthers to have over 100 tackles in his first two seasons along with Panthers legends Jon Beason and Luke Kuechly which is an esteemed list. If Chinn wants to get reach all-pro status like Wilks thinks he can we’ll need more performances.



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