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Panthers don't move in USA TODAY power rankings after Week 1 win

Panthers Wire logo Panthers Wire 9/14/2021 Anthony Rizzuti
© Provided by Panthers Wire

The Carolina Panthers made quite a few folks happy when they took care of their business with a season-opening win this past Sunday. That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they pleased everyone.

In Tuesday morning’s release of USA TODAY’s weekly NFL power rankings, the Panthers apparently didn’t do enough to even budge. Carolina went into Week 1 ranked at No. 23 and came out of Week 1, following a win, still ranked at No. 23.

Reporter Nate Davis, though, did give the defense its proper due in their dynamic performance against the visiting New York Jets.

“QB Sam Darnold’s relaunch and RB Christian McCaffrey’s return understandably commanded a lot of attention, but Carolina’s defense opened season with a stifling performance (6 sacks, 252 yards allowed).”

Along with the six sacks, the Panthers also held the Jets to just 45 rushing yards on 17 carries (2.6 yards per take) and a four-of-13 clip on third-down attempts. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, who commanded a lot of that attention as well, was held to 258 passing yards and was picked off by linebacker Shaq Thompson in his professional debut.

While it would’ve been nice to see Carolina move up in the rankings, especially after a victory, perhaps we can’t blame the powers that be for keeping them at the 23rd spot for now. No offense to the Jets, but they’re still only the Jets.

MORE:

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Panthers HC Matt Rhule: QB Sam Darnold 'was under too much pressure'

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