The NFL regular season is officially underway with the season kicking off with a Super Bowl 50 rematch between the Champion Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. This time the Panthers were able to found a brief level of redemption by having a chance to win it on the leg of Graham Gano, only for the kick to go wide left. Broncos won the rematch, with a final score of 21-20.
Here are four things we learned about the Saints's NFC South rival Carolina Panthers (who are thought to be the favorites to win the NFC Championship again in 2016):
1. Kelvin Benjamin is back. Benjamin opened up the scoring in the game with a catch where he was able to use his big frame to make a fine catch and hold on to the ball in the endzone after contact. Then later, right before halftime, was able to elude a tackle at the line of scrimmage on a wide receiver screen and convert a first down.
2. Luke Kuechly is one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He was constantly disruptive and in the backfield, making stops and forcing a fumble.
3. The Panthers pass defense misses Josh Norman. I don't want to take anything away from Trevor Siemian, but (at least at this point in his career) he is no Drew Brees. Still, Sieman was able to find a lot of open receivers at various points during the game.
4. The Panthers defensive line was able to get pressure on the Broncos QB Trevor Siemian, register a couple sacks, and force a poor throw that led to an interception. However, Broncos running back C.J. Anderson ran for over 100 yards and punched it into the endzone twice. Mark Ingram is a comparable back in size and skillset to Anderson, so Ingram could be in for a similarly productive game.