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Story of the game
The Panthers' top priority in the offseason was to beef up their defense, and they did so by using all of their 2020 NFL Draft picks to bolster that side of the ball. However, it appears the 31st-ranked run defense from 2019 still has a long way to go after Jacobs’ three-touchdown performance.
The defensive woes were not felt solely by the Panthers, as neither defense could buy a stop in this matchup. The Raiders punted on their opening series but then scored on five consecutive drives. The Panthers saw similar success and did not punt in the first half.
Outside of a few plays, both quarterbacks mostly stuck to their conservative nature. Derek Carr posted an average depth of target of 5.8 yards, while Teddy Bridgewater averaged 7.6 yards in depth of target over the first three quarters before being forced to throw the ball downfield more in the fourth quarter.
Jacobs is clearly the focal point of the Raiders' offense, both as a rusher and now as a receiver. He had four catches for 46 yards — both career-highs.
Henry Ruggs III performed relatively well in his Raiders debut, tying Darren Waller for the team lead in targets in the first half. His biggest highlight came on a 45-yard gain for his first career reception. Despite fighting through a knee injury, Ruggs led the Raiders with 55 receiving yards.
The Panthers featured three rookie starters on defense. Former All-American Derrick Brown performed fairly well in his debut, batting down two passes at the line of scrimmage and getting one of the six tackles for loss or no gain among Panthers defenders. Rookie defensive backs Jeremy Chinn and Troy Pride Jr. posted 13 combined tackles.
Raiders rookie wideout Bryan Edwards also made his debut, who saw the field on 46 of their 61 offensive snaps. Chinn, Pride and Brown were all on the field for over 40 defensive snaps for the Panthers. Damon Arnette was the lone Raiders rookie defender to receive any playing time — playing 47 snaps.
Robby Anderson absolutely TOASTED Damon Arnettepic.twitter.com/PVt37SNlsS
— PFF (@PFF) September 13, 2020