The Carolina Panthers opened the 2018 NFL season with a home game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, emerging with a 16-8 victory to start 1-0 for the second straight year. Armed with some new players and new offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators, the Panthers were favored against a Dallas team that isn’t expected to do much this season.
Games aren’t won on paper, though, so the Panthers still had to get the job done on the field. And they never trailed against the Cowboys, grabbing a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run from quarterback Cam Newton in the second quarter and adding a 27-yard field goal from Graham Gano in the closing seconds of the half. Fullback Alex Armah scored from 1 yard out early in the fourth quarter to run the score to 16-0 and Carolina was able to hold on from there despite a late rally by the Cowboys.
Unfortunately, tight end Greg Olsen injured his right foot and right tackle Daryl Williams went down with a right knee injury to put a damper on the Panthers’ Week 1 win. So not all went well in the season opener.
Nonetheless, the Panthers got strong performances from several players. Leading the way was the aforementioned Newton, who did a lot of the damage for Carolina on the offensive side of the ball. The Panthers’ defense also proved to be just as dominant as advertised, while one target in particular was key for them both on the ground and through the air.
With a Week 1 win in the books, let’s examine the three best performers for the Panthers against the Cowboys.
Next Page: No. 1