New Panthers coach Matt Rhule has experience in the Big 12, which is going to come in handy. If his team’s going to win games this year, they’re going to have to be shootouts.
The Raiders took an easier-than-it-looked 34-30 win over the Panthers, who are going to struggle to stop people all season.
Josh Jacobs ran for 93 yards and three touchdowns, as the Raiders held the Panthers at bay despite a fourth-quarter rally.
Derek Carr was 22-of-30 for 239 yards and a touchdown, playing an efficient if not spectacular game.
The biggest questions for the Raiders will be about injuries, as right tackle Trent Brown left with a calf injury early and didn’t return, and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski left with a pectoral injury and didn’t return. Then backup right tackle Sam Young left with a groin injury, leaving them thin up front.
The Panthers’ defense was young and new to begin with, and cornerback Donte Jackson left with an early injury and didn’t return. That stretched thin a secondary that wasn’t great to begin with.
Teddy Bridgewater moved them efficiently at times, Christian McCaffrey had 134 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns (but didn’t get the ball on a late fourth-and-1 attempt which failed), and the Panthers showed they should be able to score points this year.
Stopping the other guys will remain the bigger issue.