Panthers: 3 players who broke out during the 2019 season
After rattling off four straight wins prior to their bye week, the Carolina Panthers finished the 2019 season at a real low point. Finishing 5-11 and last place in the NFC South for the first time since 2016, it’s safe to say that Carolina’s season didn’t go exactly as planned.
On the other hand, despite the disappointing season, there are silver linings on every team. A few select players elevated their games in 2019 and should give the franchise hope for the future.
3. D.J. Moore
Moore had a really sold rookie season in 2018. The former 24th overall pick totaled 788 receiving yards and two touchdowns while also serving as a threat on the ground.
However, Moore flashed true star potential in his second year. The former Maryland star recorded his first 1,000-yard season with 87 catches for 1,175 yards and four touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11 wideout was easily the Panther’s top receiver this year. Considering Carolina’s less-than-stellar quarterback situation this past season, Moore had one hell of a season.
With new offensive coordinator Joe Brady and hopefully more consistent quarterback play, Moore should continue to shine in Carolina.
2. Christian McCaffrey
Is it possible for a player as good as McCaffrey to breakout? Apparently, yes. Yes, it is. After a 2018 season that saw the versatile running back gain nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns, the former Heisman runner-up took his game to the next level in 2019.
In 2019, McCaffrey became just the third running back in NFL history (and first since 1999) to record over 1,000 rushing yards and 1,00 receiving yards in a season. To be exact, the third-year pro ran for 1,387 and 15 touchdowns on nearly five yards per carry while also catching 116 passes for 1,005 yards and an additional four touchdowns.
McCaffrey transformed from up and coming star to MVP-caliber player and at only 23 years old, should remain a major threat in the NFL for years to come.
1. Eric Reid
In his previous six NFL seasons, veteran safety Eric Reid had never totaled more than 77 total tackles. Reid was able to blow that number out of the water in 2019. Partly due to a subpar Panther’s defense, Reid was an absolute tackling machine for Carolina this past season.
Reid’s 129 tackles ranked second on the team behind the now-retired Luke Kuechley and the former Pro Bowler was also able to be a pest in the backfield with seven tackles for a loss and five quarterback hits.
To round it all out, Reid recorded a career-high four sacks as well as six passes deflected and two fumble recoveries.