It seems it takes forever for the NFL season to arrive, and no time at all before it ends. We are already through 25% of the regular season, and just five teams remain undefeated. Luckily we are one of the five, and are possibly poised for a deep playoff run. The Panthers’ wide receiver corp has been in the spot light seemingly forever, and the the beam got more intense when Kelvin Benjamin went down with injury. Here are some stats showing how they've done thus far, and projections on how they will do down the stretch.
12 Receptions, 206 Receiving Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 5 Drops
Carolina’s prodigal son returned this offseason, and is currently tied for the NFL lead in dropped passes. With the drops aside, Ginn has been very impressive in his return to the Panthers. Entrenched as Cam Newton’s #1 receiver, Ginn looks to see a steady amount of targets and big plays. Though Teddy is definitely not an optimal starting option, he has performed admirably thus far.
On Pace For: 48 Receptions, 824 Receiving Yards, 12 Touchdowns, 20 Drops
6 Receptions, 73 Receiving Yards, 1 Touchdown, 0 Drops
This hasn't been the ideal start for the former undrafted free agent, and a little disappointing to say the least. After suffering through a terrible case of the drops during the preseason, Philly hasn't had a catchable ball slip through his hands this season. Though the no drops thing is good, he hasn't been getting many looks either. Hopefully Brown breaks out and performs a little more like the the Philly we saw at the tail end of last year.
On Pace For: 24 Receptions, 292 Receiving Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 0 Drops
3 Receptions, 38 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 1 Drop
The second round rookie has been another disappointment for the Panthers through four games. After averaging one catch per game over the first three, he failed to reach the box score this past Sunday vs. the Buccaneers. Though some fans may be turning on the “Funch” pick, I am still a believer in his ability. His stats don’t currently stand out, but I do predict an expanded role and output by the season’s end.
On Pace For: 12 Receptions, 152 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 4 Drops
My Prediction: 32 Receptions, 432 Receiving Yards, 5 Touchdowns, 6 Drops
5 Receptions, 67 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 0 Drops
Called up from the practice squad after the week two injury to Jerricho Cotchery, Bersin had somewhat of a breakout game vs. Tampa Bay. Bersin carded four receptions on the day, and looks to keep his roster spot when Cotchery returns. He is currently Cam’s most reliable receiver, and thankfully he doesn't have to return punts anymore.
(Based On Two Games) On Pace For: 35 Receptions, 469 Receiving yards, 0 Touchdowns, 0 Drops
4 Receptions, 38 Receiving Yards, 1 Touchdown, 0 Drops
Sidelined after a high ankle sprain suffered in week two, the Panthers hope to have Mr. Reliable back after the bye week. It should be interesting to see how the snaps will be divided between he and Bersin in his return to action. I’d also continue to expect more end zone looks for him with Benjamin out.
(Based On Two Games) On Pace For: 28 Receptions, 266 Receiving Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 0 Drops
17 Receptions, 243 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 0 Drops
Though Olsen is not a wide receiver, I thought he was worth mentioning considering he is Cam’s best target. Olsen is among the league’s best and is poised for another huge season this year.
On Pace For: 68 Receptions, 972 Receiving Yards, 8 Touchdowns, 0 Drops
A name not mentioned is that of Kevin Norwood. Norwood saw limited action against the Texans, and failed to reel in a catchable touchdown pass that later turned into an interception. He will have to improve a lot to be activated on Sundays, and his future this season is very cloudy with Bersin playing well and Cotchery set to return soon. Though this may be the worst receiving corp Cam has had since entering the league, he is dragging them along in stride and displaying MVP type gumption in doing so. Cam has come a long long way since his rookie season, and it will be fun to see the culmination of his hard work when he finally gets the talent he needs around him.
Note: the “On Pace Stats” are not very fair/accurate projections for the remainder of the season, but they are fun to look at and determine how their success thus far would project over the season.
By Grant Hughes
Follow Grant on Twitter @KenjonVander