The Carolina Panthers cruised to an easy win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. It was a definitive game in proving there aren't traps for this team, while asserting the team can play complete football in order to win. Now it's time to take a look at how the players graded out on Sunday.
Greg Olsen (+3.1)
Steve Smith was shut down until Darrelle Revis was injured, Brandon LaFell had moments but was inconsistent -- enter Greg Olsen. The Panthers tight end stepped up when the team needed him, finishing with five receptions for 85 yards. Olsen is a touch off his career high in yards in 2013, but has been an underrated difference maker every week.
Star Lotulelei (+3.0)
It's time to accept that Star wont win the DROY award, and that's okay. He deserves is, no doubt -- but he plays an unsexy position that rarely gets noticed by voters.
Against the Buccaneers he finished with three quarterback hurries and three run stops. I was a dominant day all around.
Captain Munnerlyn (+2.7)
He's caught a lot of flack in 2013, but against Tampa Bay he was extremely good. He was break-even in pass coverage (which is good for Munnerlyn) but really stood out in the run game, finishing with a +2.6 run stop rating.
Ryan Kalil (-3.0)
It was a rough day for Ryan Kalil, largely because he was tasked with doing a lot. The Buccaneers have a great interior defensive line and Kalil needed to routinely shift to help Nate Chandler or Geoff Hangartner with Gerald McCoy.
Ultimately Kalil allowed three quarterback hurries from the center position. It was a rough outing, but he'll bounce back.
Greg Hardy (-2.1)
I'd be lying if I said this two-game run hasn't worried me a touch. Hardy has largely been a non-factor without Charles Johnson across from him, and against the Buccaneers he finished fifth on the team in pass rush grade, and dead last in run stopping.
These are the games contracts are earned, and it's unclear if he warrants the huge money expected to be demanded. It's a similar situation that Johnson found himself in a few years ago, but CJ stepped up without Julius Peppers on the field and proved he could be an elite defensive end. We've get to see that from Hardy.
I'll play devil's advocate with one name: Ray Edwards. That's my fear.
Colin Cole (-1.6)
It is what it is. Colin Cole can't play football at a high level anymore, and found a way to register a -1.6 rating on 23 snaps.