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One of the concerns that the Carolina Panthers had in the 2019 season in the passing game was getting big plays from their receiving corps. Carolina was 27th in the league with only 40 catches of 20 yards of more and they had a league low three touchdown catches.
Even though Cam Newton was injured and was replaced by Kyle Allen, Carolina struggled to stretch opposing pass coverages last season. Newton in the previous two seasons had 91 completed passes over 20 or more yards. Allen only had 35 in his 13 appearances in 2019.
When the season ended for the Panthers, one of the upgrades the offense needed was the ability to find a playmaker who can help stretch the field. After signing Teddy Bridgewater away from the New Orleans Saints, adding another receiving target was critical for their new signal caller’s potential success.
So one of the Panthers went out and found a familiar face to new head coach Matt Rhule, in former Temple Owl and New York Jet wide receiver Robby Anderson. Anderson was a huge part of the Jets’ big plays over the last three seasons.
Anderson was 17th in the NFL over the last three seasons in catches of 20 yards or more with 41 and he was also third in the league with 13 touchdowns in that same period of time. Last season, with a Jets’ team that had multiple quarterbacks, he had 14 catches of 20 or more yards and had the same number of touchdown receptions as the Panthers’ roster combined.
With his 6 foot 3 inch frame, Anderson is physically bigger than the majority of the cornerbacks that he will be matched up with. On top of that, Anderson is one of the fastest receivers in the NFL. Last season according to Next-Gen Stats, Anderson was fourth in the league at 15.62 miles per hour when he had the ball in his hands. Only Deebo Samuel, Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown were faster.
With a combination of both size and speed, Anderson should allow Teddy Bridgewater to look in his direction on a regular basis in 2020. Carolina already has a 1000 yard receiver in D.J. Moore taking the attention of the opposing team’s best cornerback consistently. We can expect Anderson and Curtis Samuel to be able to make their share of big plays.