Panthers to start C Pat Elflein vs. Giants in Week 2

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The Carolina Panthers were about as sharp as a broken pencil for the majority of their season-opening loss to the Cleveland Browns. One of the lowlights of that dull performance, which lasted for about three quarters, came from the offense’s battery.

Whether it was a case of bad chemistry, timing or butterfingers—quarterback Baker Mayfield and center Pat Elflein botched four snaps in Week 1. And although none of those fumbles ended up in the hands of a Cleveland defender, they did play a considerable part in damaging numerous drives.

That, however, isn’t going to deter head coach Matt Rhule from rolling with Elflein again this week against the New York Giants. With Bradley Bozeman still working back from an ankle injury, Rhule said he’ll be going with the same starting offensive line.

“We have the same lineup, the same five are starting right now,” Rhule said. “I think Bradley’s getting back in the groove and the rhythm. But I think Pat played well. Take away, it’s like anything else—if something goes wrong, it’s easy to say, ‘It’s this guy. It’s this guy.’ Sometimes it was a lot of things. So, I thought Pat did a lot of good things in the game. I came away from the game really pleased with the stoutness of our guards and center in the protection game.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Elflein allowed zero pressures of Mayfield on Sunday. His outing was good enough to earn an 80.9 pass-blocking grade from the site—the best amongst all Panthers that afternoon.

Mayfield, who also spoke on Wednesday, agreed with Rhule’s sentiment—saying the messy exchanges won’t be an issue moving forward.

“No, I have not,” Mayfield said when asked if he’s ever been apart of a game with four such plays. “And like I said after the game, that’s on me and we’ll get it fixed. I’m not worried about that, at all. We’ll get that fixed.”

Hopefully for Mayfield, Elflein and the rest of the unit—they’ll take less than three quarters this time to find a solution.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire