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Top takeaways from Panthers’ snap counts in Week 18 loss to Buccaneers

Even in the final game of an absolutely lost 2-15 season for the Carolina Panthers, we have some numbers to look over.

Here are the top takeaways from Sunday’s snap counts:

Auditions

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Although the group had a pretty disastrous campaign, the starting offensive line may very well run it back. So, don’t be surprised if it’s Ikem Ekwonu, Brady Christensen, Bradley Bozeman, Austin Corbett and Taylor Moton out there come next season.

What’s behind them could be the more concerning question.

Nash Jensen and Gabe Jackson got their final auditions in on Sunday—earning the starts at left and right guard, respectively. Jensen faired much better in pass protection, allowing one pressure to Jackson’s four over 23 pass-blocking snaps.

The undrafted rookie, who stuck around for Carolina all season, could serve as a depth piece for 2024.

Eat-tur

Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Speaking of running it back, the Panthers just might want to re-sign Yetur Gross-Matos this spring.

The fourth-year outside linebacker capped off the most impactful campaign of his career with a season-high 57 defensive snaps. He turned those opportunities into three pressures, one of which accounted as a sack.

Seatbelts on

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being deemed as active prior to last week’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, cornerback Jaycee Horn was a no-go. But he returned on Sunday.

The 2021 eighth overall pick came to play, as he appeared in 86 percent of his unit’s snaps. He was also strong in coverage (shocker), allowing just four receptions for 25 yards over eight targets.

Carolina’s defense, which kept Tampa Bay out of the end zone all afternoon, is just that much better when Horn is a part of it. So, hopefully, he continues to be a part of it.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire