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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Carolina secondary not efficient

By David Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers' secondary is picking up where it left off last season -- and that's not a good thing.

Carolina had the league's worst opponent-completion percentage last season at 66.8. One week into this season, after Seattle's Russell Wilson completed 25-of-33 attempts for a 75.8 success rate, the Panthers are ahead of only Chicago (78.8) and Oakland (78.3).

Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel must be licking his chops in anticipation of Sunday's game visit from the Panthers.

And Manuel wasn't that bad in his debut against New England, going 18-for-27 for a 66.7 percentage.

The good news for Carolina after the 12-7 loss is that starting strong safety Mike Mitchell (calf) may be back this week. The Panthers also are considering using cornerback Josh Norman more -- perhaps over starting left corner Josh Thomas, who was burned for the 43-yard game-winning touchdown.

"We’ve just got to work on that on defense,'' cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said of reducing opposing quarterbacks' efficiency. "I think we only had one break-up in the back, and that’s not good being in the secondary.

"We’ve got to work on that, continue trying to get the ball out and make plays on the ball.”