Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers Preseason Week 2 Preview: Show and Prove

Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers

(Charlotte, NC) — After a brief yet impressive showing by the starting offense and defense during last week’s 27-10 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Miami Dolphins (0-1) will remain on the road and travel to Bank of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers (1-0) on Saturday night. The Week 2 preseason contest, which is scheduled to kick off shortly after 7:00 pm ET, will be broadcast live locally on CBS4 Miami.

Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who only played one series against the Bears, still looked extremely impressive on Miami’s opening drive. To cap off a 14-play, 85-yard drive, Tannehill hit wide receiver Jarvis Landry on a fourth-and-goal pass to give the Dolphins an early 7-0 lead.

It was a great start for the Dolphins offense to begin the preseason, but many questions still remain on both sides of the ball. Most notably, a problem that returns for Miami this season is questionable play along the offensive line as starting guards Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner have a lot to prove.

However, Tannehill believes his offensive lineman will only continue to improve over the course of the season, as they get to practice against the likes of star outside linebacker Cameron Wake and highly coveted defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

“Our defensive line is one of the best in the league, so for them to go against them everyday, it’s only going to strengthen their ability,” said Tannehill on Wednesday regarding confidence in his offensive line. “To come out here and do a great job all day, especially with all of these pressures they’re getting, being able to pass them off, (identify) them correctly. I thought they did a great job.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Dolphins were dealt a crushing blow earlier this week as starting strong safety Louis Delmas was lost for the season with a torn right ACL. The injury, which happened to the same knee he was rehabbing, occurred during a joint practice with the Panthers on Wednesday afternoon. Now, the focus will shift to backup safeties Michael Thomas and Walt Aikens, as they will both compete to fill the void left by Delmas.

The Panthers, who won the NFC South last season with a 7-8-1 record, also were given some horrible news Wednesday regarding their standout wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. The 2014 first-round draft pick (28th overall), who set Panthers rookie records for receptions (71), receiving yards (1,008), and receiving touchdowns (nine), suffered a torn left ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

This upcoming season, Panthers two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Cam Newton will rely even more heavily on rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess, a 2015 second-round draft pick (41st overall) out of the University of Michigan, to replace Benjamin. However, the Dolphins won’t see Funchess in game action on Saturday as Panthers head coach Ron Rivera indicated to the media that the rookie wideout will miss the game with a hamstring injury.