Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Devin McCourty: B+
McCourty was called for a questionable holding penalty that extended a Panthers drive, but otherwise had a pretty clean day. He was able to fill in run support—two tackles—and kept the Patriots' patchwork secondary under control.
Aqib Talib: D+
Coming off his hip injury, Talib was thoroughly outplayed by Steve Smith. Smith drew multiple penalties against Talib and was able to make chunk plays when needed. Talib left the game late with an undisclosed injury and his status for next week's game against Denver is now in jeopardy.
Kyle Arrington: C+
Arrington was the best cover corner that the Patriots had Monday night, but many will only remember his egregious missed tackle that allowed the Panthers to take the lead. Arrington needs to wrap up better, but his play kept New England in the game.
Duron Harmon: B
Harmon played in place of the injured Steve Gregory and acquitted himself nicely, picking up three solo tackles and helping McCourty cover the back end. He does not play like a rookie and has thus far made Tavon Wilson an afterthought.
Logan Ryan: C+
Ryan had a deflection and some good coverage outside, but was beaten badly on Cam Newton's pass to Brandon LaFell.
Marquice Cole: C
Cole was on the field late in the game with Talib injured. The Patriots are obviously in trouble when he is forced to take over for Talib and Dennard.
Nate Ebner: C+
Ebner saw his first action of the season in the defensive backfield and looked comfortable trying to re-route receivers and tight ends.