Santonio Holmes: Panthers' secondary is 'their weakest link'

Santonio Holmes (16 catches, 381 yards, one TD this season) lets everyone know how he feels. (USATSI)
Santonio Holmes (16 catches, 381 yards, one TD this season) lets everyone know how he feels. (USATSI)

The Panthers' secondary doesn't have much to brag about after getting carved up by Drew Brees on national television in Week 14. But that doesn't mean the Jets' receivers (of all people, right?) should be running their mouths and giving Carolina's defensive backs free bulletin-board material.

Don't worry, Santonio Holmes did it anyway, in the most "no offense BUT" manner of all time.

"We do know not to call these guys out, but their secondary is probably their weakest link on their defense," Holmes said. "Their front seven, they're guys that are really going to get after the ball, really great pass rushers. We know how physical these guys are. They hustle, on and off the field, sideline to sideline."

Holmes is right if you want to be realistic about it. Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson and the defensive line -- one of the best lines in the NFL -- drive this defense along with superstar linebacker Luke Kuechly and Comeback GOAT Thomas Davis.

The secondary is comprised of castoffs and late draft picks. It's an OK secondary but it succeeds because offenses struggle to generate a lot of time for quarterbacks under the impressive Panthers pass rush.

They are the weak link when it comes to the Panthers' defense. But that doesn't mean Holmes should be pointing it out before this weekend's game like the Jets -- 30th in passing yards per game! -- are going to unleash Geno Smith, Holmes and Stephen Hill on them.

If New York struggles in the passing game, and I suspect they will, keep an eye on Mike Mitchell (aka "Mike the Mouth") and what he has to tell Holmes during and after the game.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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