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How Cam Newton and company have flourished without Kelvin Benjamin

Ted Ginn leads the Carolina Panthers receivers with 20 catches for 343 yards and three touchdowns. Grant Halverson/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Gloom and doom was predicted for the Carolina Panthers when wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp.

It hasn't happened yet.

The Panthers are 7-0 heading into Sunday's NFC showdown against the Green Bay Packers. They are averaging 27.2 points a game as opposed to 22.5 at this point a year ago with Benjamin.

Here are three ways the Panthers have overcome losing their No. 1 receiver:

Luck by committee: I say luck somewhat in jest, referring to the 57-yard touchdown tight end Ed Dickson was credited with after catching a fumble by running back Jonathan Stewart in mid-stride at Tampa Bay. But Benjamin really has been replaced by committee as offensive coordinator Mike Shula said would be the case when Benjamin went down. A different receiver steps up almost every week. Ted Ginn Jr. leads the way with 20 catches for 343 yards and three touchdowns. He would have had four had he not dropped a wide open 56-yarder in overtime against Indianapolis on Monday night. Philly Brown -- or Corey Brown if you prefer -- is next with 14 catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Jerricho Cotchery has only 10 catches, but one was for a touchdown. The only receiver that hasn't fully joined this committee is rookie Devin Funchess. He was the player most mentioned as a possible No. 1 when Benjamin was injured. He has only seven catches for 90 yards and no touchdowns. You could actually argue the Panthers haven't replaced Benjamin when you consider running backs Mike Tolbert, Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker have combined for 21 catches. Unless, that is, you want to call them a part of the committee.

The Olsen factor: Tight end Greg Olsen hasn't replaced Benjamin. He was Cam Newton's favorite target a year ago. That he leads the team with 33 catches for 518 yards and four touchdowns isn't a huge surprise. The surprise is he doesn't have a couple more touchdowns. The Panthers have been extremely creative in finding ways to get Olsen open. He lines up at every position except center, guard and quarterback. Because teams pay extra attention to him, receivers get open. They get single coverage. Even an average receiver can look good if he gets single coverage, particularly when they have the speed of Ginn and Brown.

CAM-ou-flage: Cam Newton can cover up for a lot of deficiencies with his ability to run out of the read option. His 11 passing touchdowns sound average, but when you throw in four rushing touchdowns he has the same overall number of touchdowns as Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (15). That Newton is making smarter decisions, taking the dump-off pass to the running back instead of taking a sack or throwing an incompletion, has made the offense more efficient. That he's looking past his primary receiver instead of getting locked in on one as he often did with the 6-foot-5 Benjamin keeps teams off balance. Much of the credit should go to Shula. He's done more with what he has than most expected. Still, one only can imagine how much better this offense would have looked with Benjamin in the mix. He was having a spectacular preseason before going down. That the Panthers didn't go down with him is a testament to everything above.