Smith caught five of his six targets for 69 yards and a TD in the Panthers' impressive 30-15 win last week. Cam Newton's passer rating was a perfect 158.3 on those attempts, and the two have been remarkably efficient hooking up the past two weeks. Smith caught five of his seven targets in Week 6 against the Vikings and also hit paydirt. He had just one TD in his previous four games and a much lower catch percentage. Of course, the improvements of Newton have a lot to do with that. Newton has a passer rating of 133 or more in each of his last two games. Basically, the better Cam does, the better it will reflect on Smith's numbers.
The Panthers have tight end Greg Olsen somewhat healthy and receiver Brandon LaFell is actually learning how to run routes, so there could be more mouths to feed. However, this kind of hammers home the point of the Panthers being a more productive offense. Obviously, it's not Denver-esque, but it could be a top-eight passing offense soon enough.
Smith gets to face Darrelle Revis on Thursday. There used to be trepidation associated with this matchup, but Revis has hardly been shutting down X receivers. Harry Douglas torched the Tampa Buccaneers to the tune of 149 yards and a score, catching every one of his seven targets. In Week 6, DeSean Jackson caught all six of his targets for 64 yards and a score. Yeah, that's a 158.3 and an absolutely ridiculous 16.4 YPA. Head coach Greg Schiano isn't really doing much with his talent.
Revis Island has been swallowed by the Schiano Ocean and his zone D, so there's no reason to worry about starting Smith, folks.