The Panthers traveled to Los Angeles in week 3 and found a way to grind out an ugly win. It was a complete team effort, The defense came up huge, forcing 3 turnovers and sacking quarterback Justin Herbert twice. That’s winning football, if you’re going to win in the NFL you have to get after the opponents QB and you have to win the turnover battle. Special Teams also came up huge. Joey Slye converted all 5 of his field goal attempts and Pharoh Cooper is now 4th in the league in return yardage. Late in The 4th quarter the punt team was able to down a Joseph Charlton punt at the Chargers one yard line forcing them to have to go a complete 99 yards to win the game. The offense, playing without its best player, Christian Mccaffrey, was able to do enough to win the game. Running back Mike Davis had 13 carries for 46 yards and added 8 receptions for 45 yards and the team’s only touchdown of the game.
Coming into this one the Panthers were sitting at 0-2 and it was looking as if the season had no hope whatsoever. But what did they do? They Kept Pounding and found a way to win. Coach Matt Rhule along with most of his staff earned their first ever NFL victory. If this team can continue to play hard and make the big plays when they matter most than they have potential to be a factor late into the season.
Week 4 preview
Next week the Panthers will return home to Charlotte and will take on a tough Arizona Cardinals team. The Cardinals are yet another team that is loaded offensively with Kyler Murray at quarterback and Larry “legend” Fitzgerald along with Deandre Hopkins at receiver. The Cards are sitting at 2-1 and are another young team on the rise; after getting out to a 2-0 start they surprisingly lost to The Lions last week so they will be looking to bounce back. Kyler Murray is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league and it doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down anytime soon. This one should be a close game. Arizona is averaging around 25 points per game this season while Carolina is only averaging 20 or so.
For The Panthers to get another win its going to have to again be a team effort. They’ll have to find a way to contain Murray and his receivers. This defense is not at the point that they’re going to shut any team down but they can still apply pressure and force turnovers. If Teddy and Co. on offense can start to be more efficient, especially in the red zone, watch out. It was encouraging to see the team really rally around each other despite missing Mccaffrey due to injury. For whatever reason this team, this franchise really has always seemed to play better as the underdog. If they can continue to do that they will be in every game.
Now for my prediction for this week. I think that the Panthers are gaining some momentum and finding their way as a unit. But it won’t be enough this week, the Cardinals have too much fire power offensively. It should be close if the defense plays well but i just don’t see Carolina’s offense being able to keep pace. I’m going to say Cardinals 31 Panthers 27. Kyler Murray is much more elusive than any quarterback the Panthers have faced so far this season; with the pass rush continuing to struggle and the secondary being young and prone to mistakes; sadly I’m picking Carolina to drop another one.
After this one Carolina will be sitting at 1-3 but there are a couple of winnable games ahead on the schedule. Week 4 Carolina faces Atlanta who is having a disastrous season so far and then Chicago after that in week 5. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, this just isn’t going to be the Panthers year. But the team is getting better week to week and you can tell. You can see that Coach Rhule really knows what he’s doing and the players are starting to believe in him and themselves. Once Mccaffrey returns in a couple weeks the team should still have an outside shot at the playoffs although I just don’t see them making it this year. But there is always next year! It’s tough to watch the team you love lose so much, trust me i know. But as always, you know the drill. Keep Pounding. On to the next one.