The offense struggled to get into a rhythm but the defense showed Panther fans what to expect from them going forward.
Kyle Allen had a heck of a performance to follow up after last week against Arizona. He was bound to take a bit of a step back against what is a much tougher opponent in Houston but the fumbles were an issue again this week. Give the Texans defense credit, they made some great plays and forced three fumbles on strip-sacks. Outside of the fumbles, Allen made some timely throws and delivered at the end of the game to put it out of reach for the Texans. CMC had another solid day finishing with 179 total yds and one score. McCaffery joins Jim Brown as the only other player to accumulate at least 175 scrimmage yards and one TD in three of his first four games to start a season. That’s pretty good company.
Man oh man did this defense turn it on the last couple of weeks. After notching eight sacks last week against the Cardinals, they went ahead and added another six this week against Houston. The Texans porous O-line was their biggest weakness and the Panthers did a great job of exploiting it. Although the Panthers gave the ball away three times, they forced two turnovers themselves, which allowed them to stay in this game. The defense came up big when it mattered today and made this game a nightmare for Deshaun Watson. James Bradberry had himself a game, locking down DeAndre Hopkins for much of the game (Hopkins finished with 5 rec for 41 yds.) If the defense performs like this week in and week out, the Panthers are going to be tough to beat.
The hybrid kicker/linebacker/stud Joey Slye just keeps on making big kicks. Slye missed his first NFL kick in the regular-season opener vs the Rams. Since then, he’s been a perfect 10 for 10. His career-long 55 yarder was a thing of beauty and outside of a CMC touchdown today, Joey Slye was a major factor in this win. Michael Palardy did a great job of pinning Houston back in their own territory. Brian Burns got his fingertips on a Houston punt in the first quarter setting up the Panthers to put the first points on the board. After years of Panthers’ lackluster special team units, this one is making its presence felt every week.
Next week: Home vs Jacksonville