The Carolina Panthers were on the hot seat two weeks into the season. Great defensive play for the Panthers was not being met by the highly anticipated offensive play. After Week 2’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Thursday Night Football the Carolina Panthers and the city of Charlotte were growing restless.
The following week back-up Quarterback Kyle Allen took over the Panthers Offense and threw for four touchdowns against the struggling Arizona Cardinals. The week after that Allen threw for 0 touchdowns but the Panthers prevailed in a defensive battle against the red-hot Houston Texans. This week the Panthers suppressed Minshew Mania and got their first win at home since November 4, 2018 (Week 9 of last season).
The Panthers left Bank of America defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-27. The Panthers were on the board early because of their defense. Carolina’s defense capitalized on Jacksonville’s turnovers on back-to-back possessions. Late in the first quarter, Jaguars’ QB Gardner Minshew botched a hand-off to tight end Seth DeValve thus fumbling the football. Safety Eric Reid recovered the fumble and gave Kyle Allen and the offense the ball deep in Jacksonville’s territory. Three plays later Allen connected with Christian McCaffrey on an 18-yard touchdown pass. The next time the Panthers defense was on the field Mario Addison completely bullied former Panthers Guard Andrew Norwell and pushed him into Minshew forcing Minshew to fumble the ball right before throwing it. Rookie Defensive End Brian Burns scooped up the loose ball and ran it 54-yards to the house to give the Panthers six more points. The Panthers two takeaways in the first half helped lead the Panthers to a 21-17 lead at the half.
Some stagnant offense once again plagued the Carolina Panthers in the second half. The defense played great, like they have all season, but Leonard Fournette worked his magic running 23 times for 108 yards and 1 touchdown. Jaguars receiver DJ Chark absolutely tore up the Panthers secondary reeling in 8 catches totaling 164 yards and 2 touchdowns. The real story of this game was Christian McCaffrey who literally flew his way into the MVP conversation through the first five weeks.
There’s so much we can say about Christian McCaffrey that I’m actually going to save it for another article. After starting 0-2 the Carolina Panthers are now 3-2 and sitting second place in the NFC South. Next week they have a huge revenge game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London. Kickoff is at 9:30a.m.