It was no Cam, no worries on Sunday afternoon, as the Carolina Panthers held onto a 16-10 victory over the Houston Texans.
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Kyle Allen wasn’t nearly as effective this week. He fumbled to end the Panthers first drive, lost a fumble on a second-quarter Whitney Mercilus strip-sack and lost another fumble to a J.J. Watt strip-sack later in the game.
Christian McCaffrey started the game by using his athletic skill-set to make multiple defenders miss with quick cuts, speed and physicality. He proceeded to make people miss throughout the game as continued in his workhorse role.
Shaq Thompson was making plays all over the field today. He came up big with a couple of stops in run defense and was able to knock down a pass on a wheel route showing great coverage skills on a third-down passing play in the final quarter.
Eric Reid played poorly in coverage, missing a couple of tackles which resulted in first downs, and that kept drives moving for the Texans. His one big play was the hail mary pass at the end of the game where he smartly batted the pass down in the endzone to secure the win for the Panthers.
Deshaun Watson was off his game today, often holding the ball for too long and creating unnecessary pressure. He also overthrew a couple of deep passes which would have been touchdowns if he had connected. Late in the fourth quarter, he fumbled the football inside Houston territory which gave the game to the Panthers.
Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde were valuable assets to Watson in the receiving game, as they were often his outlet when nothing was open downfield or when he came under pressure. They were virtually the only offense the Texans put up, as the Panthers’ secondary kept DeAndre Hopkins & Co. at bay for the majority of the game.
J.J. Watt made an incredible individual play on a third-quarter sack of Kyle Allen where Watt knocked the ball out of the quarterback’s hands and then recovered the fumble himself.
Whitney Mercilus’ strip-sack was an example of the complementary relationship between inside and outside pass-rushers, as D.J. Reader’s bull-rush from the middle of the line flushed Allen out to a position where Mercilus could make the sack.