This Sunday provided us with a game that was surrounded by a lot of conversation and from Carolina Panther fans, a great deal of doubt.
On September 12th, the Carolina Panthers took on the Tampa Bay Bucs on a Thursday night. Everyone watching the game knew that Carolina’s starting QB, Cam Newton, was off. Following the game, fans were alerted that Cam had aggravated his ankle and was uncertain to start the following week in Arizona.
The questions and concerns following the game were overwhelming. Being a local in North Carolina, the news headlines and Twitter feeds were full of discussions about whether or not Cam Newton should still be the starter. They questioned if Kyle Allen was the answer, and even if Cam should retire. With Sunday’s win against Arizona, it didn’t silence the debate on whether Cam should start or not, but it did give Carolina fans hope. Let’s take a closer look at the game.
Kyle Allen Was Ready
At the beginning of the week when it was expected that Cam wouldn’t start, it was announced that Kyle Allen would start. Allen then gave a message to Panther fans saying that he was ready. Boy, was he ever. Allen’s stat line was impressive. He had 19 completions on 26 attempts (73% completion percentage) 246 yards passing with a 144 passer rating, and 4 touchdowns with zero interceptions.
So is Kyle Allen the answer? It’s too early to tell. He was playing against a weak defense and he is very inexperienced but, he was making difficult throws and he was making things happen. Cam needs to be healthy in order to make a valid judgement here because a healthy Cam is a different animal. But Allen definitely surprised a lot of people and helped give Carolina their first win of the season with a big road win.
Arizona Needs to Protect Their Investment
The Cardinals need an offensive line as soon as possible! Rookie QB, Kyler Murray had a good game outside of two late-game interceptions which cemented the loss for his team. He was scrambling, making throws, and for a good majority of the game, he was making life difficult for Carolina’s offense. But, he was sacked a total of eight times, which brings the total to fourteen sacks in only three games. He’s taking a beating and the Cardinals need to find a solution to protect their investment. Just by watching the game you can see that Arizona has built their offense around what Murray can do. It’s ideal for his ability to make things happen outside of the pocket. If they are wise they will build an offensive line that can protect him and keep him from taking a beating.
Positives for Both Teams
Carolina: Allen showed plenty of promise of fulfilling his role as a backup. He has given the fans of Carolina a great deal of hope in case Cam gets hurt again. Also, McCaffrey looked phenomenal after a less than stellar performance against Tampa. He was able to bounce back with an impressive game, running for around one hundred and fifty yards with a touchdown as the cherry on top.
Arizona: Kyler Murray is their future. Murray looked great throughout the game making tough throws and using his playmaking ability to get guys open to keep the game close. So far he has been impressive, barring a few mistakes. He is a problem for defenses to contain.
Negatives for Both Teams
Carolina: The defense did have their struggles in this game. Although there were eight sacks and two interceptions on the defensive side, there were moments where they did struggle to stop Murray and the run game of Arizona, which is usually a strength for their defense. Although it wasn’t their best defensive showing, it was enough this time.
Arizona: The defense needs help. It is going to be a long year for Arizona if their defense cannot find the ability to stop teams when it matters. Second and lastly, Murray needs to be surrounded by a good team. He has so much potential to be a star quarterback in this league, but he is going to need some help to get to that point and that includes a offensive line that can protect him.
What’s Next For Both Teams?
Next week Carolina will continue their road trip and head down to Houston and take on the Texans. Will Cam be healthy or will Allen get another shot at the starter spot? Watt will be in store for the Carolina offense (pun intended)? Will Carolina’s defense be able to contain the many threats that Houston as? Can they stop Deshaun Watson and his many threats, including DeAndre Hopkins
As for Arizona, they will take on their division rivals, the Seahawks from the comfort of their home, State Farm Stadium. Will the Seahawks or the Cardinals be the ones to bounce back from a tough loss at home? Who will win in the battle of mobile QB’s? The wily vet Russell Wilson? Or the young gunner Kyler Murray?
Get ready, week four of the NFL is coming at you fast!
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