Week four of the NFL season is almost over and it is time to look back at the game that went down yesterday, the Carolina Panthers vs the Houston Texans. This was a defensive battle! With limited offensive production from both sides it came down to which defense was better and that was Carolina’s defense by far. So without further ado let’s get into the details of this game.
Houston Missed Opportunities
There were two huge opportunities that were missed at key points during the game. Quarterback Deshaun Watson had two chances where he had Hopkins and Fuller wide open deep down the field, and he just could not connect. This was not the Watson that I was used to seeing. He was overthrowing receivers, not by much, but enough to show that something was off. Had Watson been able to connect on those deep throws, the outcome of the game would have likely been much different. There was also a chance that was missed when the Texans were having a good drive, and they decided to run a trick play having DeAndre Hopkins throw a pass to the opposite side of the field which was then intercepted by the Panthers. The Panthers had their missed opportunities as well having three fumbles recovered by the Texans, but Houston was unable to do anything with those turnovers.
Carolina’s Defense Was Stout
Sunday was arguably one of the best defensive showings that the Panthers have put forth so far this year. First let’s start with the pass rush. This week the Panthers sacked Watson 6 times. Throughout the game they blitzed him and made him as uncomfortable as possible in the pocket and it seemed to work because he was off.
The corners did their job as well as they took away the big threats for Houston. DeAndre Hopkins was held to 56 yards receiving on only 5 receptions. The only struggle that seemed to surround the Panthers was stopping Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson from running the ball. The two combined for a hundred yards rushing, and Watson did have a rushing touchdown. But overall it was one of the best games that I have seen from Carolina defensively, and it paid off in the end as a strip-sack was the nail in the coffin to seal the win for the Panthers.
Kyle Allen Was Good but Not Perfect
This was Kyle Allen’s second game under center for the Panthers and it was good but he definitely had his flaws. The first issue that immediately stands out to me is that he fumbled the ball three times. He’s a new guy and he isn’t perfect. He definitely needs to work on his awareness in the pocket and know the times when he needs to tuck the ball away and not be free with it.
Allen was really lucky that those three fumbles didn’t cost him the game because most teams would capitalize on it and score. But he didn’t throw any interceptions and he had a good completion rate. Not to mention that he avoided a bear hug sack from JJ Watt, stepped up in the pocket while off-balance, and made a throw to wide receiver Darius Wright on a third down, to keep the drive alive and seal the game. Allen is off to a good start in his first two games. Not the most impressive, but he has helped lead the Panthers to their last two wins to bring them back into the competition for first place in the NFC South. He just has to make sure that in the future he doesn’t kill drives.
Overall it was a very interesting game to watch. I love a good defensive battle and so this one was right up my alley. With the end of week four, the Panthers are now 2-2 and they will move on to week five to come back to Charlotte and take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. As for the Houston Texans, they will drop to 2-2 and they will stay at home to take on the struggling Atlanta Falcons.
Stay tuned for my preview of Carolina’s upcoming game, which will come out later this week!
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