Panthers Capitalize on Bucs' Mistakes
The Carolina Panthers took full advantage of facing off against an inexperienced quarterback in Jameis Winston. The Panthers forced five turnovers, which were all caused by Winston. The first overall pick fumbled a handoff on the second play of the game which was recovered Star Lotulelei and then threw four interceptions.
Two of those were intercepted by Josh Norman, who continues to have an incredible season. He was able to return one of those interceptions for a touchdown and now has career highs in interceptions (four) and touchdowns (two). He also is tied for the lead in the league in turnovers through the first four games with five. The biggest reason the Panthers were able to put up their highest point total of the season was due to these turnovers with 27 of their 37 points off turnovers.
Cam Newton Has An Off Game
After a great performance last week against the Saints, Cam Newton struggled to move this offense and had one of his least productive games of his career. He actually had his second lowest passing game of his career with only 124 passing yards, with Week 17 last season being the lowest at 114.
The low yardage totals can be justified a bit because of all the turnovers the defense forced, the Panthers offense started a number of their drives with a short field. However, Newton wasn't as accurate as he has been, completing only 50% of his passes, and had a turnover. Newton is having a very good season to this point and while it wasn't an awful game, it wasn't at the level we have seen in 2015.
Welcome Ryan Delaire to Panthers Nation!
While fans were excited about a new defensive end, no one expected it would be Ryan Delaire. The team was excited to see how Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen would look in this defense, it was Delaire who stole the show. Around the same time the Panthers made the trade for Allen, they also signed Delaire off the Washington Redskins practice squad when they released Colin Cole.
Well Delaire didn't waste any time making an impact, finishing the game with two sacks and five total tackles. These were the first sacks by a defensive end since Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The undrafted rookie out of Towson looked explosive and provided a spark for this defense. He will be a great addition to the Panthers rotation at defensive end.
Brenton Bersin surpass Philly Brown on the depth chart?
The Panthers brought Brenton Bersin up from the practice squad prior to last week's game against the Saints and after a one catch performance in Week 3, he led the Panthers' offense in receptions and yards. He was the only wide receiver with more than two receptions and more than 30 receiving yards. He has looked very good the past two weeks as a possession wide receiver and Newton is gaining trust in him.
Meanwhile, Philly Brown is heading in the other direction it seems. After being named the starter at the beginning of the year, he has seen his role in this offense disappear. Last week against the Saints he had zero receptions or targets and this week he only had one reception for three years on three targets. Brown has a place in this offense but it might make more sense at this point to have Bersin line up with the starters and use Brown only in certain offensive packages.
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