Panthers open 7-point favorites for Week 9 matchup vs. Buccaneers
09 November, 2018, 09:24
Coach Ron Rivera said Samuel and Moore have brought a "different dimension" to a Carolina offense that has erupted for 99 points in the last nine quarters. "So I was like, 'Let me go make something happen across the field'".
Newton threw TD passes of 19 yards to Curtis Samuel and 17 yards to Greg Olsen, the seventh straight game he has thrown for at least two touchdowns. They've thrown for 2,634 yards - the second-highest total through the first seven games of a season in National Football League history behind the 2000 St. Louis Rams (2,637).
It's not the kind of compliment you want to hear from an opposing quarterback.
On Sunday, it was Samuel who had the bigger impact. He had a long and winding run on a double reverse in the first half that went for 33 yards on the stat sheet but likely covered more than triple that in actual distance traveled, as he ranged from one sideline to the other to weave through the Tampa defense.
Panthers safety Eric Reid put together a strong performance in Carolina's win over the Buccaneers on Sunday. "But to think it's just all about those two would be insane", Rivera said.
Turns out, these guys aren't too bothered by the opinions of people who have never been in their shoes. In what was arguably the Panthers' most complete game so far this season, Cam Newton had a day; finishing with a passer rating of 116.9, two passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown.
"It was an fantastic play call", Samuel said.
This is the Carolina Panthers team we've been waiting to see since they made their run to the Super Bowl back in 2015.
Actually, it was a reflection of their own defense, which hadn't stopped the Panthers at that point and didn't appear able to, which led Koetter to the bold/or something call. But as I said, that's part of playing young guys. "They have to understand where their alignment is, what their assignment is". They have given up an average of 415.3 yards of total offense per game; 318.4 of those in the air.
"They are learning and growing and their ceiling is high, so the potential for them to be better is exciting", Rivera said. "The potential for them to be better is exciting, and hopefully we can watch them grow in the next few weeks and grow quickly because we do have a tough stretch".