The Panthers have won three games in a row for the first time since 2009. The feeling is good even if it doesn't mean much. On with the grades..
Generally the offense put up an acceptable performance. 17 points isn't awful, but in this day and age of the NFL it isn't good either. It is enough to win provided you have a top notch defense.
Cam Newton continues to impress with a solid performance. Greg Olsen is close to breaking Wesley Walls record for a receiving tight end for the Panthers.
The Panthers did take a step back yesterday, however, with numerous failed read options leaving Deangelo Williams at a loss. When will they stop running this play? We were calling for it to end after week 3.
Offensive Grade: B
Luke Kuechly is the best defensive player the Panthers have ever drafted. Thats right, I said it. Better than Peppers. Better than Morgan. Better than Beason. Luke has every physical and intangible attribute you could ever want in a linebacker.
At one point in the game he took control and adjusted DE Mario Addison a bit, moving him to a new gap. The result? Addison made the tackle.
The defense gave up 6 points to a NFL team. Even with a backup QB, it is still an accomplishment.
Defensive Grade: A
If the Panthers can win on Sunday against the Saints, I believe Rivera will keep his job. That is not to say everyone on the coaching staff is safe, however.
A new GM will have the ability to assess the entire coaching staff and make adjustments as he sees fit. Rivera has lost the right to choose his own staff after two losing seasons and the firing of a coordinator mid season.
Fans of defensive football probably are enticed about the prospect of Rivera returning. By way the defense has played with mainly backups in the secondary, just imaging the prospects of the addition of higher caliber players through a new GM puts a smile on our face.
Coaching Grade: A