In what seemed like a game from the magical 2015 season, the Carolina Panthers were able to hang on to defeat the New York Giants and improved their record to 3-1. Winning in the NFL is tough, and for Ron Rivera’s teams winning after a bye week is even tougher. But the Panthers pulled it off, if only at the last second. However, not everyone walked away a total winner from the game. Some players deserve more credit, and some far less. Here are this week’s winners and losers as I see it.
Obviously, Graham Gano should be the first person mentioned here. Gano’s clutch 63 yard field goal to win the game saved a whole lot of drama this week. There are whispers that new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper isn’t completely sold on Rivera and a loss yesterday would have turned the heat up on his seat from medium to high. Good on ya, Graham. You get a chicken dinner.
Second year player Curtis Samuel proved that his stellar preseason performance was no fluke. His touchdown reception was a thing of beauty. This kid from Brooklyn should be getting most of the snaps on offense.
Rookie DJ Moore also had a solid showing, including a clutch reception when it counted most. Four targets, four receptions and an average of 12 yards. What more do you want? In all honesty, the Carolina Panthers could start Moore and Samuel next week and the opposition would be far more concerned than when facing the duo of Funchess and Smith.
Yesterday’s performances of Moore and Samuel has everyone wondering what role Torrey Smith plays on the team and is it worth his 5 million dollar price tag? I like Smith as a player and as a member of the community, but if I am looking at cost/production it just does not add up. One target, zero receptions, and looking a lot like the fifth best receiver on the field.
I am going to go ahead and lump all of the Defensive Line here, because they did nothing as a unit the entire day. In a game where pressuring Eli Manning is the obvious key to victory, the Carolina Panthers were largely unable to do so. That is just unacceptable and will spell trouble against Drew Brees should it continue. Step it up, boys.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.