The 2-1 Carolina Panthers defeated the now 2-1 Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 31-21. The Panthers recorded a great team win heading into their bye week, and redeemed themselves following a disappointing defensive performance that lead to a loss last week.
While quarterback Cam Newton and running back Christian McCaffrey both had impressive days on offense, there was one new name that especially stood out on defense. That name is linebacker Efe Obada.
If you’re like me, you have never heard Efe Obada’s name until yesterday. That’s because yesterday was Obada’s first NFL start. Despite that, number 94 looked like a veteran and went on the field with the intention to make a name for himself.
Despite only playing in 29% of the team snaps, Obada recorded one sack for a loss of ten yards and caught one interception during the game. He also tackled QB Andy Dalton as he was throwing, forcing what at first look appeared to be a fumble. The fumble was then reversed and called an incomplete pass, but Obada was left applying pressure and recording a QB hit. In the locker room, 94’s performance impressed his teammates and coach so much that he was awarded one of the game balls.
The Panthers lost a nail-biter to their division rival Atlanta Falcons Sunday in their typical cardiac cat fashion.
With the game on the line at 24-31 and 5 seconds on the clock, quarterback Cam Newton launched a 30-yard bomb into the end zone to his new, speedy wide receiver DJ Moore. Unfortunately, under pressure and in the face of two defenders, Moore was unable to reel the catch in for a chance at overtime.
The offense overall did what they were supposed to, by putting 24 points on the board. However, the Panthers struggled for four quarters in an unexpected phase: Defense.
The Chargers fell to the Saints in a disappointing 36-7 loss on Saturday, in the third week of the preseason. After scrimmaging and practicing together in the final week of training camp, the Saints dominated the Chargers for three quarters.
While this game was less than exciting for Chargers fans to watch, there were still some positive takeaways from this game.
With the second week of preseason in the books and the final day of Charger’s camp today, we are getting closer to the cuts for the 53 man roster. I wanted to share some thoughts and observations on the team thus far following last week’s victory over the Seahawks.
Anyone who is a Carolina Panther’s fan has more than likely heard by now that wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had some harsh criticism for quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers as a whole on Saturday.
Benjamin, who publicly spoke out for the first time since his trade, commented to The Athletic that “had he been put with an accurate quarterback, like [Aaron] Rodgers or Eli Manning” or a quarterback with “knowledge”, he would have been in a better position for success as a wide receiver. Not only were his comments seemingly out of left field for his former teammate and friend, but there are many reasons why these statements are simply not true.
Excitement is high today as the Chargers got what some are calling the biggest steal of round one, selecting FSU Safety Derwin James at the number 17 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Many are surprised that he was still on the board when the Chargers were on the clock, so it was an obvious choice for the Bolts to make the call.
After not resigning free safety Tre Boston, the Chargers had an obvious need at this position. James told the Chargers in his interview with head coach Anthony Lynn, that he is willing to play any position they need, further adding to his value.
What an interesting week it has been for Panther players and fans.
First, there was news that linebacker Shaq Thompson is getting sued for a 2016 car accident he was involved in. Then, there was panic surrounding the news that quarterback Cam Newton got in another car accident and somehow collided with a dump truck (Thankfully, he is fine).
But perhaps the most devastating news of all, came two days ago: that LB Thomas Davis will serve a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy performance-enhancing substances.
It didn’t take long when the news broke for Davis to post a heartfelt and apologetic video on Twitter addressing Panther fans and the situation. In light of this recent news, I wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on the amazing player that Davis has always been, on and off the field for Charlotte and surrounding communities.
Quarterback Philip Rivers became the official starter for the Chargers in 2006. Since that time, he has started every game and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in 9 of his 12 seasons as the Chargers quarterback. He has led his team to the playoffs 5 times and has been selected as a pro-bowler six times over his career.
Perhaps his most impressive feat though is the fact that he led the Chargers to win the AFC West division title four years in a row from 2006-2009. Sadly, all of their playoff appearances have ended in heartbreak and Rivers has never reached the SuperBowl. Because of this, Rivers accomplishments thus far seem to be downplayed and his numbers overlooked.
With his contract set to expire in 2019 and Rivers turning 37 this year, it has been speculated that he will continue to play for several more years. As of right now, Rivers future at quarterback is unknown, but he deserves to end his career with the ultimate football accomplishment: a Lombardi.