By Kristen Swift // @kswift_RN
Saints 34 – Panthers 13
Charlotte, NC– Entering their third game of the 2017 season, the Carolina Panthers had defensive momentum on their side. That momentum dissipated quickly on Sunday. After two impressive first series, that momentum disintegrated into two field goals. Here is the Good, Bad, Ugly and Beautiful from Sunday’s game.
The Good: Running back Jonathan Stewart ran extremely hard on Sunday. He now only trails former Carolina Panther running back (breast cancer advocate extraordinaire) Deangelo Williams by 46 yards for the franchise record. Running back Christian Mccaffrey had the first 100-yard receiving game by a running back in Carolina since 2011. ( Hey, Stewart!!)
Wide receiver Samuel Curtis has the longest rush of the season for 30 yards.
Only one penalty for each team. Kicker Graham Gano is 8 for 8. He should be 9-9 (see the bad)
The Bad: Two red zone opportunities that lead to field goals on two great drives leaves a lot to be desired. The first two series showcased a fresh run offense. Then fizzled out for three points each. The Panthers had a 47% red zone percentage the last half of last season. Hopefully, they can correct this ‘dead zone’ reality.
Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was hurt in a play that awkwardly bent his leg backward; the same surgically repaired leg from a year ago. Thankfully MRI results were negative.
Killing the momentum by punting from the 35.
The Ugly: In the first two games of the season, the Panthers have given up 120 rushing yards. Sunday, they gave up 220. The secondary couldn’t keep up with Saint’s wide receiver Michael Thomas, they had no answer to his presence.
The Beautiful: Kudos to defensive end Julius Peppers for staying in the locker room for the National Anthem. It is a controversial enough topic, but taking a stand is never easy. Doing the right thing never is. I applaud Julius for staying in the locker room and choosing to support equality. Awareness is always valuable. Momentum for change is led by people who believe in it. I wish we could all be beautiful in our stance for equality too.
Talk Panthers with Kristen on Twitter // @kswift_RN