Carolina Panthers fans had a lot to cheer about on Sunday, September 20. The Panthers beat the Houston Texans 24-17 in a hard-fought home game. Despite trailing 3-0 after the first quarter, the Panthers bounced back to take a 10-3 lead into halftime. The teams swapped touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters, but the Panthers held on to win it in the end.
Cam Newton was definitely the hero in this game, putting up numbers that had to make a lot of fantasy football owners very happy. Newton completed 18-of-37 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, but he did also throw one interception. He made up for that by rushing for an additional 76 yards and putting the ball in the end zone with his feet as well. He accounted for all three touchdowns that the Panthers scored on Sunday. Newton had just one touchdown in the Week 1 game.
Other contributors for the Carolina Panthers were Johnathan Stewart with 62 rushing yards on 17 carries, Greg Olsen with six catches for 70 yards, Ted Ginn Jr. with four catches for 41 yards, and Corey Brown with three catches for 57 yards. Ginn and Brown also had the receiving touchdowns for the team, helping Newton get in the end zone twice on the day. The most targeted receiver was Olsen, who got targeted 14 times by Newton.
Combined with the Week 1 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Panthers have now begun a perfect start to the 2015 NFL season. It’s very possible that the team could continue this streak, as the Panthers have two underperforming opponents in the coming weeks. Next up is a home game against the New Orleans Saints on September 27 and then a road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 4. It’s important for the Panthers to make a push on the standings now, because the schedule is only going to get tougher.
Following a Week 5 bye, the Panthers head to the Pacific Northwest to play the Seattle Seahawks on October 18. That is followed with games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, and Green Bay Packers in successive weeks. Emerging from all that with a winning record could go a long way toward nearly guaranteeing a spot in the 2016 NFL Playoffs. For now, the Carolina Panthers are tied with the Atlanta Falcons as the only 2-0 teams in the NFC South right now. There are only two other teams in the NFC at 2-0, showing the Panthers are in good company so far.
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