Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

Rapid Reactions: Panthers Beat Bucs, Improve to 4-0

What It Means

The Carolina Panthers are 4-0 for the second time in their history. The other year was 2003, when they won their first five games en route to the Super Bowl. Last season, the Panthers didn’t win their fourth game until Week 14, on Dec. 7 in New Orleans.

After next week’s bye, the road gets a lot rougher. A trip to play nemesis Seattle looms in Week 6, then it’s the Eagles, Colts and Packers in a span of 15 days.

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s blowout of the Texans means the Panthers and Falcons remain tied atop the NFC South.

Offensive MVP

WR Ted Ginn
The Panthers’ passing attack wasn’t much of one Sunday, but Ginn’s production per reception wasn’t shabby. Both of his catches were for short touchdowns, the first time he’s had multiple receiving scores in a game. Ginn has eight receiving touchdowns in 20 games with the Panthers and just six in 104 games with the Dolphins, 49ers and Cardinals.

Defensive MVP

DE Ryan Delaire
Signed off the Redskins’ practice squad on Wednesday, tied for Panthers’ sack lead by Sunday. Delaire’s addition was overshadowed this week by the trade for Jared Allen, but the guy playing in his first career game provided more pressure than the one making his 176th appearance. Delaire, who was released last month by the Bucs after they signed him as an undrafted free agent in May, sacked QB Jameis Winston twice. The first came in a big spot: After the Panthers fumbled their first snap of the second half, Delaire got to Winston on 3rd-and-2.

Top Plays

1) Bucs’ ball, 3rd-and-8 from their 40 at 10:53 of the first quarter:

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2) Panthers’ ball, 3rd-and-6 from the Tampa Bay 6 at 10:55 of the second quarter:

3) Panthers’ ball, 1st-and-10 from their 33 at 12:38 of the second quarter:

Key Stats

  • The Panthers have won five straight against Tampa Bay. That ties Carolina’s longest win streak in the series (2003-05).
  • The Panthers forced five takeaways, their most since the Bucs turned it over five times on 12/6/09.
  • Winston threw four interceptions after throwing just three in his first three games.
  • Panthers WR Brenton Bersin set career bests with four receptions, 54 yards and a 30-yard catch.
  • Newton threw for 124 yards, the second-fewest of his career (114 vs ATL, Week 17 2014).
  • The Panthers rushed for 133 yards, the 15th straight time they’ve hit the century mark. That’s sets a team record for the longest such streak.
  • According to the NFL, Panthers CB Josh Norman is the first CB with two interception-touchdowns in the first four weeks of a season since Charles Woodson in 2008.

Health Watch

We’ll confirm with coach Ron Rivera in post game, but it appeared the Panthers got out of Sunday without additional injuries.

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