Carolina-roller, also knocks out Houston: it is the third victory in a row. But McCaffrey goes out

After the Jets, the Saints, now the Texas too: the Panthers never stop. But the bad news is their running back injury

Carolina wins again. Dominate Houston 24-9 away on Thursday Night which opens the third NFL day and remains unbeaten: three wins to start the season. It hadn’t happened to the Panthers since 2015, when they then landed at the Super Bowl. The calendar has had a significant impact, putting them in front of Jets, Saints and now Texas without the two best quarterbacks, but in the meantime….


Neil Diamond’s song, which resonates in so many American sports arenas, well describes the sweet start to the season of the Charlotte franchise. Which showed a more mature Sam Darnold than in the past, a quarterback perhaps not dazzling as special effects, but solid and growing, and an aggressive defense, capable of producing 4 sacks, with Reddick and Burns unleashed in the pass rush. The sacks become 14 in 3 games. Then Moore is a fabulous receiver: the 126 yards of catches of the day are almost the norm for him now. There was a price to pay for winning in Texas, however. Tall. The Panthers lost Christian McCaffrey, their best player: the running back was knocked out in the first half by a muscle injury to be evaluated, as recovery time. On the technical level, the main concern comes from the offensive line, which did not seem like a concrete wall. We’ll know more when the Panthers play again in Texas, but in Dallas, against the Cowboys, a much more ambitious team than the rebuilding Texans.

the labors of houston

We do not find out now that it was an uphill season for the Texans. With a new technical and managerial staff, Watson pinned to the stand by legal problems, a renewed team, there was little to be fooled. The injury of Taylor, modest quarterback, but who had started the season strong and was allowing freshman Davis Mills, chosen on the third round of the Draft, to settle in the NFL before being thrown into the sea, to learn to swim. The little boy from Stanford last night had to make his debut as a starter undergoing fierce physical punishment. But remaining intact and making a good figure, giving a glimpse of promising slivers of the future. He scored the only goal on passage of the race. Houston showed Cooks excellent, underrated receiver, and little else. The current record is 1-2, at the end of the season it will be among the worst.


Darnold runs into the end zone for the first touchdown. McCaffrey injured his left flexor at the beginning of the 2nd quarter: he finished with 40 yards, 31 on the run, 9 on reception. In the first half Houston with just 44 yards of attack until the last drive, when Mills orchestrated the goal of the equalizer obtained thanks to the reception from a yard of Miller. Slye misses the additional point: 7-6 Panthers at half-time. Carolina stretches in the 3rd quarter with Tremble’s running goal, and at the beginning of 4th Gonzalez hits the poles from 21 yards for 17-6. Slye redeems himself with a field on target from 53 yards, bringing the Texans back to possession at a distance: 17-9. With 4 ‘to play the Panthers, however, score with Darnold’s QB sneak. Race in the safe for the boys of Coach Rhule. Perhaps not even they expected such a flattering start to the season.

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Carolina-roller, also knocks out Houston: it is the third victory in a row. But McCaffrey goes out

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