With Christian McCaffrey leaving the football game in the first half for the Carolina Panthers with a hamstring injury, another player on the offensive side of the football needed to step up. Wide receiver D.J. Moore toyed with the Houston Texans defense all night long with eight receptions for 126 yards in a 24-9 win for the Carolina Panthers over the Houston Texans.
Moore found the soft spots in Houston’s zone defense all game long. Carolina’s quarterback Sam Darnold did a very good job of finding him all game long. This is the second consecutive game that Darnold threw for over 300 yards for the Panthers. He completed 23-of-34 passes for 304 yards. Sam Darnold also rushed for 11 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns.
He scored on a 5-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter and a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. Sam Darnold didn’t look the same when Christian McCaffrey was sidelined. He finished with 31 yards rushing on seven carries and also caught two passes for seven yards before leaving the game.
D.J. Moore is Carolina’s number one receiving option. He is one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL. Moore runs very good and efficient routes. He usually doesn’t drop passes either. D.J. Moore is also one of the most reliable wide receivers in the NFL.
Terrace Marshall Jr. was the second leading receiver on the team in Thursday night’s game. He caught four passes for 48 yards.
Robbie Anderson only caught one pass for eight yards.
This defense has only given up 33 points in the first three games of the regular season. First-round rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn suffered a foot injury and he did not return to the football game. He is expected to miss the next several weeks.
The last time the Carolina Panthers went 3-0 was in 2015. They lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl L. Carolina has been 3-0 to start a season twice in franchise history and made it to the Super Bowl both times despite losing efforts.
The Carolina Panthers (3-0) next game will be on the road on Sunday October 3rd against the Dallas Cowboys (1-1).
The Houston Texans (1-2) next game will be on the road on Sunday, October 3rd against the Buffalo Bills (1-1).
~Glenn Kaplan, 12oz Sports Contributor
Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@zacgudakov