The Carolina Panthers won their third straight game, going over .500 for the first time this season. The hope was that the team could do just enough to stay afloat until Cam Newton recovered from his foot injury. They’re not just staying afloat, they’re rising.
Kyle Allen has been the focal point of many Panthers conversations, but that’s not a fair assessment. He is but one player. He deserves credit for not sinking the ship, but the team has done well to win despite his seven fumbles and increasingly erratic accuracy. While Allen has been WINZ-ing games, McCaffrey has been winning them.
In the three games Allen has started, McCaffrey has racked up 188, 179, and 237 total yards. That’s 201.3 yards per game. McCaffrey leads the league with 587 rushing yards (on pace for 1,878 over 16 games) and is second only to Austin Ekeler in running back receptions and receiving yards.
Here’s the best McCaffrey stat of all: for the season, McCaffrey is averaging 173.2 total yards per game. The entire New York Jets roster is averaging 179.5.
McCaffrey isn’t the only Panther putting up superlative numbers. Luke Kuechly is doing Luke Kuechly things again. His 12 tackles against Jacksonville gave him 56 for the season, most in the league. Not far behind is Shaq Thompson, who ranks sixth in the NFL with 49 tackles. Mario Addison notched another sack, giving him 6.5 for the season. Only Shaquil Barrett and Myles Garrett have more, so Addison is the league leader in sacks among players whose last names don’t rhyme with parrot.
It wasn’t all fun and games for the defense on Sunday. Despite the standout individual numbers, the Panthers played their worst defensive game of the season. The Jaguars gashed the Panthers to the tune of 6.6 yards per play. The Panthers’ worst performance prior to that was 4.9 yards per play allowed to the Buccaneers on a short week. The poor showing knocked them down to eighth in total defense and fourth in pass defense. They are now sixth in opponents yards per play.
The Panthers will look to tighten things up and keep the good times rolling next week against an enigmatic Buccaneers team in London.