clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Panthers 38 Cardinals 20: Stat review

New, comments

Backup quarterback Kyle Allen turned heads with a four touchdown performance in his second career start.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers finally put a mark in the most important statistical category—the win column. They got there under the stewardship of backup quarterback Kyle Allen, who tossed four touchdowns in the Panthers 38-20 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Allen’s performance is stealing all the headlines, and for good reason. Allen became just the fifth quarterback since the merger to throw for at least four touchdowns in one of his first two career starts (the others being Patrick Mahomes, Marcus Mariota, Matt Flynn, and Todd Bouman). His 144.4 passer rating was the second best mark in Panthers history behind Cam Newton’s Week 14 performance against the Falcons in 2015.

As impressive as Allen’s performance was, it needs to be taken with a small grain of salt. The Cardinals defense is terrible. They were lit up by the Lions and the Ravens in the season’s first two weeks and currently sit with the league’s fourth worst passer rating allowed. He’ll face a tougher test against the Houston Texans next week.

Allen wasn’t the only one with an impressive statistical day. Greg Olsen showed once again that he’s in his prime, reeling in six catches for 75 yards and two scores. He’s now up to 221 yards through three games, just 70 yards shy of the total he accrued in nine games last season. Curtis Samuel also had a strong day, hauling in five passes for the second consecutive week. It’s the first time in his career that he’s done that in back to back weeks.

Christian McCaffrey’s quest for a 2,000 yard season rolls on. He added 35 receiving yards and 153 yards on the ground, including a career long 76 yard touchdown run. McCaffrey has 450 total yards through three games, putting him on pace for 2,400 over a full 16 game season. That would almost be a record.

The Panthers defense was not to be outdone on the day. This defense is legit, and as always, it’s led by Luke Kuechly. The six time All Pro finished Sunday’s game with 10 tackles, giving him a league leading 36 to this point in the season. The team also tallied eight sacks, tied for the second best performance in franchise history (nine against the Falcons in 2013, eight against the Cardinals in 2016; something about those red birds). Mario Addison led the way with three sacks while Christian Miller notched the first two sacks of his pro career.

The Panthers now sit tied for third in the league with 12 sacks through the seasons first three weeks. It’s part of what has made the Panthers one of the best pass defenses in the NFL so far. The team ranks sixth in passer rating allowed and second in both yards allowed per attempt and yards allowed per game. The run defense has been a little shakier, but the Panthers are still second in the league behind the New England Patriots in yards allowed per play.