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Week 4 on Cat Scratch Reader

Welcome back to our regular round up of the biggest news and best writing from our last week of Panthers coverage.

NFL: SEP 22 Panthers at Cardinals Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you, like me, have been living under a rock for the last week then you may have missed all of the Panthers news from Week 4 of the 2019 NFL season. Fear not, because I ran back through our week of coverage and have curated for you a list of your must-reads to get up to speed before the Panthers kick off against the Texans on Sunday.

To start with, don’t forget to check out our weekly breakdowns of the Panthers offense, defense, and final injury report. Those are our most concentrated pieces of analysis that prepare you to watch each week’s opponent. The rest of this list involves the deeper dives that, this week, celebrated Brian Burns, Kyle Allen, and Curtis Samuel.

Of course, no recap of this last week would be complete with a mention of Cam Newton’s “brutally honest” assessment, in his own words, of why he played hurt at the start of the season and why he won’t come back until he is 100%.

Monday Morning Optimist: The Panthers aren’t dead yet

When I said I was living under a rock last week, I wasn’t kidding. Yosemite National Park doesn’t have the best wifi connection and definitely wasn’t considered in-market for the Panthers at Cardinals game. Fortunately, our own Brian Beversluis had us well covered for the first Monday Morning Optimist of the year to talk about a Panthers win.

I knew better than to put my faith into this team, this was just a rare flash in the pan that didn’t leave me with burns. The teams traded punts, as we all expected, and Carolina had another chance inside of two minutes to (as we’ve come to expect) appear as though they were going to be aggressive and go for points, only to run the game clock out and jog to half time. Except... they didn’t.

- Brian Beversluis

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

Newton’s back-up, Allen, had a pretty good half against the New Orleans Saints in 2018 before being injured. With that as his only body of work in the NFL, we didn’t really know what to make of him. Now he is between the first and second weeks of an at least two week—and probably longer—stint as the Panthers starting quarterback. So far is he at least a capable back-up which is a great floor to have. This is his opportunity to prove he has a higher ceiling than his undrafted background originally suggested.

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.

- Jonathan DeLong

Panthers fan confidence jumps to 42 percent after first win

And the ping pong game of fan opinions continues. Confidence was in the pits when it looked like the team might not have a healthy quarterback. Now that it might have one, cautious optimism has returned. I wonder what will happen to this poll if the team ever rosters two healthy quarterbacks at the same time.

The Carolina Panthers are now 1-2 after a 38-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals where backup quarterback Kyle Allen filled in for injured franchise quarterback Cam Newton and led the team to victory, and our FanPulse users are buying into Kyle Allen’s stock as fan confidence jumped from seven percent to 42 percent after seeing the team register its first win of the 2019 season.

- Bradley Smith

Will Brian Burns have a statement game?

Last week’s roundtable saw managing editor Bradley Smith correctly predict Allen’s number of touchdowns. While his original call may have been mildly tongue-in-cheek, I decided to give him the opportunity to be our magic eight ball for another week. This is his prediction for the game and what the rest of the staff thinks about it.

Brian Burns has exploded onto the NFL scene as one of the best rookie pass rushers in years. His speed and effort are unparalleled in at least recent Carolina Panthers history. In two games he has lived behind the line of scrimmage, posting two sacks, two tackles for loss, and six quarterback hits according to Pro Football Reference. It is only a matter of time before he breaks out with a huge, multi-sack performance.

- Walker Clement