2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers seize momentum with 3-game win streak

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-25 15:44

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers have a red hot quarterback, a stifling defense and - finally - a winning record following a three-game win streak.

Momentum is on their side.

And that's a good thing for the Panthers (4-3), who are entering a tough stretch of November games against division rival Atlanta, San Francisco, New England and Miami.

Critics will contend the Panthers haven't beaten anyone.

Carolina's four wins have come against teams with a combined 5-22 record.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said by no means has his team arrived but he's quick to add that ''It doesn't matter what others think because the truth of the matter is how we feel about ourselves - and we feel pretty good about who we are.''

The Panthers have won four of their last five after starting 0-2.

Quarterback Cam Newton is leading the charge back to what Rivera calls ''being relevant,'' completing 77 percent of his passes over the last three games for 647 yards with six touchdown passes. He's run for two other TDs and has not turned the ball over during that stretch.

The Panthers are 4-3 - back above .500 for the first time since the 2008 season.

''We just have to continue to keep meshing as a team, keep building off and keep getting momentum in these upcoming weeks because we are about to hit the meat of our schedule,'' Newton said after Carolina's dominating 31-13 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night. ''We are going to need every single ounce of energy that we will have.''

Players were not made available to the media on Friday.

Rivera said he's treating this weekend as a pseudo bye week, giving the players three days off before beginning preparations for the Falcons on Monday.

Newton's improved play over the last three weeks has overshadowed the play of the Carolina's defense, which came into the Tampa Bay allowing the second-fewest points and third fewest yards per game in the NFL.

The Panthers limited the Bucs to 297 yards in their 31-13 win Thursday night.

''We feel like we are headed toward (being) a serious playoff defense,'' said defensive end Greg Hardy, who had one of three sacks on Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. ''I feel like we're playing up to our potential, but there is so much potential in the room. We're not even close.''

Newton appears to be reaching his potential the past three weeks after starting his career with a 14-22 record.

The third-year quarterback has been quick to deflect attention to his teammates, saying his improved play is a reflection of everyone else stepping up around him.

Newton said it helps that the Panthers have been running the ball with consistency.

Carolina has run for at least 95 yards in every game this season.

Starting running back DeAngelo Williams injured his quadriceps against the Bucs and could need some time to heal. But the good news for the Panthers is they'll get another weapon back on offense next week. Jonathan Stewart, another former first-round draft pick, could be activated to the 53-man roster next week after spending the first eight weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list recovering from ankle surgery.

Carolina's defense has only allowed three points in the first quarter all season and as a result the Panthers have led at halftime in all seven games this season.

It's just now that they're figuring out how to put teams away in the second half.

''We have a lot of relentless guys, and we just continue to keep pushing,'' Newton said Thursday night. ''Coach has always harped on finishing. In multiple games that I have played in here, we had a lack thereof of finishing.''

NOTES: Rivera said defensive end Charles Johnson had an MRI on his groin that was negative. He'll be reevaluated on Monday. Johnson has six sacks on the season.

---

AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tharold SimonOct 20 11:04p

Seattle Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (ankle) and CB Byron Maxwell (calf) may be able to play in Week 7, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

A.J. GreenOct 20 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he will play Sunday, Oct. 26, against the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Marcus GilbertOct 20 10:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion) is out for the remainder of the team's Week 7 game after being diagnosed with a concussion.

Ahmad BradshawOct 20 08:43p

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw is on pace for a combined 215 rushes and receptions and 1,753 total yards this season.

Devier PoseyOct 20 07:13p

The Houston Texans have declared CB Darryl Morris, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Jumal Rolle, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 7.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 07:13p

Denver Broncos RB Kapri Bibbs was attracting interest from other teams on the practice squad, and the Broncos elevated him to their active roster because they didn't want to [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:08p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is expected to be put through a rigorous workout Wednesday, Oct. 22, that will give team officials a better idea of where [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:07p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could start in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys if he looks really good in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a [ More ]

Ike TaylorOct 20 07:03p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 20 07:03p

Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 06:53p

The Denver Broncos signed practice squad RB Kapri Bibbs to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Daniel KilgoreOct 20 06:53p

San Francisco 49ers C Daniel Kilgore (leg) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone in his left leg during the team's Week 7 game. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 20 06:43p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) will not be able to play in Week 8.

Derrick ColemanOct 20 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) will miss at least six weeks because of a foot injury he suffered in Week 7.

Usama YoungOct 20 06:23p

Oakland Raiders FS Usama Young (knee) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament in Week 7, according to a source.

S. RichardsonOct 20 06:13p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released from the practice squad injured list with an injury settlement Monday, Oct. 20.

Rey MaualugaOct 20 06:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is expected to miss a few weeks because of his hamstring injury.

Chris SmithOct 20 06:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Chris Smith was signed from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Tom CrabtreeOct 20 06:03p

The New Orleans Saints re-signed TE Tom Crabtree to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Vontaze BurfictOct 20 05:53p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (neck) did not suffer a concussion in the team's Week 7 game but did suffer a neck injury, according to a team official. Burfict [ More ]

Gerell RobinsonOct 20 05:53p

Carolina Panthers DB Robert Lester, Cleveland Browns TE Gerell Robinson, Dallas Cowboys DT Ken Bishop and LB Korey Toomer and Miami Dolphins DT Deandre Coleman cleared waivers and became [ More ]

Brandon CarrOct 20 05:43p

Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr (hamstring) strained his hamstring in Week 7 against the New York Giants. Carr still played every defensive snap and should be able to play [ More ]

Austin PettisOct 20 05:43p

The St. Louis Rams waived WR Austin Pettis Monday, Oct. 20.

Vincent JacksonOct 20 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson's name came up over the weekend in reports that the team was fielding phone calls from interested teams, but head coach Lovie Smith [ More ]

Manti Te'oOct 20 05:23p

San Diego Chargers LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) and LB Manti Te'o (foot) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 20. CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and [ More ]

Matt RyanOct 20 05:23p

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked five times as the team's offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. 'We had way too much pressure,' head [ More ]

T.J. WardOct 20 05:03p

Denver Broncos CB Omar Bolden (concussion), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) didn't practice Monday, Oct. 20. S Quinton Carter (hamstring), CB Chris Harris Jr. (knee), RB Juwan Thompson (knee) and [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 20 05:03p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) has a strained calf and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Jake LockerOct 20 05:03p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is scheduled to throw Tuesday, Oct. 21, and the team will see how he responds Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Brian HoyerOct 20 04:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer is still the team's starting quarterback even though he struggled in Week 7, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Ahtyba RubinOct 20 04:43p

Cleveland Browns DE Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) received a second option on his injured ankle. Head coach Mike Pettine said surgery for Rubin has not been ruled out.

Jason VerrettOct 20 04:43p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) missed his second game of the year in Week 7 with a shoulder injury, and his absence hurt the team in space against the Kansas City Chiefs.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group