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

A.J. GreenSep 18 09:53a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (foot) is likely to play in Week 3, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

Eric DeckerSep 18 09:32a

Updating previous reports, New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) was encouraged that he was able to do some jogging in the rehab area of the practice field Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Doug MartinSep 18 09:23a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) and RB Bobby Rainey are expected to split carries in Week 3 and in the near future.

Lamar MillerSep 18 12:43a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) was not on the team's injury report Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Walter ThurmondSep 17 11:23p

New York Giants CB Trumaine McBride is expected to start in place of the injured CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) in the Week 3 game against the Houston Texans.

Giovani BernardSep 17 11:23p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard is on pace for 328 carries, while rookie RB Jeremy Hill is ticketed for 152 for a total of 480. That would be the [ More ]

Jeremy HillSep 17 11:23p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is on pace for a total of 152 carries, while RB Giovani Bernard is on pace for 328 carries. The most runs in franchise [ More ]

Eric HermanSep 17 11:23p

New York Giants OL Eric Herman is eligible to return to the team after having his four-game suspension for violation of the drug policy voided. The team has [ More ]

Drew StantonSep 17 09:45p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton is in line to start his second straight game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 with QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) sidelined. It [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion), LB Alex Okafor (thigh) and DE Frostee Rucker (calf) each did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB Larry Foote (shoulder) and P Dave [ More ]

Andre EllingtonSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

B. Green-EllisSep 17 08:03p

Several clubs have reportedly reached out to free-agent RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals), who is still in the process of rehab after suffering a hip injury in the preseason.

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer has been deactivated from all team activities Wednesday, Sept. 17. The team was made aware of allegations by the Phoenix police and are cooperating [ More ]

Marshawn LynchSep 17 07:53p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Vernon DavisSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, and he is still on crutches.

Justin SmithSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), OT Anthony Davis (hamstring), C Marcus Martin (knee), TE Vance McDonald (knee) and DT Justin Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, [ More ]

Terrell ManningSep 17 07:33p

Miami Dolphins LB Terrell Manning was released Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dion LewisSep 17 07:23p

Arizona Cardinals P Drew Butler, Chicago Bears RB Shaun Draughn and WR Chris X. Williams, Houston Texans LB Jason Ankrah, Indianapolis Colts RB Dion Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cameron [ More ]

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 07:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer is being questioned for a domestic violence incident, according to sources. However, he hasn't been arrested, and his status remains unchanged.

Kelvin BenjaminSep 17 07:03p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dwan EdwardsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers OT Byron Bell (toe), WR Philly Brown (ankle), OT Nate Chandler (toe), LB Thomas Davis (hip), DT Dwan Edwards (back), RB Mike Tolbert (chest), RB Fozzy Whittaker [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Shane VereenSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) has been added to this week's injury report, and he was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Julian EdelmanSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (back) was added to the injury report and was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Alfonzo DennardSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots S Don Jones (hamstring) and LB Jerod Mayo (non-injury) didn't practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DE Michael Buchanan (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), OG Dan Connolly (knee), [ More ]

Mike PounceySep 17 06:23p

Miami Dolphins DE Terrence Fede (knee), LB Koa Misi (ankle) and OG Shelley Smith (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. OT Branden Albert (shoulder), S Louis Delmas (calf), [ More ]

Ryan CladySep 17 06:13p

Denver Broncos DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. S David Bruton (shoulder) and OG Ben Garland [ More ]

Cyrus GraySep 17 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah (foot, quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder), WR Junior Hemingway (hip), OL Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, triceps) [ More ]

M. Jones-DrewSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Matt McCantsSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Rod Streater (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), [ More ]

Anthony SpencerSep 17 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), LB Rolando McClain (groin) and RB Joseph Randle (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Ken Bishop (illness), [ More ]

Montell OwensSep 17 05:53p

Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Nick Fairley (biceps), SS [ More ]

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