2015 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

LeSean McCoySep 2 01:43p

Updating an earlier report, Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) may not be in great 'football shape' once Week 1 rolls around, according to a source. He's not at [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 2 12:43p

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) seems to be in some danger of missing the season opener Sept. 13. 'Well we certainly expect him to be ready to go, [ More ]

EJ ManuelSep 2 11:33a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is expected to remain on the team as the backup quarterback. There is growing expectations that QB Matt Cassel will be cut.

Matt CasselSep 2 09:23a

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel could be cut by the team, as they are internally discussing the option.

Joseph RandleSep 2 08:33a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could have 10-15 carries per game with RB Darren McFadden slightly below that, in the opinion of beat writer Drew Davison

Travis CoonsSep 1 11:03p

Cleveland Browns PK Travis Coons edged out PK Carey Spear, winning the battle for the placekicking job. 'Yeah, it was close. I thought both guys handled themselves very well, [ More ]

Nick ToonSep 1 07:43p

New Orleans Saints WRs Nick Toon, Lance Lewis and R.J. Harris were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Randall CobbSep 1 06:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) thinks his sprained right shoulder will be good to go to play in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears in 12 days. [ More ]

James ButlerSep 1 05:53p

Green Bay Packers WR James Butler and TE Harold Spears were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Julius ThomasSep 1 05:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (finger) will undergo surgery on his injured finger Wednesday, Sept. 2, according to a source. Thomas is expected to miss four to five weeks.

Zac DysertSep 1 05:13p

Free-agent QB Zac Dysert (Broncos) was claimed by the Chicago Bears Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Tom BradySep 1 05:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will know his fate by the end of this week. Judge Richard Berman said he will issue his decision and order by that time.

Matt BlanchardSep 1 04:53p

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Blanchard was released Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Juron CrinerSep 1 04:32p

New York Giants RB Akeem Hunt (hamstring) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Juron Criner and Derrick X. Johnson and TE Will Tye were also waived.

Robert HerronSep 1 04:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Robert Herron was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Phil TaylorSep 1 04:23p

Cleveland Browns DT Phil Taylor was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Junior HemingwaySep 1 04:12p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Junior Hemingway was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Michael HillSep 1 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys RB Michael Hill (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Antwan Goodley and David Porter and TE Brandon Barden were also waived.

Travis KelceSep 1 03:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) would be able to play if the Chiefs had a game Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kelce is recovering from an ankle sprain.

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 03:03p

Carolina Panthers WRs Jarrett Boykin and De'Andre Presley were waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jace AmaroSep 1 01:33p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (shoulder) will have season-ending shoulder surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Erik LorigSep 1 12:33p

New Orleans Saints FB Erik Lorig was cut Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Nathan PalmerSep 1 11:53a

Denver Broncos WR Nathan Palmer was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Devonta FreemanSep 1 11:32a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was the most active in practice Monday, Aug. 31, that he was been since a hamstring injury Aug. 6. It's unclear whether he'll play [ More ]

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 10:33a

Carolina Panthers WR Jarrett Boykin was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jalen SaundersSep 1 09:13a

New Orleans Saints WR Jalen Saunders is being traded to the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a conditional draft pick, according to a league source.

Caleb SturgisAug 31 11:32p

Miami Dolphins PK Caleb Sturgis remains the front runner in his competition with PK Andrew Franks. Sturgis said he did not have a good early camp, 'but I've been hitting the ball better lately.'

K. ThompkinsAug 31 07:52p

Oakland Raiders WR Kenbrell Thompkins was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Trent RichardsonAug 31 07:22p

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Josh BoyceAug 31 06:42p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce and TE Jimmay Mundine were released Monday, Aug. 31.

E.J. GainesAug 31 05:52p

St. Louis Rams CB E.J. Gaines (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 31. WR Damian Williams was subsequently released.

Travis KelceAug 31 05:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (leg) left practice early Monday, Aug. 31, because of a right leg injury. Kelce was able to walk off the field but did not return to practice.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group