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Panthers Rule Britannia!

Allen Remains Undefeated; Defense Obliterates Winston

Brett Jensen
October 13, 2019 - 2:55 pm

The Carolina Panthers flew some eight hours to London for a game that had extreme significance. Another loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the playoffs would be a major longshot, but a win would put the Panthers in solid position heading into the bye week.

From the very first pass by Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston, the Panthers dominated in all facets and cruised to the 37-26 victory thanks to Carolina’s swarming defense and another clean performance from quarterback Kyle Allen.

The Panthers now stand 4-2 and are in prime position to make a solid playoff run, which is something very few saw possible after they started 0-2.

“I’m not surprised,” Allen said. “We’re a good football team.”

And as long as Allen keeps doing what he’s doing, winning and not throwing interceptions, and the defense keeps hounding opposing quarterbacks, there’s every reason to believe the postseason is possible.

Allen is undefeated as a starting quarterback at 5-0 and the defense is one of the best in the NFL at sacking the quarterback.

Carolina had seven against the Buccaneers. The defense also forced Winston into six turnovers and seven total from Tampa.

“It’s big anytime you can take the ball away from your opponent,” Rivera said. “First of all, it gets your offense back on the field and gives you an opportunity to score a touchdown. And we were able to do that. And it stops their momentum.”

Once again, Allen wasn’t flashy, but rather solid. He had very few mistakes or bad throws. He’s giving the team a realistic chance to win when he’s out there.

“He’s been very consistent for us,” Rivera said. “He’s made the plays that we needed and I think that’s a big part of why we felt so confident coming into training camp with the guys that we had.”

Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles told the broadcasters from the NFL Network that Allen is harder to prepare for than Cam Newton because Allen distributes the ball to various receivers more than Newton, who has always liked to zero in on one or two targets.

Newton has lost eight straight games as the starting quarterback, but he also makes 47 times what Allen makes, or $23,200,000 to $495,000, respectively.

So, what happens when Newton and the doctors say he’s ready to return from his foot injury?

“I’m not going to worry about it,” Rivera said. “I’m not going to speculate until I have to address that. So, until then, we’re going to stay in the now and stay focused on what we’re doing right now. So, again, as far as I’m concerned, we’re just not going to deal with the question until it’s time. And when the time comes, then I will address it. But as far as I’m concerned, (Newton’s) in his rehab program, he’s doing his program, our quarterback right now has been playing for us and it’s Kyle, so we’re not going to address it.”

For now, anyways, it’s Allen that has helped guide this team to the middle of the playoff hunt. He doesn’t see any of this slowing down anytime soon.

“It’s fun to win,” Allen said. “It’s been a grind. We’ve been working our (tails) off to win, and we do it every single week. We’re going to keep winning and we’re going to keep working our (tails) off to win.”

From winless after two games, to a four-game winning streak. From dead in the water, to near the top of the NFC South Division. 

“It’s huge. It really is.” Rivera said. “These guys have worked hard. We were very close in our first two games and we didn’t make the plays. Now, we’ve made the plays. …

“We’re riding a pretty good roll right now."

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