Panthers use big days from McCaffrey, Allen to beat Titans

Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

A week after a blowout loss in San Francisco, the Carolina Panthers got back in the win column on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

Seven days after the Panthers’ worst loss in the Ron Rivera era, the team rebounded with a dominating 30-20 victory over the Titans. Despite the final 10-point spread, the game never felt that close. Carolina never trailed and built a 17-0 halftime lead. Christian McCaffrey put together another monster performance to advance to 5-3 on the season and remain in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt.

McCaffrey continued his MVP ways

In Sunday’s victory, McCaffrey had his fifth game of the season with at least 100 yards rushing, and extended his touchdown streak to six-straight games. In three of those five games, he ran for more than 150 yards. McCaffrey racked up 146 yards on the ground and had 20 more through the air in the win. Sunday marked the sixth time this season where the third-year back has piled up at least 150 yards from scrimmage, becoming the third player to ever accomplish that feat in the first eight games of a season.

The win also his fourth multi-touchdown game of the year (two rushing, one receiving). On the season, McCaffrey has combined for an astonishing total of 1,244 yards from scrimmage. That puts him right on pace to break Chris Johnson’s single-season record. After scoring a 58-yard touchdown to essentially ice the game, chants of “MVP” broke out throughout the stadium.

Kyle Allen rebounded to throw for 232 yards and two touchdowns

In last week’s blowout loss, Kyle Allen suffered through what was by far his worst game in his young NFL career. 7 days later, he rebounded to throw for the second-most passing yards in his career to go along with two touchdowns. In the Panthers’ final drive of the first half, Allen went 8-8 for 90 yards en route to throwing his second touchdown pass of the day. With Cam Newton out for the foreseeable future, Allen and the Panthers needed Sunday’s rebound. He’ll be faced with a tall order next weekend when Carolina travels to Green Bay.

The Panthers’ defense used turnovers and sacks to stall the Titans’ offense

Carolina forced three turnovers and recorded three sacks to help hold the Tennessee offense at bay. Perhaps the most important sack of the day came at the end of the first half, which resulted in an eight-yard loss and led to Ryan Succop’s second missed field goal of the game. Sunday marked Carolina’s fifth game this season with multiple turnovers and reclaimed the NFL lead in team sacks (33). The Panthers now have only two sacks less than they did in all of 2018. Halfway through the schedule, Carolina is on pace for 66 sacks this season–not far from the NFL record of 72.