Sport Panthers lose key players but remain unbeaten in defeat of Texans

07:55  24 september  2021
07:55  24 september  2021 Source:   goal.com

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The Carolina Panthers lost key players on both sides of the ball to injury Thursday but managed to maintain their perfect record to start the season with a 24-9 defeat of the Houston Texans.

a man holding a baseball bat: Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold © Getty Images Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold

The win was some consolation for Carolina on a night when they saw All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey depart in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and their top draft pick, cornerback Jaycee Horn, leave in the third with a reported broken foot.

Carolina entered the game as the only NFL team not to trail in a game this season, and the Panthers once again struck first, with Sam Darnold capping a 10-play drive in the opening quarter by running it in himself for a five-yard touchdown.

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Their defence did surrender its first points in the first half this year, as Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills hit Anthony Miller for a one-yard TD with 29 seconds left in the opening half, but Joey Slye missed the extra point to leave Carolina in the lead entering half-time.

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a group of baseball players playing a football game: Instant karma got Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay in 2014. ESPN notes that he appeared to catch a long touchdown to give the Utes a 13-0 lead against No. 4 Oregon, but he put the ball down just before hitting paydirt. A savvy Duck defender managed to grab the ball and return it 100 yards the other way, and the play was upheld after a review. That meant it was 7-7, and the Ducks rolled from there, winning the game 51-27. It’s easy to identify the turning point in that game, and Clay as the goat.

Darnold had decent numbers, completing 23 of 34 passes for 304 yards, and DJ Moore caught eight passes for 126 yards, but the Panthers could not find the end zone with their passing game.

That led to some creativity, as rookie tight end Tommy Tremble ran the ball in from seven yards out to give Carolina a 14-6 lead in the third quarter.

After the teams traded field goals in the fourth, the Panthers put the game away when Darnold ran it in from one yard out with 4:07 remaining.

This marks the fifth time in Panthers history they have started 3-0. They made the playoffs three of the previous four times, most recently their 2015 team that went 15-1 and lost to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

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