Christian McCaffrey takes direct snap to score Panthers first TD of 2019

Ross Houston
September 10, 2019

For the better part of three quarters, Todd Gurley was barely visible. However, a huge question on offense remains the health of running back Todd Gurley and how productive he can be. Gurley sat out Los Angeles' last two regular season games before breaking out for 115 rushing yards in the NFC Divisional Round against the Cowboys. Neither Gurley nor the Rams have ever confirmed that report. "Get a first down, get out of here and go back to L.A. with the win".

A promising drive - had Moore gone down, the Panthers would have been inside the Rams' 30-yard line - turned into nothing in the blink of an eye. Brown had just one touchdown rushing in his previous four seasons combined with the Rams. Coach Sean McVay held him out of offseason workouts and Gurley practiced every other day during training camp.

He said the running back situation - and Brown getting the goal-line carries - was a matter of rotating his running backs. "And then we'll continue to evaluate as the season progresses", McVay said. "You could see the explosion once he gets to the second and third level".

In all, the Rams ran for 166 yards on 32 carries. Luke Kuechly is still in the conversation as the NFL's best linebacker. Newton sprained his foot near the end of the first quarter during the preseason game vs. Patriots on August 22. He caught one pass for four yards. The under is 4-1 in Panthers last 5 games overall.

Linebacker Cory Littleton forced and recovered a fumble and also intercepted a pass, and Samson Ebukam also recovered a fumble for the Rams.

Newton said he felt "a little rusty" and he and his teammates "weren't connected to the same Wi-Fi".

But the Rams answered with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that Brown capped with a one-yard touchdown run. The team also signed veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin, who has dealt with hamstring issues during the preseason, but he should still be ready for Sunday. "We have to do the same thing". "But I'd rather build off of what we did wrong in a win than a loss". The Panthers couldn't capitalize and had to punt after going three plays without a first down. That resulted in a delay of game. The Panthers defense stiffened inside the ten-yard line, aided by a holding penalty that backed the Rams up on second down, and held the Rams to a field goal that extended their lead to 16-3.

The Rams initially ruled Weddle doubtful to return with a head laceration. He may not be 100%, but will still look to lead the Panthers offense along with sensational dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey. "But with him if you can push him off his spot, that's when it is harder for him".

McCaffrey said he went to check on Weddle after the game.

The Panthers have a quick turnaround to make, as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.

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