Panthers 27 Texans 17
- Veteran Derek Anderson got the nod over Cam who reportedly is “over the hump” in his return from a shoulder injury but we won’t likely see much of him this preseason. Anderson is a pro and looked calm and comfortable with yet another year of experience under his belt. He completed 4/5 passes for 76 yards and a score to WR Kelvin Benjamin.
- We got our first look at Christian McCaffrey in actual NFL action in this game as he rotated with starter Jonathan Stewart and played with the first team. If we were handing out grades we would have to give McCaffrey an incomplete because while he did carry 7 times for 33 yards, he was only targeted once in the passing game. His receiving ability is obviously a big part of his fantasy value and we really didn’t get to see that on display in this game. The Panthers did run him between the tackles and he looked good gaining 12 yards on a counter on his second carry of the game. Stewart only carried twice for 4 yards.
- Benjamin (2/40/1) had two memorable plays in this game. He was targeted by Anderson on his first throw of the game on a short “in” route. Benjamin made the catch, reversed course juking a defender and winding up with a 17-yard game. He also made a tremendous grab for a 23-yard TD with Texans DB Johnathan Joseph draped all over him.
- WR Demiere Byrd made his bid to fill Ted Ginn’s deep threat role in the offense by scoring on a 50-yard TD from backup QB Joe Webb in the 2nd quarter. He added an 8-yard score from Webb in the 3rd.
- TE Greg Olsen had a nice 32-yard catch and run from Anderson in the 1st quarter.
- QB Tom Savage got the start as expected and while he did complete 9 of his 11 pass attempts he did little to distinguish himself. The Texans’ opening drive stalled when he held on the ball and took a sack on 3rd and long. Their second drive stalled when he overthrew RB Lamar Miller in the flat on 3rd and short.
- Rookie QB Deshaun Watson looked to be the more poised of the two QBs and he showed why the Texans made him a first round pick. He completed 15 of 25 passes for 176 yards and displayed a willingness to throw the ball away when there was nothing there. His athleticism and running ability were also on display a...