Defense dominates as Panthers secure win

On Sunday afternoon, the Carolina Panthers secured a defensive win against the Los Angeles Rams in their inaugural season. In the first half, quarterback Cam Newton made a completion to tight end Greg Olson in the first half for the Panthers first touchdown.

In the fourth quarter kicker Graham Gano added two field goals to secure the Panthers 13-10 victory. In a defensively-dominated game the Panthers shut down the Rams offense, keeping the Rams scoreless for 102 minutes. Rams WR Kenny Britt competed a 10-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left in the game.

As he has throughout the entirety of the season, Cam Newton continued to take tough hits. Newton was sacked four times during Sunday’s game.

The star quarterback suffered a violent sack from Mark Barron in the third quarter, despite the NFL’s commitment to player safety which headlined the news last week. After a four-game losing streak, the Panthers have now won their second game in a row. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams have lost four straight games in their opening season.

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After an impressive victory over Tampa Bay, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Ryan remained nearly perfect on Thursday night, throwing for 344 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. On the season, Matt Ryan leads the NFL with 2,980 yards and 23 touchdowns with a mere four interceptions. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said, “He had a real locked-in look about him. Matt’s really been on point with where to go with the ball.”

Throughout the season, Ryan has hit 11 different target receivers outside in addition to his dynamic receiver Julio Jones. Ryan made a completion to Jones in the third quarter for a three-yard scoring pass. With 970 yards already through only week nine, Jones is closing in on a 1,000-yard receiving season. Ryan also made touchdown passes to Levine Toilolo, Patrick DiMarco and Austin Hooper during Thursday night’s game. With an outstanding offensive performance, the Falcons widened their first place gap in the NFC South with a 43-28 victory.

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

Returning back into the race in the NFC South, the New Orleans Saints won for the fourth time in five games against the San Francisco 49ers. Before he was benched for sportsmanship measures, quarterback Drew Brees made touchdown passes to Michael Thomas and another to Mark Ingram to put the Saints up 14-3 by the end of the first quarter. Ingram scored another touchdown on his career-long run and the second-longest run in Saints history.

Although New Orleans went into halftime with a 31-20 lead, 49ers quarterback Collin Kaepernick attempted to give an offensive boost to his team’s performance by completing a 65-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald.

A poor offensive second half proved that the 49ers would not be able to pull off the upset. With the win, the New Orleans Saints secured the second place spot in the NFC South conference.