Now the N.F.C. South is cluttered by three teams with shots at the department title and the records to obtain a wild-card area, if the playoffs began today. The Buccaneers (6-3) suffered an eyesore of a loss, 29-19, to the Washington Football Team on Sunday, while the Carolina Panthers (5-5) destroyed the injury-ravaged Arizona Cardinals, 34-10.
Though Carolina beat an Arizona group that lacked quarterback Kyler Murray (ankle), receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) and running back Chase Edmonds (ankle), the win injected new life into its season thanks to a familiar face under center.Cam Newton isn’t
the dominant force of nature he was while winning the 2015 Most Belongings Player Award, however his return included a wrinkle the Panthers ‘offense had actually been missing out on. Dividing have fun with starter P.J. Walker, Newton ran for a touchdown on Carolina’s very first ownership and threw for another score on the next possession. After the video game, Coach Matt Rhule would not tab Newton the starter, leaving defensive coordinators the headache of trying to figure out how to deal with the tandem.Newton, 32, had not played since the Patriots launched him before the season
began. Injuries, hits and workload( he has over 1,000 carries in his profession) have actually all taken a toll on his velocity and precision as a passer. But if he were the full-time starter, Newton most likely would not have to run 15 to 20 times per game as he carried out in his very first stint in Carolina. Running back Christian McCaffrey had 161 overall yards against Arizona after missing five video games with a hamstring injury.The Panthers’win puts them 1 1/2 games behind the division-leading Buccaneers, with the New Orleans Saints(5-4 )in between the two groups.
The Saints dealt with injuries– most just recently to Alvin Kamara, a leading playmaker– in a loss to Tennessee on Sunday and the Tampa Bay looked strangely inefficient against Washington.Tom Brady threw a pair of first-quarter interceptions to one of the league’s worst pass defenses. The second was a particularly confusing miss on first-and-10, where it appeared Brady
and receiver Mike Evans expected various routes. Brady balanced a weak 5.5 backyards per effort beyond his one touchdown to Evans.Further, a Bucs defense that when flustered Patrick Mahomes at his peak– on the Super Bowl stage– was embarrassed at video game’s end. Leading, 23-19, in the fourth quarter, Washington strung together a 19-play, 80-yard drive over 10 minutes and 26 seconds. The essential play was Taylor Heinicke’s third-and-4 laser to Adam Humphries that kept the drive alive with 3:13 to go. By the time running back Antonio Gibson typed a goal to put Washington up by two scores, only 29 seconds stayed.