Panthers’ Walker earns another start at QB vs. Falcons National News

The strength of the Panthers offensive line is run-blocking, so that will be something they need to focus on for the remainder of the season.

“We knew what (McCaffrey) meant to this team,” Walker said. “We knew what he brought to the table, but we still had to go out there and execute and go out there and play at a high level. The O-line knew that, the running backs knew that, and I knew that.”

Third down offense. Despite the win, the Panthers continued to struggle on third downs, converting just 4 of 12 opportunities. For the season, the Panthers have converted a league-low 25% of their third down chances. That is not a long-term recipe for success in the NFL.

D.J. Moore. This season has been a struggle for Moore, largely because of the team’s poor quarterback play. But Moore finally seemed on the same page with a QB as he caught six passes for 69 yards and a 20-yard touchdown.

Prior to Sunday, Moore had just 20 catches for 204 yards and one score in six games, leaving him well off the pace to earn his fourth straight season with at least 1,150 yards receiving.

PR Shi Smith. The returner continues to make punt returning an adventure. First, he called for a fair catch in the end zone on Sunday after back peddling 10 yards to field the punt. Later, he allowed a punt to hit the ground and roll around a bit before pointlessly attempting to jump on the ball with three Buccaneers players approaching, risking a potential fumble. Smith will remain as the punt returner this week, but Wilks said he needs to be coached up.

Hubbard and CB Donte Jackson suffered ankle injuries and cornerback C.J. Henderson injured his arm on Sunday, but Wilks offered no updates on Monday. Carolina is hoping to get CB Jaycee Horn back this week after he missed two games with a shoulder injury. Wilks said he wanted to give Horn an extra week to heal.

46 — Number of yards rushing for the Bucs on Sunday against Carolina’s improving defense.

“We wanted to make them one-dimensional,” Wilks said.

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