3 big surprises from the Panthers win vs. Buccaneers in Week 7

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Chuba Hubbard
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Chuba Hubbard /
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Carolina Panthers
(Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers coped without Christian McCaffrey

The Carolina Panthers took the difficult decision to trade their face of the franchise late on Thursday. Christian McCaffrey‘s departure was sorely felt within the locker room, but those who remained were in no mood to roll over and accept their fate without the All-Pro to depend on.

Carolina not only coped in McCaffrey’s absence, but they also thrived. A more balanced attack got everyone involved, which was a far cry from the team’s over-reliance on their best offensive weapon in recent years.

The two-back approach from D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard was a constant thorn in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers side. Both players made the most of their carries, accumulating 173 rushing yards to set the tone for a profitable afternoon overall.

Players such as Tommy Tremble, D.J. Moore, and Terrace Marshall Jr. stepped up in the passing game thanks to improved distribution from P.J. Walker, who’d be extremely unlucky to lose his starting spot in Week 8 with Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold set to return.

Once again, the offensive line displayed their dominance. Bradley Bozeman was nothing short of flawless on his first start in the absence of Pat Elflein, which further boosted a unit that looks among the league’s most improved.

McCaffrey was an icon and someone fans loved. His loss will sting for a while yet, but this performance proves that there can be life without the former Stanford star as he begins his new path in San Francisco.

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