4 critical observations from the Panthers shock win vs. Bucs in Week 7

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) PJ Walker /

PJ Walker deserves to start in Week 8

Have the Carolina Panthers found the best quarterback on their roster?

While it may be a bit premature to say as much, it’s hard to argue against this being the best performance from a Panthers signal-caller since the homecoming of Cam Newton against the Washington Commanders in 2021.

After PJ Walker was severely shackled in Week 6 as he lost his first game as a starter, it was hard to imagine we’d see anything better this time around. The veteran has shown during his NFL career that he is competent between the 20s, but obvious shakiness in the red zone and constant turnover opportunities being presented meant things were hanging in the balance.

However, on Sunday we saw easily Walker’s best performance in the NFL. The most impressive part of his game was he was turnover-free and the former Temple man didn’t give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers any chance to tip the scales in their favor.

Walker had just six incomplete passes. Two of those were drops and one was a throwaway, showing how efficient he was during a polished display.

The man under center was admirably protected by his offensive line as the Panthers gave up just one sack. Walker also deserves credit for the dimes he threw to Tommy Tremble and D.J. Moore for his two touchdown passes.

There’s talk both Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield may be in contention to start in Week 8. But following Walker’s performance on Sunday, he has certainly earned the starting spot for another contest at least.