What primary factors played a significant role in the Carolina Panthers finally picking up their first victory of the 2023 season in Week 8?
After two months into the regular season, the Carolina Panthers won their first game of the year. This mercifully ended a painful losing streak and provided hope at long last.
Some positives were taken away from the six defeats to open the campaign, even if they didn't have anything to show for their efforts in the grand scheme. This meant the focus had been on the negatives of the team's performances.
But this week, I can finally talk about the good things Carolina did. And there were a handful of promising signs that can help this team build a competitive season.
What were the four reasons why Carolina defeated the Houston Texans?
Carolina Panthers defense didn't give up big plays
In seemingly all of the Carolina Panthers' losses this season, there have been back-breaking chunk plays allowed by the defense. On Sunday, that was not the case.
Houston's longest play of the afternoon was a 31-yard catch by Noah Brown after a deflection by Donte Jackson. Other than that, Carolina only allowed two other 20-plus yard plays - a huge factor in holding a good passing offense to only 140 yards through the air.
Everyone on Ejiro Evero's defense did their job and then some to hold the Texans to only 13 points. Especially Frankie Luvu, who was easily the best player on the field.
Making a team drive the length of the field was a trademark of the elite defenses in Carolina during Ron Rivera's tenure. If this iteration of the Panthers can do that with regularity, it will give them a good chance week in and week out.