Carolina Panthers capitalized on mistakes
Neither team had too many errors. But instead of wasting opportunities to get stops or score points, the Carolina Panthers capitalized enough on the Houston Texans' mistakes to give them the edge in Week 8 to finally break their regular-season duck under head coach Frank Reich.
Two Houston penalties aided the Panthers on their first and only touchdown drive of the game, including a defensive holding penalty on what was a sack on rookie quarterback Bryce Young early in the drive. Those two mental lapses did not go unpunished.
While Carolina's offense did not move the ball forward after a Texans fumble gave them good field position, they also did not fully waste the opportunity to put points on the board. In a game eventually decided by the finest of margins, this was a huge positive.
There were also two Texans penalties early in the game-winning drive, which made things easier for Young and new play-caller Thomas Brown at the best possible time. This was swiftly followed by a multitude of ridiculous penalties taken by Tavierre Thomas that made Eddy Pineiro's winning field goal a chip shot.
The Panthers cleaned things up during the bye, it seems. Reich being able to manage all areas rather than focus on offensive play-calling duties also helped enormously.