Who were the big winners and losers from the Carolina Panthers' victory against the Houston Texans in Week 8 at Bank of America Stadium?
Expectations were relatively high for the Carolina Panthers despite failing to achieve success over their opening six games. Coming off the bye will do that, but the introduction of Thomas Brown as the team's new play-caller gave the fanbase a much-needed spark amid the chaos.
It wasn't perfect, but the Panthers ground it out late to secure their first victory of the season. This came with jubilant scenes on the field and in the locker room afterward, which can hopefully be the catalyst behind better fortunes moving forward.
Getting too carried away would be foolish, but there is now hope where once there was nothing but pessimism. With some winnable games upcoming over the next fortnight, the Panthers have a shot at gaining additional momentum before the Dallas Cowboys come to town.
That's for the future. For now, here are five winners and losers from Carolina's win over the Texans in Week 8.
Winner No. 1
Donte Jackson - Carolina Panthers CB
He's come in for some severe criticism this season and might be one of those sacrificed before the trade deadline, but Donte Jackson put together his best performance of the campaign in this one. The cornerback looked a lot more assured in coverage aside from one moment where Nico Collins helped himself to a deep gain, but it was a huge step in the right direction from the former second-round selection out of LSU.
Jackson also managed to force a fumble to further enhance his influence. There was a different energy about the defense after their extended period of rest, but whether this is his final game in a Panthers uniform remains to be seen.
If Jackson ends up being moved for draft assets over the next two days, then he at least left a good impression in front of the home crowd before departing for his next challenge.