Much debate in the offseason was had concerning two Panthers receivers: D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel. Those I’ve talked to seem to be split on what they prefer – Moore’s ability to get yards after the catch and work as a short option, or Samuel’s sharp route running and potential.
Regardless of who you prefer, both receivers came up huge in Sunday’s 30-20 home victory over the Titans. The two had a combined ten catches for 165 yards (16.5 yards per reception) and a touchdown; Moore contributed a season high 101 yards while Samuel had 64 and the TD grab.
MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey is playing like the best back in football right now, and his high level blend of running and versatility at the receiving position gives defenses enough problems on their own. But the continued development of Moore and Samuel gives the Panthers a stud young receiving tandem in today’s NFL.
To celebrate the duo’s quality performances, here’s a breakdown on the key plays from both receivers. First let’s start with Samuel:
One of Samuel’s key contributions on Sunday occurred on this snap in the trips formation.
A lack of communication between the bottom corner and the bottom safety allows Samuel to get by swinging doors with ease.
Samuel makes a nice sliding catch down the sideline as Kyle Allen fits this in just above the corner’s grasp.
Both the throw and coverage on this play are interesting, because while Allen should be commended for fitting this fastball in to Samuel, I wonder if throwing this more over the top to Samuel would have resulted in a touchdown. A response would be to say that the incoming collision from the safety would put Samuel in harm’s way, but the safety’s delayed reaction suggests Samuel could have gotten by.
Either way, Samuel is able to come up with the sliding catch so that the chains get moved.
Next let’s move to Samuel’s touchdown grab, inside the red zone.
Samuel cuts inside…
…and leaves the corner in his tracks with an impressive cut back outside.
This is an impressive route from one of the league’s most under-the-radar route runners. The separation Samuel gets from the razor sharp, agile footwork he possesses allows Allen an outside window to throw into – just before Allen gets hit.
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