Now let’s move over to Moore’s side of the tape. This was the second time he got over 100 yards of receiving, doing so last season against the Lions for a grand total of 157. Time is money, so let’s move quickly and break down Moore’s key plays.
Allen was fortunate to not be picked off on this play, as Moore played corner and broke this pass up. But based on this play and countless others from Sunday, Moore’s route running has been refined. He gets a decent amount of separation (really, enough separation for a touchdown) and wins immediately at the line of scrimmage.
Things don’t improve on Allen’s end on this next play, but fortunately for his sake they didn’t get worse due to Moore’s efforts.
Unfortunately, the throw from Allen can’t help Moore out.
Moore’s release helps him win outside leverage, but the pass from Allen is poor. How this pass lands on the turf as an incompletion is a miracle, and the receiver’s efforts as defensive back come up yet again. The Panthers have enough corner depth as it is, but perhaps he could take some snaps defending Hail Marys…
Moore finally gets cut some slack as Allen gives him an accurate throw on this next clip.
In his rookie season, Moore showed struggles separating against press coverage, much work needed to be done to push himself in the right direction. He is doing so this season, getting progressively better against the quick jam. This is well done on Moore’s part, and he is able to win the closely contested hand combat at the top of the curl route.
One could say Moore is at his natural habitat in the short area of the field, and that came through in a big way on this 3rd-and-14.
With blockers paving a path for him, Moore sheds a few tacklers just before getting the first down, an improbable one at that. These plays play an important role in Norv Turner’s offense – so having guys like McCaffrey, Samuel, and Moore have made it easy to be a part of the passing game’s identity.
Lastly, let’s get to not only Moore’s best catch on the day, but Allen’s best throw as well.
Moore’s wipe move creates inside leverage and he never looks back (or at least not until he has to to make the catch). Allen makes a perfect throw to Moore’s back shoulder, and a little toe drag gives the Panthers a first-and-goal, just inches away from the end zone.
Coming back from a brutal beatdown against the 49ers in Week 8, the Panthers needed to get back on track in a game that was assumed to be very winnable for them. Fortunately, it was, as the offense paved the way, with Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore making big play after big play – not to mention Christian McCaffrey doing his thing, as well. A stronger test will come on the road on Sunday against the Packers, a team Carolina has won two straight against.
Even without Cam Newton running the show, Moore and Samuel are having quality seasons. Moore – who is on pace for 1,000 yards – has improved his route running ability in his sophomore season, and Samuel – who is 87 yards from setting a career high in yardage in his third season – as per usual, is electric. If they keep this up, they could very well establish themselves as one of the league’s best wide receiving duos.