CHARLOTTE – Earlier this week, former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith made a statement about the team's current wideouts.
On Charlotte’s WFNZ sports radio station, Smith criticized the group, from its effort to its ability to beat press coverage – even suggesting the franchise consider drafting a new pass catcher come April.
"Outside stuff, we don't really pay attention to it. For me and DJ it's about just going out there and getting better each and every week," Curtis Samuel said after Sunday's game. "I don't really follow stuff on social media like that. I honestly don't care, but everybody has their own opinion, so I'm not mad at him."
Whether Samuel or DJ Moore heard Smith's message or not, the duo certainly responded on Sunday against the Titans, and it all started when Samuel decided to wear a green sweat suit for game day.
"I threw on the money green today, because I was making a statement," Samuel said. "I went out there to make some money."
That's exactly what Samuel did, hauling in three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, while Moore exploded for 101 yards on seven receptions, marking the second-best performance of his career.
"That's just us," Moore said. "Like I said, you can love us or hate us. At the end of the day, we're just going to play our game."
Typically, games this season have been an either-or scenario for the duo, with one stepping into the spotlight while the other has a fairly regular outing. Rarely have both receivers simultaneously performed at a high level as they did against the Titans, and other players on the Panthers' offense took notice.
"I thought they really took turns making big plays when we needed them. They really made some tough catches, some contested catches," tight end Greg Olsen said. "I think those two guys are really special young players that might not get the credit they deserve, but they're going to be important to what we do moving forward."
Part of that combined success stems from Samuel and Moore's own competitiveness – not against the opposing team, but against each other. Whoever said players don't keep track of their stats during games was mistaken.
"Whoever gets to like 70 (yards) first, then that person we know is going to keep going, then the next person is just going to try to beat them out," Moore said. "Today it was like the second quarter I think, he had like 50 yards, I had like 40 something and he was like, 'You want to go for 90 or 100?' and then it just went from there."
That's how it works for the two of them. When Samuel scores a 12-yard touchdown, Moore knows he has to respond, or else he'll never hear the end of it. How does a 32-yard juggling catch along the sideline sound?
As competitive as the duo may be, they might enjoy each other's success more than their own.
"You know, DJ's my brother," Samuel said. "When he's out there making plays, I'm screaming, yelling for him in excitement, and vice versa. We're super excited for each other no matter who has a big game, who has a down game, we're always going to be there for each other and lift each other up."
But isn't it that much sweeter when it's both of their days?
"Absolutely," Samuel said. "We out there going crazy."