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Panthers in the power rankings before Week 4

NFC South: Buccaneers 10th, Saints 13th, Falcons 27th

ANALYSIS: "A nice win for the Panthers, who snapped a 10-game losing streak dating back to last season with a 21-16 victory over the Chargers at Hollywood Park. Matt Rhule probably took a little more satisfaction getting his first NFL win while team MVP Christian McCaffrey recuperates with an ankle injury. Mike Davis managed 91 yards from scrimmage and a score in CMC's place, and the Carolina defense made its overdue arrival with eight QB hits, two sacks and four turnovers. On offense, the Panthers have a legit 1-2 punch at wide receiver in D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. They are the second receiver duo in team history to each have more than 200 receiving yards through three weeks."

NFC South: Saints 10th, Buccaneers 12th, Falcons 26th

ANALYSIS: "The defense wouldn't be good enough to win early. Don't get me wrong. The defense still has issues, none more than missed tackles and yards allowed after initial contact. But the Panthers are 1-2 after Sunday's 21-16 victory over the Chargers despite not having Pro Bowl DT Kawann Short in the middle for two games due to a foot injury and starting three to four rookies on defense at times. Still, they have been in position to win all three games, which is an accomplishment. As this group grows with experience alongside an offense that's capable of putting points on the board, the Panthers won't be an easy win moving forward."

NFC South: Buccaneers 9th, Saints 16th, Falcons 25th

ANALYSIS: "That was a good road victory for this young team against the Chargers. The defense is loaded with young players and it's improving by the week."

Pro Football Talk
NFC South: Buccaneers 8th, Saints 10th, Falcons 28th

ANALYSIS: "To go across the country and beat the Chargers without Christian McCaffrey shows that the rebuild is moving much faster than expected."

NFC South: Saints 8th, Buccaneers 11th, Falcons 29th

ANALYSIS: "When Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2, the general consensus was that it was going to be a long month-plus until he was able to return.

Instead, the Panthers notched their first win of the season with McCaffrey on the shelf.

Reserve tailback Mike Davis wasn't great on a per-carry basis, averaging just 3.5 yards. But the sixth-year veteran tallied 91 total yards on 21 touches and found the end zone.

Carolina's beleaguered defense also came up big in the game. The Panthers gave up plenty of yardage against the Chargers—436 in total. But Carolina forced four turnovers that led to 13 of the team's 21 points.

There won't be much time for celebrating, though. Next week the Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals, and the undefeated Chicago Bears and defending champion Kansas City Chiefs loom large on the schedule in the weeks to come."

View the best photos from behind the scenes of Carolina's win over the Chargers in Week 3.

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