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Carolina Panthers

Rapid Reactions: Panthers get first win of the season, 15-13


CHARLOTTE — The Panthers have the quarterback they wanted, and they got the drive they needed all day.

All year, really.

The Panthers came back for a 15-13 win over the Texans Sunday, a sloppy affair that absolutely none of them were going to apologize for or care about.

It was their first win of the season and the first for the No.1 overall pick Bryce Young, who threw a touchdown to Tommy Tremble early before the dramatic late drive.

And no one is suggesting 1-6 is anything to be proud of, but it certainly beats the alternative.

They did it with the long drive (15 plays to end the game) they didn't have most of the afternoon on a day when offense was hard to come by.

When Chuba Hubbard erased the Texans' timeouts with three straight power runs for a first down, it allowed them to kill enough clock to set up Eddy Piñeiro's 23-yard field goal to win the game.

He had to try it three times, the first two erased on Houston penalties, that made it nerve-wracking. And considering he missed an extra point earlier in the game, nothing was certain.

— The performance of the defense will get lost in this, but it shouldn't. They got consistent pressure on C.J. Stroud and kept the Texans from running consistently.

Houston managed 110 on the ground, not great, but the Panthers were 31st in the league in run defense entering the week, allowing 144.3 yards per game in the first six.

The Panthers also batted down three passes at the line of scrimmage against the much taller Stroud and held him to 140 passing yards, and were generally able to keep the Texans in check.

— The Panthers weren't aggressive in the run game themselves, with just 24 attempts all day. But it seems clear at this point who's going to get more of them.

Hubbard got the start and had 15 carries for 28 yards, with Miles Sanders (two attempts) and Raheem Blackshear (three) getting the rest of the work.

Hubbard's more of the downhill power runner among the lot of them, which he showed late.

— The injuries continued to stack up on defense, as outside linebacker Justin Houston left the game with a hamstring issue. He did not return.

The Panthers were already thin at the position, with Yetur Gross-Matos placed on injured reserve this week and new pickup Luiji Vilain inactive.

That left Brian Burns, DJ Johnson, and Amaré Barno to finish the game.

— NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in attendance Sunday, visiting Bank of America Stadium for the first time since the 2015 NFC Championship Game.

View all the action from the Panthers' game against the Houston Texans in Week 8.

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