Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera is pleased with the contributions of second-year wide receiver Curtis Samuel and rookie D.J. Moore, and with good reason.
Samuel scored twice — highlighted by a 33-yard touchdown on a reverse — as Carolina (6-2) posted a 42-28 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Moore was held relatively in check against the Buccaneers, but recorded season highs in catches (five), receiving yards (90) and rushing yards (39) in the Panthers’ 36-21 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 28.
Carolina has amassed a franchise-record and NFL-best 193 rushing yards by wide receivers this season.
Despite their success, Rivera cautioned that the team’s offense doesn’t solely revolve around those two electric players.
“We have a group of guys that are all contributing together, and we just happen to put two young guys out there that have a different skill set than the other ones, and it just adds a different dimension. But to think it’s just all about those two would be crazy,” Rivera said.
“But it’s cool because they’re learning and growing, and you know their ceiling is high. The potential for them to be better is exciting, and hopefully we can to watch them grow in the next few weeks and grow quickly because we do have a tough stretch.”
Samuel gave Carolina a 21-7 lead in the second quarter Sunday after a winding run that saw him cover 104 yards, per NFL Next Gen Stats. He capped the scoring in the fourth quarter by reeling in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton.
The 22-year-old Samuel has four total touchdowns (two rushing, two receiving) this season.
Moore, who was the 24th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, is third on the team with 117 rushing yards. He also has 19 catches for 297 yards this season.
— QB Cam Newton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in seven consecutive games, matching Steve Beuerlein (1999) for the longest in franchise history. Newton’s 280 combined yards boosted his career total to 31,629, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the third place in a quarterback’s first eight seasons.
— DE Mario Addison recorded 3.0 of his team-leading 7.5 sacks this season on Sunday. He also had five tackles versus the Buccaneers.
— RB Christian McCaffrey posted his second straight two-touchdown performance on Sunday by rushing for a pair of scores versus the Buccaneers.
— TE Greg Olsen reeled in his third touchdown in as many games after making a one-handed catch in the second quarter against the Buccaneers.
— CB Donte Jackson collected his NFL high-tying fourth interception of the season.