NFL Game Recap - Arizona at Carolina
Sun Oct 4, 2020 1:00 PM EDT

DEN
37
NYJ
28
F
BAL
31
WAS
17
F
LAC
31
TB
38
F
SEA
31
MIA
23
F
MIN
31
HOU
23
F
CLE
49
DAL
38
F
JAX
25
CIN
33
F
ARI
21
CAR
31
F
NO
35
DET
29
F
NYG
9
LAR
17
F
BUF
30
LV
23
F
IND
19
CHI
11
F
PHI
25
SF
20
F
NE
10
KC
26
F
ATL
16
GB
30
F
PIT
TEN
PPD

Carolina 31, Arizona 21

Oct 4, 2020, 1:00 PM EDT

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Arizona (2-2)

0

7

7

7

21

Carolina (2-2)

14

7

7

3

31

Bridgewater, Panthers fix red-zone woes, top Cardinals 31-21
Sun Oct 4, 2020 6:19 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) There was a time when doctors didn't know if Teddy Bridgewater would walk normally again, let alone play play quarterback in the NFL.

You'd never know it watching Bridgewater break the pocket, juke two defenders and race 18 yards to the end zone on Sunday, helping the Carolina Panthers defeat the Arizona Cardinals 31-21 for their second straight win.

Bridgewater also threw for 276 yards and two scores as the Panthers solved their red-zone issues from a week ago by scoring TDs on their first four trips inside the Arizona 20-yard line.

"I think the offensive staff has really homed in on, hey, what are the things that we really do well - and then (we focused) on really trying to do them well," Panthers coach Matt Rhule said.

Bridgewater scored his first rushing touchdown since before a devastating knee injury in the summer of 2016; he tore his ACL and dislocated his kneecap with the Minnesota Vikings and had to be rushed to the hospital to prevent permanent nerve damage. On Sunday, the 27-year-old Bridgewater even looked elusive at times.

"That was awesome - unexpected, but awesome," Panthers center Matt Paradis said of Bridgewater's TD run.

Bridgewater said he never thought of the past injury.

"I was just out there trying to score touchdowns in the red zone," the quarterback said.

Rhule credited new offensive coordinator Joe Brady, whose play calls helped the Panthers control time of possession with scoring drives that lasted 13, nine, 10, eight and 15 plays, all the while keeping Kyler Murray and company off the field.

"We didn't come in saying we wanted to keep the ball away from those guys," Bridgewater said. "We came in with an aggressive mindset, but we just came away with winning the time of possession battle."

Murray threw for three touchdowns for the Cardinals (2-2), but was limited to 133 yards passing as Arizona finished with 262 yards on offense, running just 55 plays.

DeAndre Hopkins, who came in averaging more than 10 catches and 118 yards receiving per game, was a nonfactor limited to 41 yards on seven receptions. He didn't practice all week due to a foot injury.

The Panthers' young pass rush kept Murray from taking shots downfield as rookie Yetur Gross-Matos set the tone with a sack-fumble early on.

"Some of those plays were designed for shots," Murray said. "They were either covered or they forced me to tuck it down and run. If we had connected earlier in the game it would have been a different story. The offense starting slow put us in a hole. It was tough to catch up all day."

Said Panthers DE Brian Burns: "We put emphasis on keeping eyes on (Murray). He had a nice run (for 48 yards), but he didn't have a lot of them."

Meanwhile, Bridgewater stayed clean all day, and completed 26 of 37 passes, most of those underneath coverage.

After the game, Bridgewater gave his offensive line the game ball.

"Teddy was able to sit back there and be comfortable in the pocket," said wide receiver Robby Anderson, who finished with 99 yards receiving. "When you can have a long productive drive they are crucial."

ON THE RUN

Things weren't looking good for the Panthers after starting 0-2 and losing 2019 All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey (ankle) for four to six weeks.

But Mike Davis has filled in nicely, finishing with 111 yards from scrimmage while scoring his second touchdown in as many weeks. Reggie Bonnafon chipped in with 53 yards rushing and caught a TD pass.

BAD PERFORMANCE

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury wasn't thrilled with his team's energy level coming into the game, saying his team had a "bad performance."

"We didn't play well enough or coach well enough in any phase," Kingsbury said. "They did. They played well and we didn't match their intensity at the start coaching-wise, playing-wise."

COVID-19 UPDATE

The Panthers were allowed to host up to 5,240 fans for Sunday's game under new state guidelines set in place by Gov. Roy Cooper. The attendance announced was 5,120 in the first game fans were allowed to attend this season at Bank of America Stadium.

RACIAL INJUSTICE

Bridgewater and two other Carolina players knelt during the playing of the national anthem while others held up their fists. The entire Cardinals team remained in the locker room for the anthem.

INJURIES

Cardinals: Running back Kenyon Drake left late in the fourth quarter after being shaken up on a run. It was the end of a disappointing day for Drake, held to 28 yards on 12 carries.

Panthers: Cornerback Eli Apple was ruled out after reinjuring his hamstring in the first half. Apple missed the first three games with a hamstring issue. ... Greg Little started at left tackle after Russell Okung (groin) missed his second straight game.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: travel to face the winless Jets (0-4) next Sunday.

Panthers: visit the Falcons in a divisional matchup next Sunday.

---

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Passing

ARI Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
K. Murray 31 24 77.4 3 133 25 0 116.7 1
CAR Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
T. Bridgewater 37 26 70.3 2 276 24 1 98.5 0

Rushing

ARI Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
K. Murray 6 78 13.0 48 0
K. Drake 13 35 2.7 9 0
CAR Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
M. Davis 16 84 5.3 21 1
R. Bonnafon 10 53 5.3 22 0

Receiving

ARI Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
D. Hopkins 7 41 5.9 13 0
D. Arnold 4 39 9.8 25 0
CAR Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
R. Anderson 8 99 12.4 24 0
C. Samuel 3 51 17.0 24 0

Team Stats Comparison

ARI CAR
Points For 21 31
Total Yards 262 444
Rushing Yards 129 168
Passing Yards 133 276
Passing Completions / Attempts 24/31 26/37
Turnovers 1 1
Interceptions Thrown 0 1
Fumbles - Lost 1/1 0/0
First Downs 21 30
Rushing Touchdowns 0 2
Passing Touchdowns 3 2
Penalties - Yards 5/29 10/72
Time Of Possession 22:52 37:08
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 3/9 7/11
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 0/0 1/1
Red Zone Conversions/Attempts 3/3 4/5
Sacks Against 1 0
Punts - Average Yards 5/41 1/42
Punt Returns - Average Yards/Punt Return 0/0 2/3
Kickoff Returns - Average Yards/Kickoff Return 0/0 2/21

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter ARI CAR
CAR 7:39 TD Mike Davis 1 yd run (Joey Slye kick) 0 7
CAR 13:31 TD Teddy Bridgewater 18 yd run (Joey Slye kick) 0 14
2nd Quarter ARI CAR
ARI 7:34 TD Jordan Thomas 3 yd pass from Kyler Murray (Zane Gonzalez kick) 7 14
CAR 13:05 TD Reggie Bonnafon 3 yd pass from Teddy Bridgewater (Joey Slye kick) 7 21
3rd Quarter ARI CAR
CAR 9:34 TD Ian Thomas 2 yd pass from Teddy Bridgewater (Joey Slye kick) 7 28
ARI 13:45 TD Christian Kirk 3 yd pass from Kyler Murray (Zane Gonzalez kick) 14 28
4th Quarter ARI CAR
CAR 7:15 FG Joey Slye 27 yd FG 14 31
ARI 12:47 TD Chase Edmonds 2 yd pass from Kyler Murray (Zane Gonzalez kick) 21 31

Game Information

Stadium: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 5,120
Game Time: 3:02
Weather: