Thursday Night Observations

Hope you didn’t bet the under. The Panthers drove down the field easily to go up 7-0, then the Steelers scored on one play, a bomb to Juju Smith-Schuster, and again after the kickoff on a pick-six. In the blink of an eye it was 21-7, and 31-14 by the half.

• Cam Newton was under pressure from the start. He took five sacks and threw the pick six. He didn’t kill you with 193 yards, two TDs and 10 rushing yards, but it was one of his worst games of the year. Oddly, he stayed in the blowout deep into the fourth quarter, but seemed to come out okay.

• Christian McCaffrey was also in the game late, and he caught a couple passes and scored an extra TD in garbage time. All told, he went 14-77-1 and 5-5-61-2, for a monster game. So much for him not scoring TDs.

• Greg Olsen went 6-4-40 and Devin Funchess 5-3-32. There wasn’t much non-McCaffrey production.

• Ben Roethlisberger had a seemingly effortless 328 yards (13.1 YPA), perfect (158.3) QB rating, five TDs, 27 rushing yards and only one sack. He looks healthier and more nimble than he has in years.

• James Conner saw a lighter workload in the blowout and went 13-65-1 and caught one pass for eight yards. He was also evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter, helping out Le’Veon Bell’s timing if Bell does indeed report for Week 11.

• Antonio Brown went 6-6-96-1, and Smith-Schuster 5-3-90-1. Both tight ends and even Jaylen Samuels also scored TDs.

• The one player the Panthers did pull early was Luke Kuechly, who I had going in an IDP league. He had eight tackles, but I was hoping for 4-5 more in garbage time.

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