Instant analysis from the Carolina Panthers’ 13-10 win at Los Angeles:
The Panthers’ defense has found itself.
Carolina executed its tried-and-true formula to perfection, suffocating Todd Gurley (12 carries for 48 yards) and turning the Rams into a one-dimensional offense. QB Case Keenum simply wasn’t good enough to beat the Panthers, although he did lead a TD drive in the final three minutes when Carolina was in a type of prevent.
The Panthers continued to rotate defensive ends -- with good results. They sacked Keenum four times, including two by situational, speed-rusher Mario Addison. DE Kony Ealy had his first sack of the season in the final minute.
It wasn’t pretty, but Panthers beat a physical front seven.
The offensive line had its share of struggles trying to keep Aaron Donald out of the backfield without Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil, who missed his homecoming game with a sprained shoulder.
But the Rams did not overwhelm the Panthers the way the Broncos (twice) and Vikings did. Backup center Gino Gradkowski held up mostly well, and the offense did just enough to win.
Ted Ginn Jr. giveth and Ted Ginn taketh away.
Ginn had a what-was-he-thinking moment in the first half when he let a Johnny Hekker punt bounce, resulting in a 75-yard punt that flipped the field.
But Ginn saved the Panthers’ bacon when he cleanly fielded the Rams’ onsides kick attempt with 31 seconds, then wisely got on the ground.
Ginn also added 40 receiving yards on five catches.