3 defining plays that helped Washington knock off Panthers
By Jerry Trotta
1. Kamren Curl’s stop on 4th down
With all due respect to Apke and Heinicke, Kamren Curl made the undisputed play of the game when he stopped Christian McCaffrey short of the sticks on a fourth down reception late in the fourth quarter.
We also have to give a quick shoutout to Cole Holcomb, who brought down McCaffrey in the open field on the previous play to set up fourth down. Without that play, Curl doesn’t get the chance to play hero.
Still, that takes nothing away from Curl’s play. It’s tough to put into words how tough it is to contain C-Mac in man coverage. As far as running backs go, he’s probably the toughest cover in the league, so it speaks volumes that Washington’s second-year safety executed his assignment to near perfection.
Here’s another look.
Newton probably could’ve done better to get McCaffrey the ball with more space to work with, but Curl eliminated any possibility of a catch-and-turn, which is one McCaffrey’s signature moves, by sticking to him like glue.
Curl was arguably Washington’s best defensive performer on the afternoon, so it was fitting he was front and center on the defining moment of the game. Yes, the Panthers got the ball back after Slye extended the lead to six with a 29-yard field goal, but Curl’s 4th down stop effectively ended the game, as Carolina entered full-blown desperation mode on their next (and final) possession.
If McCaffrey manages to wiggle free, the Panthers have a fresh set of downs on their own 35-yard line with 2:55 left on the game clock and two timeouts to work with. In other words, Washington’s D would’ve been on the ropes.
Kam Curl, man. What a player.