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Terps in the NFL: D.J. Moore helps Panthers remain perfect

Here’s how former Terps performed in Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season.

Carolina Panthers v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

For the first time since their Super Bowl run in 2015, the Carolina Panthers have started the season 3-0. Former Maryland star wide receiver D.J. Moore has contributed in a massive way to help the Panthers get there.

On Thursday Night Football against Houston, Moore recorded eight receptions for 126 yards on 12 targets. His longest reception was a 29-yard catch, but he was easily quarterback Sam Darnold’s top target in the game. He led the Panthers in targets, receptions and receiving yards on Thursday.

A case could be made that this was Moore’s best performance of the season, through three starts, even though he did not find the end zone. He set a season-high in targets and receiving yards, and tied his season-high in receptions.

The former first-round pick’s 126 receiving yards ties the fourth most of his career in a single game (157 at Detroit in 2018, 131 at Green Bay in 2020, 127 vs. Detroit in 2020, 126 at New Orleans in 2019).

This season, Moore is currently tied for third in the NFL in receptions (22), tied for fourth in targets (31), eighth in receiving yards (285) and eight in receiving yards per game (95).

Carolina will rely even more on Moore with the uncertain status of star running back Christian McCaffrey, who was taken out of Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury.

The Panthers will head to Dallas on Sunday to take on the Cowboys, as they look to improve to 4-0.

Other Performers

  • Green Bay Packers safety Darnell Savage Jr. played his best game of the 2021 season on Sunday Night Football against San Francisco. The former first-round pick had six total tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup while playing every single defensive snap for the Packers. He has now played every snap on defense for Green Bay over the last two games. His pass breakup came as he crushed wideout Deebo Samuel and jarred the ball loose.
  • The Las Vegas Raiders improved to 3-0 for the first time in 19 years on Sunday after knocking down Miami in overtime. Defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson continues to have success on the front line for the Raiders. He recorded four total tackles, two solo tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit on Miami’s Jacoby Brissett. Jefferson now has a sack and three quarterback hits in the last two weeks.
  • Buffalo Bills All-Pro receiver Stefon Diggs was solid in Sunday’s blowout win over Washington, but couldn’t find the end zone. He had six catches for 62 yards on 10 targets in a game where Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen dazzled. Allen threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns but failed to find Diggs close to the end zone, which opened up the field for other receivers. Diggs still contributed to several drives. Buffalo hosts a struggling Texans team next week.
  • After picking off New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson twice last week, Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson recorded five total tackles and four solo tackles against New Orleans. He set a new season-high in total tackles and solo tackles in this loss. Jackson played 97% of the snaps on defense for New England and he and the Patriots will welcome back Tom Brady to Gillette Stadium next week on Sunday Night Football.
  • Carolina Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. continued his string of solid performances in Thursday’s win. He recorded four total tackles and two solo tackles. His four total tackles tied his season-high from Week One against the Jets. Carter has been a mainstay in the front seven for Carolina’s defense.
  • New York Jets running back Ty Johnson carried the ball three times for 17 yards and had one reception for six yards on five targets on Sunday. The Jets were shut out by Denver, but Johnson remained productive when he was given the football. Johnson had the longest rush for the Jets in this game with a 13-yard attempt. The former sixth-round pick continues to fight for touches with fellow running back Michael Carter.
  • Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Jake Funk recorded the first carry of his NFL career on Sunday. Funk also attempted the first carry of the game for Los Angeles. He ran for six yards on one attempt in the game. Funk was on the field for a career-high 14 offensive snaps, which allowed him to record his first NFL touch.
  • Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue, much like Jefferson, added a quarterback hit on Brissett on Sunday. He also recorded one total tackle. Ngakoue played a season-high 73% of the defensive snaps for the Raiders and now has two total quarterback hits this season.
  • Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Michael Dunn did not appear in this week’s game against the Bears.
  • Seattle Seahawks tight end Tyler Mabry did not appear in this week’s game against Minnesota.
  • Chicago Bears linebacker Josh Woods remained on the practice squad this week.
  • Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keandre Jones remained on the practice squad this week.
  • Los Angeles Rams safety Antoine Brooks Jr. remained on the practice squad this week.
  • Defensive lineman Byron Cowart remains on the injured reserve/PUP for New England and will not be eligible to come off until at least Week Seven.