Words were exchanged between the sides after a routine play, but something was said to incite a fight between the sides. Long and wide receiver Steve Smith were at the center of the scuffle, with a punch being thrown by Long resulting in him being escorted from the field.
Defense was the story for much of Sunday's game when both teams played sloppy offensive football in the first half. Sam Bradford opened the game with a pick-six, setting the tone as the Rams were forced to play catch up. He finished with 255 yards passing before a scary moment when he was hit out of bounds and carted off the field with a knee injury.
Cam Newton proved that his Week 6 effort against the Minnesota Vikings wasn't a fluke. The Panthers' quarterback was extremely accurate, completing 15-of-17 passing for 204 yards and a touchdown. Newton's quarterback rating on the day was an extremely impressive 136.3.
Long's ejection became the turning point on Sunday. A close game was blown wide open, as the Rams were charged with numerous unnecessary roughness penalties following the fight. The lack of composure carried into execution, allowing the Panthers to control the tempo of the game and record a home victory.
Sam Bradford had a scary moment late in the game as he was knocked out of bounds on a scramble. He remained down on the field for several minutes before being carted off the field for evaluation.
Fantasy studs and duds
Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was very effective in the team's win, finishing with 69 yards and a touchdown.
Brian Quick could be an interesting pickup moving forward depending on how he's integrated into the Rams' offense. He totaled 97 yards receiving, even though he was unable to find the end zone.
Did they Cover?
The Panthers were seven-point favorites, according to OddsShark. Their 15-point victory means they covered the spread.
Carolina vs. Tampa Bay, Oct. 24
St. Louis vs. Seattle, Oct. 28