WR Curtis Samuel - Carolina Panthers
|5-11, 196||Born: 8-11-1996||College: Ohio State||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2017|
2019 Week 1 vs LAR (4 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec)
Curtis Samuel was unable to carry forward his momentum from the preseason into the first live game action. He slipped and fell on his first catch, preventing him from turning up the field. After that Samuel came alive, adjusting well on a comeback route near the sideline and showing off his trademark speed on a shallow crossing route catch and run. Samuel put on a move Neo from the Matrix would have been proud of later, securing a pass before ducking under a would-be tackler and scooting up the field for bonus yardage. Samuel was wide open on a streak pattern down the right sideline on a crucial third down in the second half, but Cam Newton's pass was too far in front to be hauled in.
2019 Week 2 vs TB (13 / 5 / 91 / 0 rec, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
Curtis Samuel announced himself in this game with a deep 44-yard reception against man coverage, executing a beautiful double move to beat the defensive back. Samuel had plenty of room to work with, but with the ball thrown a little shy of where it needed to be, he had to wait on it and got tackled. A subsequent deep target right sailed out of bounds. In the short game, Samuel had less success than his counterpart D.J. Moore, but he showed more variation in his routes. Samuel showed good understanding on a hitch route, running just past the sticks before planting his foot and turning back to Cam Newton. Samuel was unable to haul in a pass on a shallow crossing route from Newton on third down, with the ball thrown behind him. With the Bucs blitzing on the play, it appeared Samuel would have had room to work with. Samuel stayed involved as the game reached its climax, managing to catch a pass even as his facemask was being yanked.
2019 Week 3 vs ARI (7 / 5 / 53 / 1 rec)
The Arizona defensive backs afforded speedster Curtis Samuel a generous cushion in the early stages, allowing the receiver to get open on quick slants and hitches - and giving Kyle Allen some easy throws to settle him down. Samuel showed dynamism throughout the game and bailed his quarterback out on his first touchdown pass, sprinting to the back-right pylon as Allen rolled out that direction, throwing Samuel a perfect pass. Samuel could have hit pay dirt a second time, but Allen's attempted pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage, with the receiver ready to accept the ball into his hands at the back of the end zone. Samuel had a concentration drop at the end of the game as the Panthers ran a jailbreak screen off to the trips receiver set on the right side. Had he caught the football, he would have had nothing but green grass ahead of him - and likely another touchdown - as the Cardinals had sent a house blitz.
2019 Week 4 vs HOU (7 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Curtis Samuel popped off the screen multiple times in this game as he continued his strong progression. He and Kyle Allen have a strong connection and it was on display from early on in this game. Allen fired a deep ball in Samuel's direction down the left sideline, with a defensive pass interference flag gaining the offense 40 yards or so as Samuel was bumped. Allen went back to Samuel on another deep target not long after, but it was laid out just a few inches out of his reach. Samuel excelled on timing patterns where the defensive back's cushion allowed him room to work. He made a spectacular toe-tapping catch on the sideline, hauling in the pass as he was already bent over and falling to the turf. Allen continued to pepper him with deep targets, but the two were unable to connect.
2019 Week 5 vs JAX (6 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec, 2 / 25 / 0 rush)
The Panthers featured Curtis Samuel as a runner on a couple of plays in this game, including the very first offensive play. With Jacksonville lined up to stop an inside run, presumably to snuff out the Christian McCaffrey threat, Samuel was handed the ball on an end around, scooting off the left side for a first down carry. Later, offensive coordinator Norv Turner went back to the same play, only this time on a sweep. Samuel's speed proved too much for the Jaguars to contend with. As a receiver, Samuel was targeted on a quick slant in the end zone, but Kyle Allen's pass was too high for the short pass catcher to haul in. Samuel almost got into the end zone on a well-executed end around late in the game but was tackled yards shy. With Carolina trying to seal the game on a late third down play, Allen tossed a looping deep ball up to Samuel deep down the right sideline. The defender had excellent position and appeared to intercept the effort, but it was ruled incomplete after review.
2019 Week 6 vs TB (6 / 4 / 70 / 1 rec, 1 / 8 / 1 rush)
Curtis Samuel produced every time he was called upon in this game, building trust with Kyle Allen and displaying his lightning-quick speed and playmaking ability. A deep target down the left sideline early in the game sailed out of bounds, but Allen came back to Samuel on a deep over route on consecutive targets, laying the ball out for his receiver to run on to for big chunks of yardage. Samuel scored on both rushing and receiving touchdowns, with the former coming on a sweep. The speedy receiver turned on the jets as he raced to the perimeter, beating the chasing defenders for pace. His receiving touchdown came on a beautifully thrown back shoulder pass at the right pylon, with Samuel rising high to use his body and box out the defensive back for the score.
2019 Week 8 vs SF (11 / 4 / 46 / 0 rec)
On a day to forget for the Carolina passing game, it proved to be a day of 'almost' for Curtis Samuel. Early in the game, Samuel was the target of a deep ball in the back corner of the end zone, the football just a yard or two out of his reach as he made a despairing attempt to haul it in. Kyle Allen went back to the deep ball well later in the game, but this time a streaking Samuel couldn't catch up to the quarterback's pass, which was thrown too far out in front. Samuel was largely a non-factor despite leading the team in targets, but the 49ers defense marshalled him well and did not give the Panthers a sniff overall.
2019 Week 9 vs TEN (6 / 3 / 64 / 1 rec, 1 / 10 / 0 rush)
Curtis Samuel continued to riff with Kyle Allen, with the two linking up on a beautiful deep ball down the right sideline early. The touch on the pass was perfect, flying over a Tennessee defender's outstretched arm and landing perfectly in Samuel's breadbasket. Samuel was targeted on a quick slant in the end zone, but Allen's pass was a little inaccurate in such a tight window and a defender closing on the receiver made the catch a difficult one. Samuel's touchdown came on another red zone opportunity, as Allen showed great toughness against the blitz, floating up the ball for his receiver to attack in the air. Samuel obliged, leaping high above the defender to haul in the football. Samuel could have added a second touchdown catch, but a deep ball thrown his way on a post route was slightly underthrown and allowed a Titans defender to bat it away.
2019 Week 10 vs GB (8 / 4 / 35 / 1 rec)
Curtis Samuel took a backseat to D.J. Moore in this game but managed to assert himself as it wore on. An early third-down connection with Kyle Allen was snuffed out, as Samuel's attempt to spin away and reach the line-to-gain was rebuffed. Samuel got into the end zone soon after, though. Lined up in the slot right, Allen rolled right as Samuel ran a quick out. The two were on the same page and linked up with a simple pitch and catch for the score. Samuel only managed to secure one deep target, but the pass was thrown to his back shoulder and he couldn't manage to use the proper technique to get his hands together to make the play. With the footing growing increasingly unsteady due to the snowy conditions, Samuel could only muster a handful of short catches as the Panthers went into comeback mode.
2019 Week 11 vs ATL (7 / 4 / 25 / 0 rec)
Like most of the Carolina offensive players, Curtis Samuel endured a torrid day against an Atlanta defense that was revitalised and played with spirit and verve. A quick screen into the right flat was snuffed out early, with Samuel unable to manoeuvre through the traffic. Samuel had to feed on scraps, catching only a handful of short passes. His lone deep target on a fade pattern in the end zone was too high to be hauled in.
2018 Week 5 vs NYG (4 / 2 / 37 / 1 rec)
After missing the first three games of the season due to a heart problem, Curtis Samuel wasted no time making an impact. On his first catch - a tunnel screen which was perfectly set up - he weaved, dodged and spun past what looked like about five Giants defenders, who whiffed on the tackle multiple times, and extended the football over the goal line to score his first NFL touchdown. Samuel featured often from that point, dragging his toes to haul in a quick out from Cam Newton and barely failing to catch a back shoulder fade that could have been a touchdown. Samuel was the target on a deep ball from his quarterback on the final, dramatic drive, but it was just out of his reach.
2018 Week 6 vs WAS (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After scoring his first NFL touchdown last week, Curtis Samuel was a non-factor in the passing game. His primary duty was to return kicks, one of which he carried out to the 40-yard line, only to be called back by penalty. It was rookie D.J. Moore who assumed the outside receiver role opposite Devin Funchess, with Samuel only getting spot duty.
2018 Week 7 vs PHI (1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec, 2 / 9 / 1 rush)
Curtis Samuel was rarely used as a weapon in the passing game, but on his sole catch he showed excellent technique to run off the defensive back on a comeback. Samuel's talent as a runner came into play, however, as he dashed into the end zone for the Panthers' first touchdown of the day. Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey attracted the attention of the Eagles defenders with an option pitch look to the left. Meanwhile, Samuel came from left to right and was pitched the ball by Newton. Samuel built up a head of steam and cut upfield to dart into the end zone nearly untouched.
2018 Week 8 vs BAL (3 / 3 / 28 / 0 rec)
The speed demon Curtis Samuel is steadily earning a larger role in the offense, helped by the fact that veteran Torrey Smith missed this game due to injury. Samuel showed nice quickness and made a lovely adjustment on a comeback route catch, following that up later in the half with an excellent recognition of a blitz situation, coming back to Cam Newton. Samuel made another sprawling grab in the second half, corralling a ball that was behind him.
2018 Week 9 vs TB (4 / 2 / 25 / 1 rec, 1 / 33 / 1 rush)
Curtis Samuel reminded pundits and fans alike in this game why he is consistently potent threat to be feared in this increasingly explosive Carolina offense. After dropping an easy pass on an out route, Samuel refocused and scored a magnificent touchdown on a double reverse. The design - and Tampa Bay's aggressive pursuit - left Samuel with plenty of blockers to work behind (including Cam Newton). Samuel turned into a running back on the play, ducking and weaving past would-be tacklers, running over 100 yards from left to right to get into the end zone. After seeing a target on a hitch pattern broken up, Samuel would make his mark in the passing game as well. With Greg Olsen drawing underneath coverage and no safety help for the cornerback facing Samuel on the play, the quick receiver ran to the post, attacking a perfect Newton pass at its highest point to put the dagger into the hopes of the Buccaneers with a touchdown.
2018 Week 10 vs PIT (4 / 4 / 18 / 0 rec, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
After an explosive two-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers, Curtis Samuel came crashing back down to earth ñ along with the rest of the Carolina offense. The Steelers were wise to Samuel on a double reverse, diagnosing the play and snuffing it out before Samuel could even get his bearings. Samuel caught a couple of short passes in the second half as he got more involved in the passing attack, but the Steelers pass rush forced quick releases and he was unable to do any damage downfield.
2018 Week 11 vs DET (7 / 5 / 55 / 1 rec)
The speedy do-it-all receiver Curtis Samuel is building an established role in this offense, a trend that has coincided with his improvement as an overall player since his return from injury. Samuel's route-running in particular has been a standout, and it stood out in this contest as he consistently got open - even when the targets were not ideally placed. After securing his first catch on a bubble screen that was immediately snuffed out, Samuel found his groove and linked up with Cam Newton on a variety of patterns, keeping the Lions defensive backs guessing. Samuel was rewarded for his consistency in the late stages, reaching pay dirt after a stunning touchdown catch. The play saw Samuel beat the cornerback with a stabbed foot inside before using his acceleration to stack the defensive back. Newton spotted the match-up straight away and threw the ball high to the back of the end zone where Samuel leaped high, extending both arms above his frame to secure the football as he toppled to the turf.
2018 Week 12 vs SEA (2 / 2 / 17 / 1 rec, 1 / 25 / 0 rush)
It took some time for Curtis Samuel to be integrated into this game, but eventually he sprung loose with a reverse that went for a big chunk of yardage. Not long after that Samuel was in the end zone, running a crisp slant route - the defensive back fell over in the process - in the red zone and corralling a rocketed Cam Newton pass. Samuel grew into the game from that point and could have had another touchdown had it not been for a defensive pass interference penalty. Samuel had position on the defensive back, only for the Seattle player to drape himself all over him as he tried to make the play at the back corner of the end zone.
2018 Week 13 vs TB (11 / 6 / 88 / 0 rec, 1 / 8 / 0 rush)
Second-year pro Curtis Samuel played an inspired game against the Buccaneers and staked a claim for a larger role than he currently boasts. After an early target hit the turf, Samuel sprung into life and began to test the Bucs downfield. An end zone target looked to be a touchdown, but the ball hung up for a second too long and the cornerback in coverage batted it down before it could meet Samuel's waiting hands. A target on a post route was broken up by the safety later in the half. Samuel continued to run excellent routes and got open routinely, linking well with Cam Newton in the no-huddle at the start of the second half. Samuel made acrobatic sideline catches and also contributed as a runner in a solid performance.
2018 Week 14 vs CLE (8 / 4 / 80 / 0 rec)
Pocket dynamo Curtis Samuel had a mixed bag against Cleveland, at times producing standout plays, at others letting his team down in crucial situations. Samuel's first catch, a contested grab on a deep crossing pattern, augured well for the offense. A subsequent target on a sideline toss hit the ground as he went down to scoop it. At the end of the first half Samuel secured a couple of catches as the Browns played a shell coverage to take away the deep ball. It wasn't until the second half that Samuel had his most crucial error, a drop on a deep target down the left sideline. He had to adjust and check his route to make a play on the ball, which he did. However, as he came down to the turf the ball jarred loose, erasing a potentially huge play. A late red zone target on a quick out was out of his reach.
2018 Week 15 vs NO (4 / 1 / 17 / 0 rec, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)
Curtis Samuel was a non-factor in the passing attack as Cam Newton struggled to cope with his ailing right shoulder injury, so the young player was utilised as a runner instead. However, the Saints were wise to the threat and snuffed out a reverse and a shotgun carry for minimal yardage. His targets in the passing game were wide of the mark, though he managed to haul in a pass on a low throw from Newton over the middle on a dig pattern.
2018 Week 16 vs ATL (13 / 7 / 41 / 0 rec)
Curtis Samuel distinguished himself in a less-than-ideal offensive environment, showing excellent toughness and will throughout. He was often targeted deep by Taylor Heinicke, with the first shot falling short of a streaking Samuel, who overran the play. Samuel made impressive catches on several off-target throws, running crisp routes and rarely letting his quarterback down. A red zone target on a shallow crossing pattern was borderline catchable, but the Atlanta defensive back was able to pop the ball loose from a despairing Samuel's grasp. Another deep target late in the game - a shot to the right corner of the end zone - was broken up by an Atlanta defensive back.
2018 Week 17 vs NO (4 / 2 / 72 / 1 rec)
Curtis Samuel took time to get involved in the game after one early target flew over his head and a second target produced a defensive pass interference penalty, a deep pass forcing the defensive back to panic and play Samuel, not the ball. Samuel was the target of an end zone fade pass in the second half, but the receiver was unable to navigate the tight space at the boundary to get both feet in bounds. Samuel's standout play came on a 53-yard touchdown catch. The play saw the young receiver run past both defenders in coverage - cornerback and safety - and sprinting to the post, with Kyle Allen dropping a perfect pass into his outstretched arms for the score.
2017 Week 2 vs BUF (3 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Second-round pick Curtis Samuel missed the bulk of training camp with an injury, so it is not a surprise to see him primarily used a special teams player and return man. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula threw the rookie a bone or two in this contest with plays designed to get him the football in space. The Bills snuffed out a quick screen in the left flat, while a Cam Newton pass on a similar play was thrown too high for Samuel to catch it and run upfield.
2017 Week 3 vs NO (5 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec, 1 / 31 / 0 rush)
Rookie speedster Curtis Samuel showed excellent vision and explosion to the edge on a reverse in the first half, igniting an offense that needed a shot in the arm. Samuel's juke move at the end of the run left a Saints defender at a loss as he crumpled to the Bank of America Stadium turf. The Panthers continue to ease Samuel in primarily as a runner and an option in the screen game, where he showed nice cutback ability at times. Unfortunately for him, these plays often came in long yardage situations and the Saints read them well.
2017 Week 5 vs DET (2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Panthers continue to get the rookie receiver snaps, mostly in situations where they can take advantage of his speed on jet sweep looks and quick screens. Samuel was targeted by his quarterback, but each time the passing window was tight and the Lions defenders closed quickly to break it up. Samuel was a fixture of 'window dressing' plays where he would run a jet sweep motion across the formation before a handoff was made.
2017 Week 6 vs PHI (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec, 1 / 8 / 0 rush)
Building on last week's increased usage as an 'offensive weapon' type, Curtis Samuel showed nice acceleration to beat the pursuit on an end around for a handful of yards. The play prior to that saw the shifty former Buckeye draw a pass interference penalty on a quick slant. Samuel was the target of a deep middle Cam Newton pass in the second half, but once again pass interference was called. It was a fortunate break for Newton, who saw the underthrown pass intercepted. Samuel was utilised mostly as a slot option and a jet sweep decoy runner, and saw more snaps when the Panthers went to desperation mode with empty backfields.
2017 Week 7 vs CHI (1 / 1 / 20 / 0 rec)
It proved to be an inauspicious first touch for the rookie, who lost control of the football on a straightforward option pitch into the right flat. After a scramble of bodies tried to recover it, the bouncing ball was eventually scooped up by a Bears safety, who took it back for a touchdown. Samuel will have been disappointed with his effort to catch the ball which, although it was an end over end pitch, should have been brought in. Samuel saw the field intermittently for the remainder of the game, and came up with a beautiful sideline grab at one point.
2017 Week 8 vs TB (3 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
With each passing week, the offense ineptitude notwithstanding, the Ohio State rookie Curtis Samuel is seeing his involvement increase. Lining up all the formation, Samuel was primarily used as a receiver in this game, whereas in previous weeks he had been a decoy on jet sweep or an option on screen passes. Samuel showed toughness to absorb a couple of hits on routes from the slot. He performed a minor miracle on a jet sweep heading left, somehow making the defender miss him in the backfield with a swift cut before turning it up the field for a first down. Cam Newton even targeted him deep, but the time Newton had to buy before releasing the ball allowed the defensive back to make up the ground on Samuel and break up the pass.
2017 Week 9 vs ATL (5 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec, 1 / 14 / 0 rush)
Part of the reason Kelvin Benjamin was shipped off to Buffalo was to increase the involvement of second round rookie Curtis Samuel. The Panthers made an effort to do just that against Atlanta, although an early target on a slant route was placed too far behind him to have a realistic chance of catching. Samuel mainly lined up as a Z receiver opposite Devin Funchess. The rookie made a beautiful toe-tapping catch along the sideline on a deep out. The pass was not zipped as it should have been, and Samuel had to deal with a DB flashing across his face while concentrating on the ball. The passing attack wasn't exactly clicking, however, so Samuel was limited to short catches, his deep prowess never coming into play.
2017 Week 10 vs MIA (7 / 5 / 45 / 0 rec)
In a game that finally saw Curtis Samuel become a consistently involved piece of the passing attack, he unfortunately had the injury bug bite again. Prior to the injury (early reports indicate an ankle sprain), Samuel was dragging tacklers on bubble screens and was unlucky not to haul in a back shoulder pass from Cam Newton. His most impressive catch came on an 'over' route as he crossed the field between defenders. Newton's zipped pass found him in a tight area, and despite absorbing a huge hit he held on. Samuel showed his quickness and route-running ability on a couple of shorter routes before sustaining the injury. Bizarrely, the play that he was injured on could have been a touchdown. Samuel seemed to track the ball all the way, but ended up dropping it.