Rapid Reaction: Panthers 27, Cardinals 23

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

From an ocean away, the Carolina Panthers look very good.

The only part of their game against Arizona I was able to catch in the Wembley Stadium press box was a highlight clip of Steve Smith's 65-yard touchdown catch. But you didn't have to see the Panthers to understand what they did Sunday.

They got themselves to 6-2. That's sole possession of first place in the NFC South. They've got a bye coming. Almost certainly, they'll get starting center Ryan Kalil and right tackle Jeff Otah back from injury right after the bye.

Speaking of right after the bye, they've got a game with the Raiders. Then, a game with Detroit. Yes, the December schedule (Buccaneers, Broncos, Giants and Saints) could be very difficult.

But, then again, it might not matter much. By then, the Panthers could run away with the NFC South.