For all the Cam Newton detractors out there Panther fans have one thing to say: Suck it! Yes the Panthers did lose to the Cardinals on a late punt return by Patrick Peterson but outside of that the Panthers were oh-so-close to starting the season with a win.
Newton sets the rookie record for passing yards in their NFL debut. That's right, you are reading this correctly:
24 for 37 for 422 yards, 2 TDs, INT one TD rushing.
That's a staggering 17.6 yds per catch average. It's a bummer the Panthers lost this game but there is plenty to be happy about.
Here are my quick hits:
- Cam Newton - encore mention on the awesome debut!
- WR Steve Smith is back in a big way: 8 rec for 178 yards and 2 TDs, a 22 yard per catch average
- CB Chris Gamble held Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald to 3 catches for 62 yards and no TDs
- TE Greg Olsen took a little while to get going but finished with 4 receptions for 78 yards
More after the jump...
- WR Brandon LaFell also had 4 receptions for 70 yards with a couple key 3rd down catches
- LB Dan Conner filled in for the injured Jon Beason and finished to lead the Panthers with 5 tackles
- DE Greg hardy had 4 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble the Panthers almost came up with
There is plenty to fault in the this game for the Panthers but we will save that for another time. I would do a poll for Panther player of the game but why bother? Who else would it be but Cam Newton?