Panthers 2011 Season Weekly Game Ball Winner Recap

via assets.espn.go.com

As part of our review of the 2011 season I've summarized

Game Ball #1 (Cardinals) - QB Cam Newton

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.

Game Ball #2 (Packers) - QB Cam Newton

The rookie lit it up again, this time against the defending champion Packers:

1. QB Cam Newton - As I'm sure you have heard rookie QB Cam Newton threw for 400+ yards and 2 TDs in his second start and is averaging 428 yds per game. All you need to know is Newton has now been proclaimed a weekly start in fantasy football; )

It took all of two games for Vegas to determine this kid could play.

Game Ball #3 (Jaguars) - DE Greg Hardy

The first non-Super Hero to win the game ball; I thought I was kind of clever in this one:

DE Greg Hardy - The Kracken had 6 combined tackles (5 solo) 2 tackles for loss, a sack and a safety and a QH. He was at home in the water and mud!

Game Ball #4 (Bears) - QB Cam Newton

You might recall the Panthers defense got gashed by the Bears in this one, but Newton was still scintillating:

I realize sometimes its hard to pick a winner after as loss (in particular to the Bears). It was a valiant effort and though I am getting tired of moral victories I think we have several Panthers worthy of consideration for the Game Ball.

  • QB Cam Newton was 27 for 46 with 374 yards, 1 Passing TD, 2 Rushing TDs, INT, 35 yards rushing, QB rating of 83.1...A great stat line that is becoming the norm for young Newton
  • Game Ball #5 (Saints) - RB DeAngelo Williams

    Williams essentially won this award with the one amazing TD run on an option play (you know, the kind of play that won't work in the NFL):

    RB DeAngelo Williams

    Williams finally cracked the century mark with 9 rushes for 115 yards, including a beauty of a score on a 59 yard option play from Newton. Williams showed he is a great RB when given a little space.

    Game Ball #6 (Falcons)- TE Jeremy Shockey

    With a very pedestrian stat line for reasons I cannot remember Shockey won this game ball one of the Panthers worst games of the season:

    TE Jeremy Shockey - Shock logged 4 catches for 60 yards including several key 3rd down conversions

    Game Ball #7 (Redskins) - QB Cam Newton

    Star of the Game: QB Cam Newton

    As you would expect Newton was key to the offense. He completed a scintilating 18 of 23 passes for 254 yards and a TD. He also added 61 yards on the ground and his 7th rushing TD of the season to really pad his fantasy stat line. His first quarter 25 yard scramble to 3rd and long in the 1st quarter might have been the best play of the game.

    The 25 yard scramble ended up being one of the top non-scoring plays of the season.

    Game Ball #8 (Vikings) - CB Captain Munnerlyn

    I had to do a double take on this one but then I quickly remembered the Captain made plays in two phaes of the game and made them across all four quarters.

    CB Captain Munnerlyn - You'll ave to overlook a poorly timed penalty but otherwise Munnerlyn had a good game. He logged 7 combined tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a QB hurry and a sweet tackle on punt coverage.

    Game Ball #9 (Titans) - DE Greg Hardy

    Another head scratcher, Hardy had 3 tackles, 3 passes defensed and a QH. I think this happens when you lose 30-3.

    Game Ball #10 (Lions) - DE Thomas Keiser

    The Panthers did manage to find some production from unlikely places:

    DE Thomas Keiser - Keiser came off the practice squad bench two weeks ago and logged 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and 2 QB hurries.

    Game Ball #11 (Colts) - RB DeAngelo Williams

    Williams gets his 2nd game ball of the season:

    1. RB DeAngelo Williams - Williams had his best game of the season with 69 yards on 15 carries (4.6 ypc) and 2 TDs, including a very nice stretch play that went for 25 yards and a score

    Game Ball #12 (Bucs) - QB Cam Newton

    QB Cam Newton - Newton broke the NFL single season record for rushing TDs by a QB with 3, count hem 3 one yard TD plunges. The first was what is turning out to be vintage Newton Super man as he dove over the pile for the score.

    Game Ball #13 (Falcons) - QB Cam Newton

    This was a 'Live By Newton, die by Newton game:

    Cam Newton 19 for 39 for 279 yards and 2 two TDs & 2 INTs...not a bad line but the INTs were critical

    Game Ball #14 (Texans) - LB Jordan Senn

    Back-up LB Jordan Senn broke out in a big way in the road win against the Texans:

    LB Jordan Senn - The Senn Master led the Panthers with 12 solo tackles (14 combined); a forced fumble, a pass knocked down, 1 tackle for loss and a key INT

    Game Ball #15 (Bucs) - QB Cam Newton

    While breaking the rookie passing record Newton also shows off his running game:

    Rookie QB Cam Newton threw for 177 yards and 3 TDs that also helped him break the NFL single season rookie passing record held by Peyton Manning. He also ran for 65 yards including a 49 yard TD jaunt on a read option up the middle. The kid just keeps adding to his records.

    Game Ball #16 (Saints) - No Poll taken

    But if I had done won I bet RB Jonathan Stewart would have gotten it:

    9 carries for 79 yards (8.8 ypc) including a 29 yard TD

    So here's the season count:

    QB Cam Newton: 7

    RB DeAngelo Williams: 2

    DE Greg Hardy: 2

    LB Jordan Senn: 1

    DE Thomad Keiser: 1

    CB Captain Munnerlyn: 1

    TE Jeremy Shockey: 1

    RB Jonathan Stewart: 1

    I'm slightly surprised that given the great season WR Steve Smith had (1,394 yards, 7 TDs) that he never won a game ball. Same with DE Charles Johnson and his 9.0 sacks.

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