After reading several reactions on here after last night's Jets game, I must say I was somewhat disappointed by the reactions to this game. I for one was actually ecstatic about last night's performance. In fact I was probably more excited about last night's win then I was about the Dolphins victory last weekend. Now when you only look at the stats then you would probably come to the conclusion I need to be committed to a mental hospital for saying we played better last night against the Jets, below I will explain my reasons.
I think many of us have got so enamored about stats and fancy trick plays we lose sight of the most important aspect of the NFL and winning, that's mental toughness and poise. Did Cam pass for 400 yds, throw 2 TDs and rush for 2 more? No he didn't. Did Cam finish with a 65% completion rating to go along with a 150 QB rating? Nope, try 5 /15 with 60 yds, 1 TD and a lost fumble. Its those numbers right there that suddenly gave me peace of mind for the rest of the season and made me realize we are going to be just fine this season and so will Cam, let me explain.
What we saw last night was Cam and the offense stay poised, patient and disciplined. There was one thing the Panther offense was missing last year at times and that was discipline. We really never saw Cam last year bounce back from bad drive after bad drive , we rarely saw the offense fight through and be patient. Last night after Cam lost a fumble we didn't see him pouting, we didn't see him isolate himself on the sideline. He simply walked back to the bench and waited for his turn again. Well he got his turn again and turned it into a TD drive to Louis Murphy, got us back in the lead and went back to the sidelines. We rarely saw our offense fight back after a tough turnover last year. Last year if Cam played bad, we lost pure and simple, last night that didn't happen. Cam played poorly but he came through when it mattered most and got us back in the lead. Perfect example was the Falcons game last year when Cam threw that interception on a toss meant for Stewart. I don't need to remind anyone how it all went downhill from there. The bottom line is last night we saw a more poised, patient and mature offense along with a more mature Newton.
Let's also not forget that Cam hasn't thrown one single interception this pre-season. And considering he has played against Cromartie and Revis that is quite an accomplishment. Let's also consider how fantastic our run defense looked last night, oh and our run defense also looked equally good against a premier back like Reggie Bush the week before. Our 1st team defense hasn't allowed one single TD this pre-season. That's astonishing pre-season or no pre-season. Oh, and by the way that's even with Jon Beason not playing a single down yet. Let's also not forget Steve Smith didn't play last night either. I mean look at that nice stop last night we had 4th and inches when the Jets went for it (refs BS call aside we all know that was a stop.) Last year us stopping a 4th and inches run play would have been unheard of.
The bottom line is this: We need to step back and look at the big picture instead of picking apart why Cam didn't throw for 300 plus yds and 3 TDs last night. What happened last night was far more important than stats. Look, we all already know this offense can put up the yds and stats in their sleep, what we still have yet to see from this offense is winning when we don't put up the video game stats and not getting discouraged. What we still didn't know for sure is if Cam has matured enough to bounce back from a ugly fumble and lead a TD drive. Well last night we got our answer, and that might just finally be the final answer to greatness.