The Panthers came into this game saying they still remembered the disrespect the Saint showed them in last season's finale in New Orleans and would let the Saints know it. I would say the Saints got the message as the Panthers punched them in the mouth while also making a statement. First and foremost the Panthers running game got untracked to the tune of 200+ yards on the ground. Steve Smith was his normal self getting another 100+ plus yards receiving. This game really wasn't as close as the score suggests.
The defense likewise got things started with a pick 6 by S Charles Godfrey in the 1st quarter. Beason and Thomas Davis were laying some wood. DE Greg Hardy has been a beast and Thomas Keiser continues his good work on 3rd down. The defense had contributions up and down the line up.
The Panthers led 21-13 at the half and didn't let up after the break. We have a lot of star performances in this one so your selection for player of the game will be a tough one. Let's start with the stars on offense:
QB Cam Newton - 14 for 20 for 253 yards 1 TD; 70 yards rushing on 11 carries and a TD
WR Steve Smith - 3 receptions for 104 yards
RB DeAngelo Williams - 14 for 69 yards TD
RB Jonathan Stewart - 11 for 51; 1 rec for 17 yds receiving and a TD
WR Brandon LaFell - 6 receptions for 90 yards; LaFell had some key 3rd down catches
S Charles Godfrey - 11 combined tackles, a Pick 6 and a pass defensed
Jon Beason - Seals the deal with an INT while already logging 7 tackles and a pass defensed