The fans got both, in a big way.
The Panthers dominated from start to finish, winning by a final score of 35-10. Newton led the Panthers with 4 touchdowns (3 passing, 1 running) and 272 yards of total offense. After this blowout win, the Panthers have beat opponents in their two wins by a combined score of 73-10.
The top story leading up to the game was the tragedy surrounding Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and the death of his son. He finished being a non-factor, but productive with 62 yards rushing, and 31 yards receiving.
The blowout started early, scoring two touchdowns on only three drives in the first half. This can be attributed to head coach Ron Rivera’s newfound aggressiveness, going for it on 4th down twice on the first drive and converting both. The drive lasted 15 plays and ended with a Newton to Steve Smith touchdown.
After punting on their second drive, the Panthers showed some creativity on their third drive. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula called a flea flicker tight end screen to Greg Olsen, and followed that up with a well designed shovel pass from Newton to Tolbert that resulted in a touchdown. They finished the first half winning, 14-3.
Known for their second half stumbles, the Panthers did not let up. On the first drive of the half, Newton unleashed a 79 yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell, assisted by an incredible block by Ted Ginn, Jr. The Panthers continued to pile it on, as they closed the game with Newton rushing for a 7 yard TD and Tolbert rushing for another.
This Panthers team gets the job done against bad teams, especially against subpar defenses. Let us hope they can hold on to this momentum, as they host they St. Louis Rams next week.
The Carolina Panthers host a surging St. Louis Rams team that have won 2 in a row, and just beat the Texans, 38-13.
Cam Newton: 242 yards passing, 30 yards rushing, 3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD
Panthers Who Starred
Mike Mitchell, Brandon LaFell, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, offensive line when run blocking, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Kawann Short, Steve Smith and Ted Ginn (receiving and blocking)
Panthers Who Struggled
None of note