Carolina Panthers Win In The Desert

Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton pushes away an Arizona defender on his touchdown run Sunday. Khadejeh Nikouyeh KNIKOUYEH@CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.COM Read more at:

Glendale, Ariz. — On the Carolina Panthers first third down of the game, the team huddled around their QB at the two-yard line. The huddle breaks and the team starts to line up. The camera pans to the QB as he leaves the huddle. The QB breaking the huddle, #1 Cam Newton, appears like Superman from a phonebooth. Newton snaps the ball, runs right, and powers his way into the end zone. From there onward, Carolina dominated the Arizona Cardinals for the rest of the game. The Panthers would take the victory with a final score of 34-10. Let’s look at the three top takeaways from this contest.

3 Takeaways

Superman Returns In Soaring Fashion

After Newton’s first touchdown back as a Panther, Cam took his helmet off and put the league on notice. “I’m back! I’m back!” exclaimed Newton as he ran back to the sideline. There was a clear change in the attitude of the team as Newton was greeted with congratulations by coaches and players alike. Out of nowhere, this team went from almost unwatchable to potentially unstoppable. After a 4th down stop by the Panthers’ ferocious defense, Carolina would quickly get back to the goal line.

In comes Superman again. The second snap Newton took in his return to Carolina went for a touchdown as well. Newton ran to his right (a similar look to his first touchdown) and zipped the ball to Robby Anderson, whose career seems to be revitalized in one game. Newton would continue to come in and out of the lineup throughout the game. However, Cam’s two early scores and the smothering defense put this game away early.

Catch and Run CMC

As predicted, Christian McCaffrey received a majority of the workload for the Panthers’ offense. He had 23 touches for 161 yards and a rushing touchdown. CMC had 12 rushes and 10 receptions. When McCaffrey is in the lineup, the Panthers’ offense is dynamic. CMC has a special ability to get vertical at a moment’s notice. He seems to explode out of a cannon as soon as he sees an opening in front of him.

There was a moment when Panthers’ fans held their breath as Christian went into the injury tent in the second half. They wouldn’t have to hold their collective breaths for very long as McCaffrey would come out of the tent with everything appearing to be fine. HC Matt Rhule did sit CMC for the fourth quarter, but that was because the game had already been won at that point. Rhule will have an easier time managing CMC’s touches now that Cam is back and the offense has stars he can get the ball to.

Arizona Will Be Fine

Arizona fans don’t need to worry too much despite the loss. The Cardinals came into this game without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins for a second straight week. During the game, backup QB Colt McCoy left the game with an injury. The Cardinals were clearly not at full strength for this one. They had the misfortune of running into a Carolina team that needed a win if they wanted to be a legit playoff contender. It just wasn’t Arizona’s day.

The way that Arizona HC Kliff Kingsbury has handled the injuries of two of his superstars is a cause for optimism. In what will inevitably be a long season, injury management becomes incredibly important towards the end of the season. Last year, Kyler played through a shoulder injury and his play clearly suffered. This season, the Cardinals’ coaching staff has shown the patience to let their stars recover fully. Plus, with an 8-0 start, the Cardinals have already almost certainly clinched a playoff spot.

What’s Next?

Next week, the Carolina Panthers will host the Washington Football Team and former HC Ron Rivera. Cam Newton will likely start in that game. The Cardinals will travel for a division matchup in Seattle against an angry Seahawks team. This may be the game to look for Kyler and Nuke to make a return.

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  1. Pingback: Cam Newton's Week 11 Fantasy Outlook - Championship Sports Media

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