Sunday afternoon was an opportunity for relieve and reckoning for the Carolina Panthers. I will start out harsh and say that they aren’t out of the dog house just yet. Yes, it was a great win against RG3’s Washington Redskins—I won’t take that away from them. Whether they got fired up by a 5-game losing streak that simply needed to end, by the fourth-quarter loss to the Bears last weekend, or by the fact that the Redskins where having their “homecoming” weekend, I honestly don’t care and it doesn’t matter. The fact is that the offense performed and the defense stopped the Redskins attack. It was well-done, it was great, and it needs to happen again.
The Panthers (2-6) showed up in D.C., deemed the homecoming team for whatever crap the Redskins were celebrating that weekend. I am not a Redskins fan so I have no idea what that was about or why they are having that kind of crap in the NFL. More power to them. Carolina has struggled to combine both elements of their game throughout the season. Either the offense shows up to play or the defense, or neither show up to play. Yesterday, however, was different. Cam Newton threw for 13 out of 23, connecting with Armanti Edwards and Steve Smith for 2 touchdowns (82 yards, 19 yards).
Where there Panthers marched, scored, and brought stoppage power, the Redskins faltered with 97 yards worth of infractions—already the worst team in the league when it comes to infractions. Near the end of the game, the Redskins answered with their first touchdown with less than a minute and a half remaining in the 4th. But the offense came alive too late as the Panthers’ defense shut down whatever game was left in the Redskins arsenal.
Even though losing their third straight game, Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin III threw for 23 out of 39 (215 yards) as well as no interceptions. Griffin also rushed for 53 yards averaging 4.8 ypa. At the end of the game, the two young quarterbacks, Newton and RG3, met in the middle of the field, Newton offering RG3 his phone number and telling him to be in touch. Griffin was quoted:
“We’re both two young quarterbacks in this league, trying to get better, trying to lead our teams to victory. I told him that I think his team has a lot of talent and the possibilities are endless for them. I feel the same about our team.”
As for the Carolina Panthers, they prep up this week for a wonderful trip to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos (5-3), who beat the Cincinnati Bengals this past week. If the Carolina Defense has any improvement and learning to show, this upcoming game in Denver is the moment to show it. In all honesty, good luck Panthers.
Carolina Panthers 21
Washington Redskins 13
Note: Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III were the last two winners of the College Footbal Heisman Trophy. Newton in 2010 and RG3 in 2011.