The Panthers just won their first game of the regular season 23-3 against the 49ers (now undefeated!). Our defense was in full force during the entire game, with Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly leading like the true veteran champions they are.
Our offense started the game with a few more question marks – several new players, Cam’s first game after his shoulder surgery, and the first regular-season NFL game of first-round draft pick Christian McCaffrey.
Although Cam started off rusty, he never lost his composure. He underthrew a long ball for an interception and badly missed wide-open Ed Dickson near the end zone, but still ended up throwing 14-for-25 with 171 yards and two touchdowns. He remained in control of the offense and got the ball into the hands of his playmakers rather than trying to be the playmaker, in spite of the periodic setbacks.
He also established some solid chemistry with star rookie RB Christian McCaffrey and potential underdog WR Russell Shepard, who made one of the best plays of the game:
The Catch. The SPIN. The End Zone.
Russell Shepard with the BEAUTIFUL @Panthers TD! #CARvsSF #KeepPounding pic.twitter.com/zpIWykhi4S
— NFL (@NFL) September 10, 2017
Cam Newton showed the signs of a true veteran QB – resilience, composure, and wisdom in his first full game after a fairly involved off-season shoulder surgery.
“A little rusty, still getting used to things,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “(Newton) is still getting used to things. He’s upset about it, had to talk him off a ledge, but he’s focusing on what he needs to do. The other guys are rallying around him though. He made a couple of really good audibles, and he’s making good reads. It’s just about getting comfortable and getting his rhythm.”
How do you think the Panthers played yesterday?
How do you think they will do this season?