Carolina Panthers Stand Out On Monday Night Football Against Redskins
The Carolina Panthers landed in DC with no playoff hopes, but they performed like a team headed to the championship. Fans wondered; How would Josh Norman perform against his old team that rescinded his franchise tag? Realistically none of that mattered last night. “Playing our style of football, not quitting” that is what the team came to do according to, linebacker Thomas Davis.
For Carolina and Norman it was just another Monday night. Norman was jovial with his former teammates at the end of the game, indicating no hard feelings to them. Gettleman, however, doesn’t get off the hook for letting Norman go. The Panthers would have been different with Norman as a veteran corner giving leadership to Bradberry and Worley. That being said Worley and Bradberry have looked great these past two games, and you can tell they are truly settling into their role. Redskins receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon combined for 189 yards but no touchdowns thanks in part to their blossoming confidence.
Cam Newton had an explosive game, after completing less than 50 percent of his passes the last four games, Newton finished 21/37, 300 yards,and two touchdowns. Fans were nervous during warm ups when Newton seemed to be experiencing pain in his right shoulder. Early in the game he took a shot to that shoulder and had to come off the field for several minutes. That shot must have been what he needed because Newton shined the rest of the game spreading the ball around, he even got Philly Brown involved, Brown had been limited to four catches all season but finished the game with 3 catches for 42 yards.
Safety Kurt Coleman had a pick he returned for 37 yards that set up a Carolina field goal, and Wes Horton strip sacked Kirk Cousins in the beginning of the third quarter for a fumble that put the Panthers on the 1 yard line. Mike Tolbert drove in the ball for his first touchdown of the season.
The Redskins struggled to get an offense going most of the game, almost looking like they were asleep. Runningback Robert Kelley scored the only touchdown with a 5 yard punch-in, but like the Redskins the extra point was no good.
Overall the Panthers finally put Josh Norman behind them, and gave fans a glimmer of things to come in 2017. A healthy offensive line and Luke Kuechly could have Carolina in the top 5 again next year and locked in for an NFC South Championship.
The Cold Never Bothered Him Anyway: Despite freezing temperatures Jonathan Stewart went to work, he had 132 yards on 25 touches including a play where he hurdled CB Josh Norman. All this even after getting hit so hard his face mask came off his helmet. This guy continues to be remarkable since we drafted him in 2008.
Cam Newton once again took a questionable hit, that didn’t get a called. On a scramble and slid, Trent Murphy put a helmet to helmet hit on Newton that should have drawn a flag, instead only Newton was called for taunting. Coach Rivera gave the refs an earful. It seems like defenses are getting their rocks off hitting Newton, should Rivera consider limiting his playing time to let his body heal now that playoff chance are about one percent?
Luke Kuechly was once again on the sidelines playing the coaching role. He has cleared concussion protocol but it looks like the team isn’t taking any chances and rightfully so.
The Redskins aren’t out of the playoff picture yet, but last nights loss did them no favors. The Redskins are 7-6-1 and needed to win their last three games to solidify a wild card spot.
Should the Panthers go ahead and rest their battered starters? Are you holding out for that 1% playoff chance? Hit me in the comments below.