For Carolina Panther fans, this past week still probably feels like a dream and rightfully so, especially after Sunday. As former Panther and current NFL on FOX analyst Greg Olsen said on Friday on the FNZ airwaves, this Cam Newton-Carolina Panthers reunion was something that most never saw coming and that no one could have imagined happening so quickly either. Newton signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday and traveled to Arizona in a game where most didn’t even know if he was going to be active and felt he would be extremely limited if he was. Newton was pretty limited playing just eight snaps in the game, but no one could have predicted the course of how things would happen on Sunday.
Newton found the end zone on his first two plays from scrimmage came on the first two drives of the game thanks to the defense that created the first turnover with a strip sack by Haason Reddick and 4th & 1 stop at the Arizona 41 that gave him two early opportunities. It started with the 1-yard touchdown run to open the scoring and was quickly followed by a 2-yard touchdown pass to his new buddy Robby Anderson, all of which happen in a span of just 2:33, giving the Panthers an early 14-0 lead that they never relinquished. As Jim Szoke, one of the longtime voices of the Panthers told the Mac Attack on Monday, it was like something out of a storybook. “You couldn’t have written a script out of a movie scene any better than that. That was just amazing timing.”
While Szoke acknowledged how amazing the day was for Cam, he also pointed out the fact that this team as a whole deserved a lot of credit for beating one of the NFL’s best teams this season. “Cam deserves a big, hefty chunk of the credit, but the defense set them up early,” he told the Mac Attack boys on Monday morning. “P.J. Walker played great. The offensive line did not allow a sack. They ran for 166 yards. Zane Gonzalez makes every field goal. It was just a team effort that should be shared.”
With the win and the Falcons blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Panthers climb back into the final playoff spot in the NFC, sitting 5-5 on the season as they head towards a meeting with former coach Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team on Saturday here in Charlotte. Keep it tuned in to Sports Radio FNZ all week for more on the Panthers win over the Cardinals and impending reunion with Coach Rivera and many other former Panthers this weekend.