For the first time this year it looked like the Panthers were playing carefree football, and just enjoying the game. You could see it in the way they performed and by the way the plays were called.
The Panthers got off to a quick start, scoring touchdowns on three of their first four possessions. Cam didn’t have a huge day passing, but overall it was one of his best games of the season. He threw for 204 yards off of just 12 completions, with one touchdown and no interceptions. He also added 54 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the ground. Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams also combined for 25 carries for 109 yards rushing.
One of the most exciting plays of the game came in the second quarter when Carolina offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinski called a play from Cam Newton’s college years at Auburn. Cam lined up in the shotgun, took the snap, and threw a quick screen to Legedu Naanee. Then Naanee proceeded to throw the ball back across the field to Cam who ran for a gain of over 20 yards. It’s these type of plays that you would have never have seen last year or at any point in the John Fox coaching era. The offensive play calling has done a complete 180 from last year and is starting to cause trouble for many opposing defenses around the league.
The defense played solid for the majority of the game. They held the Bucs workhorse, LeGarrette Blount, to only 19 yards rushing and just over 70 yards rushing as a team. Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson was able to make a couple nice throws downfield in the passing game, but was only able to find the end zone once, and also threw an interception.
This was another solid win by the Panthers as they continue to gain momentum heading into the season’s last couple weeks of play. Hopefully they can keep up their recent play and go into to next season with a full head of steam.