The first half of Carolina’s game against Houston was something Panther fans had seen before. Carolina came out aggressive and went into halftime with a 21-0 lead. Then déjà vu started to set in once again as it look as if the Panthers would squander another big halftime lead. However, the Panthers were determined to not succumb to another second half collapse and they played hard, and continued to make plays. The defense, which has been devastated by an array of injuries all season, played inspired football, and forced three turnovers on the day. Cam Newton seemed very poised in the pocket today and made a couple big plays with his arm as well as his feet. More importantly, Cam did not turn the ball over, and Carolina is a perfect 5-0 in games where Cam does not have a turnover.
There are two things that I really liked about this game. One was how the defense played hard and made plays for the entire 60 minutes of the game. The other was how when it looked like the offense was about to go into another one if its second half hibernations, Cam got them fired up, drove them down the field, and put some more points on board to increase the lead. That’s something that the offense hasn’t done in recent games, make plays in the second half. But today they played a complete game of football and got a win against a quality team.
What I didn’t like was how the offense continued to rack up stupid penalties. They had a couple holding penalties called against them, as well as false start, and illegal formation penalties. All together, they committed seven penalties and they hampered the offense’s ability to move the ball. However, the offense was able to convert a couple third and longs, and ended up scoring touchdowns on two of those penalized drives.
This was a great win to build Carolina’s confidence, as they continue to gain momentum for next year. This year they have had a slew of injuries, but have remained a very competitive football team. So there should be no limit as to what this team can achieve next year if everybody can stay healthy.