5 major factors behind Panthers’ shock win at the Cardinals in Week 10

(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey /

10. 32. Final. 34. 87

What were the major factors that decided the Carolina Panthers’ game at the red-hot Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 of the 2021 season?

Well, what a turnup for the books this was.

The rejuvenated Carolina Panthers made light work of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 during what was undeniably one of their best performances of the 2021 season against a team that held the NFL’s best record heading into the contest.

Granted, the Cardinals didn’t have the services of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. But considering the way Carolina performed, it might not have made much of a difference.

This was a huge step in the right direction for the Panthers after one of the more memorable weeks in franchise history. To make matters even more encouraging, every other NFC South team fell to losses leaving the divisional race wide open once again.

The tide might be turning. And there is no doubt one man above all was responsible.

With this in mind, here are five major factors behind the Panthers’ incredible victory in Week 10.

Major Factor No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Zane Gonzalez /

Carolina Panthers got yet more flawless kicking from Zane Gonzalez

Another week, another outstanding performance from Zane Gonzalez.

The kicker is currently riding on the crest of a wave and put his former team to the sword with some clutch kicks that kept the scoreboard ticking over in Carolina’s favor. Gonzalez was perfect yet again with four field goals from as many attempts, firing over two extra points for good measure.

There appears little doubt that Gonzalez gets a new deal with the Panthers if he keeps up this level of production. Although when it comes to kickers, those in power can be more ruthless than other positional groups.

Gonzalez can look back at his own personal contribution in Week 10 with a huge sense of pride. Getting one over on his old employers was the icing on the cake.