Cam Newton is back, y’all. I’m not talking about Cam as a runner, although that Cam is obviously here, too. I’m as well not talking about Cam as a passer, although he proved today that his shoulder problems are lingering no more. I’m talking about the Cam that, in 2015, pumped so many swagger into the Panthers that they believed themselves completely to that franchise-best 15-1 record. Tonight, he led a staff that shook off all of its questions and doubts on the path to a franchise-best 548 lawn performance. Cam Newton is normally back and I hope he is in this article to stay.
What I liked. . .
Cam Newton – Extremely optimistic
What more is there to state? Cam didn’t just search good today, he looked in command. We’ve complained time and again here about how often the Panthers’ offense winds the take up clock to the brink of penalties before snapping the ball. Cam Newton, obviously calling an audible, offered us what felt like it was going to be a prime example of the Panthers capturing themselves in the foot when he finally snapped the ball with 2 seconds to extra. Despite my nerves, the take up transformed into a display screen that Devin Funchess sprinted 28 back yards down the field for a touchdown. If you are going to take your lovely time doing something you then might as well do it right. Cam does that and more last night.
Luke Kuechly – Extremely optimistic
Here’s another man who has put a whole lot of mileage on his superlatives. Kuechly was already comfortably in the chat for biggest middle linebacker ever, but now he’s trying to hightail it with the name by developing a knack for interceptions. We, as Panthers fans, need to value our luck in having Kuechly and Cam on the staff simultaneously.
Panthers running game – Somewhat optimistic
“Somewhat optimistic” seems like a poor review given the team only posted back-to-back 200 lawn rushing performances and Jonathan Stewart broke 100 back yards rushing for the first time this year. The surprisingly good blocking up front against the Dolphins experienced everything regarding Stewart, Christian McCaffrey, and Cameron Artis-Payne’s successes. I’m going to have to see the offensive series block like that for a couple more games before I’ll end up being cozy feeling extremely optimistic about the continuing future of our running game.
That said, I am going to end up being pulling crow off the rotisserie all day long tomorrow for those who who said that Stewart was first done.
Curtis Samuel – Cautiously optimistic
The rookie appeared as if a heck of a playmaker last night. Hopefully this is only a sign of things to come for the Ohio Point out running again that the Panthers will be turning into among their receivers into the future.
What I didn’t like. . .
Injuries – Somewhat pessimistic
Tonight might have been even worse. Injuries to Tyler Larsen and Kevon Seymour tested already-shaky depth at important positions. Luckily, both players could actually return to the game while Greg van Roten amd Daryl Worley played well, more or less, in relief.
The greatest nervous about injuries came when Samuel fell to the bottom after diving at an incompletion. In going to the ground, he acquired underneath a dropping Miami defender who accidentally rolled through to Samuel’s ankle. It didn’t look good.
There is absolutely no official word yet on either of the two injuries, but there are reports that Samuel left the stadium on crutches. Any prolonged absence would be significantly less than suitable for a rookie whose just notability prior to last night was the amount of time he features missed due to injury.
Russell Shepard’s hands and legs – Mildly pessimistic
Shepard ran some very nice routes last night, finding himself wide open on several events. He also, however, dropped several ideal passes and tripped once, practically permitting a Miami interception in the initial half. Shepard experienced by significantly his worst trip to a time when the Panthers offense was working like clockwork. It wasn’t promising, but we won’t receive too far down on him after such a major staff win. With Benjamin eliminated, every receiver on the roster includes a chance to intensify and make a name for themselves. Shepard nearly did that last night. He’ll get another opportunity.
What’s next. . .
The Panthers get a week of rest before going to New York to handle a surprisingly competent Jets team. Greg Olsen is due back for that game and the Panthers will end up being hoping to get very good news on the latest injuries to Curtis Samuel and Tyler Larsen. Maybe we’ll even hear positive news on Ryan Kalil’s mysterious neck injury.
Carolina is now at night midpoint of their time and so are sitting on a 7-3 record. Their past due bye could demonstrate a boon for a team that is very just mildly nicked up. If the Panthers will get healthy and keep maintaining the momentum their offense produced last night? Well, we could be seeing the start of something very special.