Wow. Thats all I could say after watching Cam Newton in his first NFL game. He set a rookie passing record with 422 yards in his 1st performance. Anyone who questioned his ability to be a stay at home pocket passer was silenced by his cool demeanor. The team suffered a tough 28-21 loss to Arizona, but the real key to the season is Newton’s development. If he continues to impress the team will be well on its way to success. He threw 2 TDs to standout WR Steve Smith, who also had 178 yds on 8 catches. The offense on the whole showed explosive ability and good ball security with only one INT for Newton. He also had a TD run, so he really carried the offense on his shoulders.
The real reason Carolina lost on Sunday was Special Teams. Opposing rookie Patrick Peterson out of LSU ran a 89 punt return for a touchdown which was the deciding score. Take that score away and these teams looked very evenly matched. Carolina can look to improve on their defense and special teams, because it looks as though their QB situation is taken care of for now. In a rebuilding year look for the Panthers to lose close games, but to be in almost every game.
Middle Linebacker Jon Beason was injured during the game. The severity of his nagging ankle injury is unknown. Beason is a key cog to the Panthers D so it will be a big loss if he misses any extended period of time. Check back for a preview of the week 2 matchup between Carolina and Super Bowl champs Green Bay.
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