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Cam Newton’s huge second half lifts Panthers

Cam Newton AP

There wasn’t much scoring in the first half of Sunday’s game between the Panthers and Redskins, but Cam Newton made up for it in the second half.

Newton ran for one touchdown — tying Vince Young for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback with seven — and passed for a touchdown as the Panthers piled on 24 points in the second half to run away with a 33-20 victory. Newton completed all eight of his passes in the final two quarters, for 151 yards, and looked nothing like the shaky quarterback who struggled against the Falcons last weekend. He thoroughly dominated the Washington defense to win his second game as an NFL starter.

He did much of his damage through the air to Steve Smith. The veteran, who has to be pretty happy he didn’t wind up forcing his way out of Carolina this offseason, caught seven passes for 143 yards. The duo has excellent chemistry and it was far too much for the Redskins to deal with as the game unfolded.

The Panthers defense was also much improved from recent weeks, although it is hard to tell how much John Beck and an injury to Tim Hightower might have had to do with that. Beck wound up with decent numbers — 22-of-37 for 227 yards with 80 of the yards coming on one drive — but he turned the ball over twice and didn’t have much luck moving the ball until the Panthers were up by two scores. Hightower was running well, but he left the game in the third quarter with what looked like a serious left knee injury (he’s set for an MRI tomorrow) and Ryan Torain wasn’t able to keep the ball moving on the ground.

The Redskins fell to 3-3 and have a trip to Buffalo and a date with the Niners ahead of them. They need to win at least one of those games to stay alive in the NFC East race and doing so will take a much better effort on both sides of the ball than they came up with today. Not helping matters on that front is a broken bone in wide receiver Santana Moss‘ hand.

Contention is likely a bridge too far for the 2-5 Panthers, but every day Newton has like this is one that draws them closer to a time when they can contend.

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22 Responses to “Cam Newton’s huge second half lifts Panthers”
  1. scudbot says: Oct 23, 2011 4:55 PM

    Cam Newton’s pretty impressive. But the takeaway from this game? The Skins suck.

  2. 4512dawg4512 says: Oct 23, 2011 5:03 PM

    When it comes to Cam, I hate to say i told you so but, I did

  3. bullethead527 says: Oct 23, 2011 5:05 PM

    Finally are Def shows up…. I mean they didn’t do to well vs the run with Hightower, but we did cause TO’s and got a couple of sacks, Cam to Smith is something nice to see, Cam 0 INTS over 70% completion, and 60 rushing yards, that dude is a beast,

  4. panthersftw says: Oct 23, 2011 5:06 PM

    Man alive it feels good to win. Kinda forgot what it was likes. No bloody knuckles from punching walls this week

  5. cleverbob says: Oct 23, 2011 5:11 PM

    Skins are done.

  6. nflsucker says: Oct 23, 2011 5:14 PM

    Cam is no Jamarc. Good pick by the Panthers.

  7. vexey says: Oct 23, 2011 5:18 PM

    The team was still really, really sloppy with the penalties. Need to fix that =/

  8. scudbot says: Oct 23, 2011 5:19 PM

    Skins are done, Skins were done. You’re not getting to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman and John Beck. Congrats to the Panthers.

  9. patbocam says: Oct 23, 2011 5:26 PM

    Cam is owed a whole lotta apologies by so called “experts”.

  10. jessethegreat says: Oct 23, 2011 5:56 PM

    Cam < any other rookie qb that I can remember. He looks more comfortable than Peyton Manning did at this point in his career even. You could see Peyton progress thru his first year and knew he was going to be a monster… it's starting to appear like that for Cam.

  11. panther74 says: Oct 23, 2011 5:58 PM

    CAM! Can we officially say this…ROTY? ( Rookie Of The Year) … look out 2012 season…we comin’!!!

  12. n0hopeleft says: Oct 23, 2011 6:01 PM

    Where are all the Skins fans?!? Awfully silent now. The Giants are going to smash either QB you put out there.

    Cam Newtown is better than Michael Vick.

  13. dldove77 says: Oct 23, 2011 6:12 PM

    What a difference a win makes on your outlook for the week.

  14. wethog66 says: Oct 23, 2011 6:13 PM

    Any time Reed Doughty has to play significant minutes in your secondary the play in the defensive backfield will suffer, and it did today. A much faster Atogwe would at least be in the picture to make a play on the ball to break it up, instead Doughty was at least 5 feet away and out of the TV picture when the catch is made. Same could be said of a number of other keep catches by Smith today. The Skins could of at least been looking at only being down 1 score at the end of the game instead of 2. Not saying the Skins were going to win, because Cam Newton was excellent today, but it would of been closer.

    Newton and Smith carving up the Skin in the 3rd won this game today. Atogwe probably would of challenged that dynamic duo more effectively today. Lesson is the Skins are still lacking in depth at key positions (O-line, DB’s, and QB). The rebuild is far from over.

  15. 49erlifer says: Oct 23, 2011 6:18 PM

    Cam Newton still has thrown 9 picks this year but i will be the first to admit i didnt see this coming!

  16. mooremusicllc says: Oct 23, 2011 7:04 PM

    I have never felt this good about a 2-5 teambut man i really believe this team will get some Monday night games next yr…..wait an see

  17. bullethead527 says: Oct 23, 2011 7:05 PM

    49erlifer says: Oct 23, 2011 6:18 PM

    Cam Newton still has thrown 9 picks this year but i will be the first to admit i didnt see this coming!
    —————————————————-
    8 TD’s passing 7 Rush TD’s with 9 INTS. total of 15 TD’s and 9 TO’s….. to go along with over 2100 yards passing, and 266 yards rushing. yeah not to bad for a rookie, huh?

  18. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Oct 23, 2011 7:48 PM

    at this point, anyone who can’t admit that cam newton is the boss is either a hater or just plain stupid. or they simply read a stat sheet rather than give him the eye test. dude is gonna dominate!!!

  19. footballfanman says: Oct 23, 2011 9:06 PM

    My skins suck. No denying it.

  20. tarheelpirate says: Oct 23, 2011 9:53 PM

    This was Cam’s best game as a pro. Period.

  21. doe22us says: Oct 24, 2011 12:23 AM

    It became pretty clear to me that Cam was the real deal his first couple of games. It was unfortunate that some readers were still doubting him, so i ask where are they now? The kid is really really good.

  22. carolina1cam says: Oct 24, 2011 11:32 AM

    All I can say is thank you to the ones finally admitting that Cam will be a superstar. Like it or not… It’s GOING to be a fact. Carolina is clearly on the rise. When we get our linebackers in place with some help in the middle of the D-line and another receiver in the draft… we’ll be real contenders.

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