Panthers up 14-3 at half, on Smith’s first TD of year

AP

The Panthers made a huge stop when they needed to, responded with the drive they’ve been looking for all year, and took a 14-3 halftime lead over the Redskins.

After stopping the Redskins on a fourth-and-goal from the 2, they drove 98 yards in 12 plays, with Cam Newton hitting Steve Smith for the score.

It was Smith’s first touchdown of the season, which is part of the reason the Panthers were 1-6 walking in the door.

Cam Newton’s playing with a bloody thumb, which he appeared to bang on a helmet. But frankly, he had more touch on the Smith touchdown pass post-blood than he had pre-blood.

The Panthers defense has also been a story, standing up at the goal line, and generally playing an effective version of bend-don’t-break.