The Panthers have figured out a surefire way to dominate opponents this year — let the other team start the play with the ball.
They’ve roared out to a 21-7 lead in the second quarter over the Ravens, after a punt return touchdown by Ted Ginn Jr., an interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Drayton Florence and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by linebacker Thomas Davis.
That gives them four return scores on the preseason (along with a pick-six by cornerback Josh Norman against the Bears). They’ve scored two offensive touchdowns so far, one by their first offense.
The Panthers have sufficient weapons on offense around Cam Newton — Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Brandon LaFell — along with what would be a deep group of backs if they were all healthy. The problem is, they have a right side of the offensive line that has to be game-planned around, and an untested play-caller in Mike Shula. Whether Newton can overcome those last two factors will determine how successful they’ll be this season.
Unless, of course, they just keep scoring in non-traditional ways.