Christian McCaffrey leads versatile offense for Panthers

AP

Any success the Panthers have had offensively in recent years has been without what you’d call a sterling group of wide receivers.

The good news is, they’ve put enough weapons around Cam Newton this offseason to make it easy for him to spread it around.

Newton had a bad interception, but he also led a varied attack in the first half as they took a 13-9 lead over the Dolphins.

The easy part was the first touchdown, as a quick dump-off to Christian McCaffrey was followed by a handoff on second down, and McCaffrey went 71 yards for a touchdown.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he hopes to get McCaffrey 25 to 30 touches a game (which seems optimistic if not excessive), but it’s easy to see why he wants that. In the first half, McCaffrey had nine touches for 120 yards and the score.

But Newton wasn’t bad either, finishing his half 9-of-12 for 89 yards, and spreading it among seven different targets, including a catch-and-run touchdown to rookie tight end Ian Thomas (who figures to get plenty of work alongside Greg Olsen).