Instead of falling to a disappointing 0-2 in quarterback Cam Newton's second year behind center, the quarterback and the Carolina Panthers instead shocked the New Orleans Saints for their first victory of the year, one Panther fans and bloggers alike saw as a sign of things to come.
At Cat Scratch Reader, the guys focused on a bit of a payback aspect to the key NFC South showdown, after the Saints were viewed to have run up the score against the Panthers during the 2011 season's final week.
The Panthers came into this game saying they still remembered the disrespect the Saints showed them in last season's finale in New Orleans and would let the Saints know it. I would say the Saints got the message as the Panthers punched them in the mouth while also making a statement.
Offensively, there were many stars, including Newton and wideout Brandon LaFell, who was keyed for his performances on third-down situations.
This game really wasn't as close as the score suggests. ... The Panthers led 21-13 at the half and didn't let up after the break. We have a lot of star performances in this one so your selection for player of the game will be a tough one. Let's start with the stars on offense:
QB Cam Newton - 14 for 20 for 253 yards 1 TD; 70 yards rushing on 11 carries and a TD
WR Brandon LaFell - 6 receptions for 90 yards; LaFell had some key 3rd down catches
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