On Sunday, October 6, the Carolina Panthers suited up to play against the Arizona Cardinals. The Panthers were coming of a bye week that allowed the players and coaches extra time to rest and prepare for the match-up. However, the Panthers still lost and their record is now 1-3. This was a disappointing loss because the Panthers had beaten a solid New York Giants team in week three and the Cardinals were having difficulties of their own. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled through the first two weeks of the 2013 NFL season. However, Newton still had a decent game in Week 5 despite the turnovers.
The Panthers came out firing in the first quarter. They moved the ball decently up and down the field. Newton was throwing the football with confidence and power; he trusted his receivers. Newton also did a decent job staying in the pocket with his eyes down field or scrambling when necessary. However, as the score continued to change in favor of the Cardinals, Newton was put under more pressure and was sacked a total of seven times. A major issue with the Panthers offense was key dropped passes by wide receivers, the lack of a solid run game by DeAngelo Williams and a struggling offensive line.
In the first quarter in the red zone, Newton threw a fantastic ball to Steve Smith. For some reason, the sure-handed receiver dropped the ball in the end zone. This was a missed opportunity for an easy touchdown. This was one of several failed attempts to get into the end zone from the red zone by the Panthers. The offensive line was also struggling. The Cardinals defensive seven were very fast and were manhandling the offensive line. Not only did the Cardinals record seven sacks, one of them was for a safety.
Newton still kept his head high and kept trying to get the Panthers back into the game. However, throwing three interceptions didn’t help the momentum of the team. After throwing the second and third interception, Newton’s hustle to tackle the defensive player both times showed his speed and desire to not give up. Ultimately, he kept the Cardinals defense from scoring more points than the two from the safety. Also, the third interception was a fluke play that can’t be blamed on Newton, but probably the offensive line for the letting the defense get too close to their quarterback.
Overall, the Panthers played a bad game as a team. The run game was almost non-existent and it put a lot of pressure on the pass game. Despite three interceptions, seven sacks, and several dropped balls from Panthers wide receivers, Newton still threw for over 300 yards. Newton didn’t have a great game, but he had a good game. He still improved a lot from the first two weeks. He needs to keep his confidence up, shake the turnovers and prepare for a tough Minnesota Vikings football team.