As the Miami Dolphins prepared to host the blazing hot Carolina Panthers in week 12, they knew that in order to win the game they would have to do something that seemed nearly impossible coming in: Stop Cam Newton.
Throughout the Panthers’ 7-game winning streak, Newton has been playing as good of football as any other quarterback in the league. He’s been given the best chances to succeed by great play-calling, first and foremost. With giving Newton the best chance for success, the Panthers are finally getting the efficiency that they’ve been longing for since his coming to Carolina.
In this one, the Dolphins thought they had the Panthers right where they wanted them. The Panthers defense looked off-balanced at times, giving up some big plays that was a bit out of character for a unit that, up until this point, had played pretty stout football. One of those plays came on a 53-yard touchdown by Mike Wallace where he was able to turn around, make a tough catch and shed a tackler as he jogged into the end zone.
At halftime, Miami was up 16-6 with Newton and his offense looking stumped and out of sync. But, like Newton has done so many times this year, he gathered himself in the second half and with the help of a second-half shutout by his defense, made his way back into the game.
After a rushing touchdown in the third quarter, the Panthers were within striking defense at 16-13, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that Carolina was able to finally surpass the lead. With under five minutes remaining, the Panthers forced a Miami punt and set themselves up for an 80-yard drive to win the game.
By way of some great throws and a couple scampers from Newton, a 19-yard catch and run by Steve Smith on a 4th-and-10, and a 15-yard personal foul call on Miami, Carolina found themselves down at the Dolphins’ goal line with 43 seconds remaining when Newton hit tight end Greg Olsen for the winning score.
Yet again, the Dolphins drop below .500 and, yet again, the Panthers find a way to win. Now riding a 7-game winning streak, the Panthers look like a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The victory over Miami wasn’t easy, but Newton and company found a way to fight adversity and pull out the ‘W’ once more.