Cary-lina, NC – The Saints, not surprisingly, beat the Carolina Panthers on New Year’s Day 45-17.
While the Panthers were dominated most of the day, the Saints may well be the best team in the NFL right now with their high powered offense and Drew Brees shattering Marino’s once sacred yardage record. Cam Newton was 15 of 25 for 158 yards with a touchdown and a pick.
That said, there is much about which to to be optimistic.
Not Purr-fect But Certainly Not a Cat-astrophe Either
Here’s some fun facts (and a few opinions) on this year for the Carolina Panthers:
- They won 3 times as many games as in 2010 with a 6-10 record. They were 4-2 in their last 6 games.
- They were ranked 3rd in the NFL in rushing.
- They were ranked 7th in total yardage in the NFL.
- They were ranked 5th in the NFL in points.
- Steve Smith broke Mushin Muhammed’s receiving record as a Panther.
- They had their longest offensive scoring play ever of 91 yards to Brandon Lafell versus the Bucs.
- The Panthers had one of the toughest schedules in the NFL with half the games being played against playoff teams. Their tough division of four teams produced two playoff teams (Saints and Falcons)
Celebrating Cam Newton
- Newton should surely be Rookie of the Year. He had over 4000 yards passing, a QBR of 85 and 21 touchdowns. Many of the records he set were all-time records, not just rookie records.
- Newton broke Peyton Manning’s QB debut yardage record and was the first rookie ever to throw for over 400 yards in his first game.
- He had the most yards in the air by a quarterback in his first two games – a total of 854 yards.
- He had the most passing yards by a rookie in a game at 432 against the Green Bay Packers.
- Most passing yards by a rookie in a season with 4,051.
- The only quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards in first two career starts, and the first rookie in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards in back to back games
- First player in NFL history with five rushing touchdowns and five passing touchdowns in his first five games. He was also the first rookie to throw for 10 touchdowns and run for 10 touchdowns in a season.
- Only the fourth rookie quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards in a season.
- Most rushing touchdowns in single season by a quarterback with 13.
- Second player in NFL history with more than passing scores and more than 10 rushing TDs in a season.
- Third most pass TDs in a rookie season at 21.
- First player in history with more than 4,000 passing yards and more than 10 rushing TDs in a season and more than 500 yards rushing.
Looking Ahead for the Carolina Panthers
Enjoy the ride fans, this team is a few adjustments to the defense away from being a real contender.
They’ ll be in the playoffs next year. Mark my words.