The Carolina Panthers have had a roller coaster ride to the 2021 season so far. They started out 3-0 and then lost five of six. On the road on Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina dominated Arizona by a final score of 34-10.
With the win and the Atlanta Falcons loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, the Carolina Panthers are currently the seventh and final wild-card spot in the NFC at the current moment. Carolina looked like a much better football team on Sunday afternoon against Arizona despite them not having Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins.
Colt McCoy looked ordinary. He completed 11-of-20 passes for 107 yards and one interception. McCoy got hurt in the second half and he did not return. Chris Streveler came in relief and completed 6-of-9 passes for 36 yards.
The Carolina Panthers defense also forced four turnovers. They looked like they had more swagger. That had to do with Cam Newton returning. Newton didn’t see many snaps, but he rushed for a 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter and also threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson in the first quarter.
When Carolina scored its first touchdown of the game by Cam Newton, Newton screamed and shouted in the end zone, “I’m back!!!!!!!!!!”
Anderson finished with four receptions for 37 yards for Carolina.
Newton only completed 3-of-4 passes for eight yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 14 yards on three carries and a touchdown. Cam Newton will probably see more snaps as time goes on for the Carolina Panthers.
P.J. Walker was the starting quarterback for Carolina with completing 22-of-29 passes for 167 yards and one interception.
Christian McCaffrey was the Panthers leading rusher and receiver. He rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries and also caught 10 passes for 66 yards receiving.
D.J. Moore was held in check for Carolina with four receptions for 24 yards receiving. Moore is one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL.
I am sure that head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady are extremely happy that they don’t have to deal with Sam Darnold anymore at quarterback. Darnold is injured and placed on IR. Sam Darnold was also having a terrible season, to begin with despite the fast start.
The Carolina Panthers are better off with Sam Darnold and they will let him walk after the season is over. Carolina isn’t a Super Bowl contender, but a 9-8 record will potentially be more than enough to get them into the playoffs and potentially play spoiler for a round or two.
The Carolina Panthers (5-5) next game will be at home against The Washington Football Team (3-6) next Sunday and it will be Ron Rivera’s homecoming.
The Arizona Cardinals (8-2) next game will be on the road against the Seattle Seahawks (3-6) next Sunday.
-Glenn Kaplan, 12oz Sports Contributor, Live Monday’s at 3 p.m. ET & Thursday at 11 a.m. ET on 12oz Sports
Photo Credit: Twitter @Panthers