Some NFL teams might underplay what a win in Week 4 of the regular season could mean for their overall prospects. Not the Carolina Panthers.
A week after being thumped in a 21-point loss to New Orleans, Cam Newton ignited what had been a mostly dormant offense over the first three weeks in a 33-30 win Sunday over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots .
“You build off this kind of momentum. And you have to take it and use it now,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “You can’t waste it.”
The Panthers certainly didn’t leave anything on the field Sunday.
Carolina finished with 444 total yards. It had entered the day ranked 28th in the NFL, averaging just 277 yards per game.
Newton threw for three scores and ran for another to put Carolina in front. Then, after the Patriots tied the game late, the 2015 league MVP then drove his team 46 yards over 10 plays to set up Graham Gano’s winning 48-yard field goal.
This marks just the fifth time that Carolina has started 2-0 on the road. Two of those previous times, 2015 and 2003, they went on to reach the Super Bowl.
Newton scored his 50th touchdown rushing, the only quarterback in NFL history to do so. He pumped his fist to “signify Black Power” after his rushing touchdown, a gesture he said he decided to do to show…