In a season chocked full of rookie sensations, one is rapidly climbing the Defensive Rookie of the Year ladder. Linebacker Luke Kuechly leads the league in tackles, just like he led the nation at Boston College, and despite the Panthers losing record, he could get serious consideration for the top first year player award. Carolina is also knee deep in players on injured reserve.
So what if Cam Newton was the leading rusher – again? Who cares if special teams was a disaster – again? The Panthers did what they were supposed to and that was hand the Eagles their seventh straight loss and keep some hope alive to at least reach last year’s win total.
They Panthers had their foot on the neck of the Buccaneers but somehow they let them slip out from under it.Carolina may be gasping for air at 2-8 but they may now be turning their attention to grabbing the best possible position in the 2013 NFL Draft after another crushing defeat.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera gave a vote of confidence to his beleaguered safety Haruki Nakamura by saying he will remain a starter despite giving up the single biggest play in the loss to the Falcons last Sunday. The question is whether he will still be in the lineup against the Cowboys after the bye week.
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers looked nothing like the team that was crushed on national television ten days earlier, and came within five seconds of their second win of the season. The Atlanta Falcons were not sharp but they were good enough to come away with a two-point victory courtesy of a 40-yard field goal by Matt Bryant.
The Saints need a win, so do the Panthers but Carolina is at home and showed they may have a defense this year. New Orleans has Drew Brees but a lot of distractions including a somewhat embarrassing loss to the Redskins at home in the season opener.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Safety Haruki Nakamura believes Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers have all of the ingredients to be a perennial playoff team.