Luke Kuechly is back – Photo credit:Â Jeremy Igo/@carolinahuddle
Carolina Panthers Still Undefeated
Panthers 27 Seahawks 23
By Kristen Swift @kswift_RN
October 18, 2015 –Â Two humps in one day? It felt like ten. 5-0 feels good.Â Extraordinarily good.
And undefeated is really cool.
After struggling with the two humps in the Ron Rivera and Cam Newton era, the duo (and team) finally managed to get over both in one game.Â Since 2011 theÂ Carolina Panthers havenâ€™t won a game after a bye week, and since 2012 the Panthers havenâ€™t been able to defeat the Seattle Seahawks. This includes two games last year, one of those a divisional playoff loss.
In fact, after their bye week, Carolina has been outscored 112-36.Â They have been outscored by Seattle, in their respective four games 72-45.Â But Sunday, sweet Sunday, not only did the Panthers win after a bye week, they did it by defeating Seattle.
Â Â Â Â Â After being down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Â Â Â Â Â And a 98% underdog with 8:08 left in the game.
Â Â Â Â Â In Seattle, against the 12th man.
The Panthers didnâ€™t just overcome a bye week jinx and a rival NFC Goliath, they overcame doubt, skepticism, critics, national media uncertainty, and the 12thman.Â And the coolest thing about all of that?Â It didnâ€™t surprise the Panthers at all.
Panthers corner Josh Norman said, â€œWe kept pounding. The epitome of keep pounding is this team. If analysts keep picking us to lose, keep picking us to lose. We appreciate that.”
Newton was 8-21 for 107 yards and had two interceptions in the first three quarters Sunday. It didnâ€™t rattle him or Mike Shula.Â Â Â NewtonÂ went 12-15 for 162 yards in the fourth quarter including the game winning pass to Greg Olsen, a result of a miscommunication for Seattle defense that caused Richard Sherman to play Cover 2 while Earl Thomas played Cover 3.
Going into the loud Seattle environment, the Panthers knew the challenge that was in front of them. They overcame a two touchdown deficit to silence the loudest stadium in the NFL.
Cam Newton has been praised for leading a team with â€œno receiversâ€ (receivers of whom, whom shall receive?) this season.
It may be time to quit saying Cam doesnâ€™t have weapons around him in the absence of Kelvin Benjamin, and recognize that heâ€™s known what has been around him all along.Â Newton hit six different receivers in six passes at the end of the game, seven if you include the ground (7th man?)
And the Panthers finally overcame two big humps, even if it felt like 10. This team silenced the Seattle Seahawks for the 3rd time in 27 home games.
And thatâ€™s really cool.