MNF: CAROLINA PANTHERS vs MIAMI DOLPHINS
CAROLINA PANTHERS vs MIAMI DOLPHINS
By: Robert L. Porter Jr.
This weeks Monday night match puts Cam Newton and his Panthers up against Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins. Its an inter-conference show down that we don’t see to often, Newtons mobility vs the Dolphins D-line that consist of Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh.
Cutler’s Dolphins receive the opening kick and a few short plays by Damien Williams gets 1 first down but nothing else as they are forced to punt. Carolina gets the ball and takes the field for their first possession of this contest. Its obvious that rookie Christian McCaffrey will be a focal point in this Panthers offense as he gets the first 2 touches for his team. Newton gets his team near midfield but the drive stalls and are forced to punt. Miami’s 2nd drive was shorter than that last sentence as they gain 1 yard and are forced to kick it back to Carolina. Cam starts the drive with a 15 yard strike to Russell Shepard, he’d follow that catch up with a horrendous drop on the very next play. After Newton is able to move the ball down inside the 25 yard line, Miami is able to keep them from putting up a TD and Graham Gano comes in and makes a 40 yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. To start the next Dolphins drive Cutler rips a pass to Kenny Stills then a short Kenyon Drake run brings the first quarter to an end.
As we start the 2nd period Miami is able to get up near the 50 yard line, no thanks to the running game which is being stuffed by the Panthers front 7 but That’s all the progress they are able to make and has to punt the ball back to Cam and his offense. A couple laser passes by Newton puts his team into Miami territory then an 18 yard scamper by Johnathan Stewart takes them to the 14 yard mark. A Devin Funchess catch makes it 1st and goal from the 4 yard line, McCaffrey would run it in for the 10-0 lead 1 play later. Adam Gase offense puts together a good drive on their next possession and they cap it off with a 2 yard TD from Cutler To Julius Thomas, making the score 10-7. After a Panthers punt, Cutler comes out and throws an interception to Luke Kuechly on the first play of the drive. After the pick Cam makes Miami pay for the short field as he eventually finds Ed Dickson from 7 yards out to push the lead back up to 10 points. A Dolphins Knee after the kickoff sends us to the half with Miami trailing 17-7.
The 2nd half starts with a Newton strike to Funchess then a handful of runs by Stewart that takes the Panthers into Miami territory. Carolina looks to have found some real rhythm in this game, the offense look versatile and dangerous again. A Wide receiver screen to Funchess from 28 yards out makes it 24-7 as The Panthers are looking to run away with this one. Being down 17 has Miami finally looking down field, good passes to Stills and Landry sets them up with a 4 & 1 just ahead of midfield but Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly knives through the O-line to stop a Damien Williams run to force a turnover on downs. The Carolina all-time leading rusher Stewart is having his best game of the season as he’s averaging just over 7 yards a carries thus far in this one. A screen to Shepard is followed by a 14 yard TD run by Cameron Artis-payne to make the score 31-7.
Down by 24 Points on a 3rd & 1, a Kenyon Drake slam to the left side turns into a 66 yard TD run that gives the Dolphins just a little bit of life in this one. Play number 1 of the next Panthers was a 68 yard Cam Newton read option play that has them knocking on the door for more points and kills the small slither of hope the Dolphins had. After a pass interference On Funchess takes them down to the 2 yard line. A sprint out to the right by Newton was the play call as he finds McCaffrey for the 2 yard TD, 38-14 Carolina. With the wild 3rd quarter coming to an end, we saw 4 TDs and 2 different 60+ yard plays in the last 15 minutes of this game. Carolina has busted this one wide open, the score is 38-14 as we head to the 4th with the Panthers in possession of the ball.
With a huge lead, Carolina comes into the final period in kill the clock mode. Run plays and short passes keeps the chains moving as Newton and his offense takes 6:40 off the clock before he finds Funchess for another TD, this time from 32 yards out. The score is now 45-14. With the Dolphins just looking for anything positive to take from the game, Cutler is able to drive his team down the field and cap off the possession with a short TD pass to Jarvis Landry to make score 45-21 with 4:05 remaining in the game. Derek Anderson enters the game for Carolina as Newtons night is over. Artis-Payne continues to run hard as he breaks off a 43 yard run that takes us to the 2 minute warning. After the break the Panthers came out and kneels it out.
STARS OF THE GAME
Cam Newton – 21/35 254 pass yards 4 TDs, 95 rush yards
Devin Funchess – 5 rec 92 yards 2 TDs
Christian McCaffrey – 8 touches 50 total yards 2 TDs (1 rushing, 1 receiving)
Johnathan Stewart – 17 carries 110 yards
Jay Cutler – 22/37 213 yards 2 TDs 1 INT
Jarvis Landry – 5 rec 42 yards 1 TD
Kenyon Drake – 9 touches 92 total yards 1 TD
PANTHERS 45 – DOLPHINS 21