Found October 31, 2013 on
Talk to people around the Panthers organization and they’ll tell you the last few weeks have been almost like fun and games: the mood has been lighter and happier among the players.
Winning will do that.
Carolina, after struggling out of the gate to a 1-3 record, have won their last three games in a row and are above .500 for the first time since 2008. Coincidentally, that was the last time the team made the playoffs.
Cam Newton’s stellar play has the Panthers flying high.
The Panthers are starting to play like so many have deemed them capable. The defense is in the top half of the league in almost every category and the offense is starting to click behind the stellar play of Cam Newton. Newton, during the three game winning streak has thrown for 667 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. On top of all this, Jonathan Stewart is expected to make his triumphant return to the field after missing almost 11 months after undergoing surgery on both ankles.
While the Cats are looking to lengthen their second place lead in the NFC South, they will face a familiar foe that, to be frank, has owned them in recent years.
The Atlanta Falcons entered the year on everyone’s list as a team to watch come playoff time. Instead the team has limped to a 2-5 start. Injuries to leading receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White have taken some of the air out of the sails for the team while Matt Ryan has also struggled, even throwing four interceptions in his last game against the Cardinals.
Despite the Falcons’ not so hot start, Atlanta has won five of the last six contests against Carolina. It’s hard to call this a must win game for the Panthers but in reality it is. A win would give the team a 5-3 record, some cushion in the NFC South and firmly in contention for a playoff spot.
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As impressive as the Cats win streak has been, the combined record of those teams is a lowly 4-18. The schedule heats up fast after the contest against the Falcons. The Panthers will travel to San Francisco (6-2) and then play the New England Patriots also (6-2).
As stated in the column, Jonathan Stewart is expected to make his season debut this weekend after participating in practice on Wednesday. The Panthers will have until Saturday at 4 PM EST to activate Stewart for Sunday’s game.
Carolina’s other starting back DeAngelo Williams bruised his right thigh in the second half against Tampa Bay but all indications are that he will also play.
Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards is optimistic about returning to the field this weekend after missing the last five games with a hamstring injury.
The Cats D is holding opposing teams to just 79.3 ypg, second best in the NFL while also just giving up 13.7 ppg among the best in the league.
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BEST OF MAXIM
Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is 10th in the NFL with 477 yards and fellow RB Mike Tolbert is tied with Cam Newton for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with three. Getting returning RB Jonathan Stewart carries becomes a concern, but coach Ron Rivera says it is going to be up to the players to who gets the ball as the season moves forward.
When Mike Shula met with Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera to interview for the offensive coordinator job in January, he didn’t do a PowerPoint presentation or slap any pie charts on the table.
The only thing Shula brought to the meeting was the playbook – and his vision for what portions of it he would highlight if he were hired to replace Rob Chudzinski.
Rivera liked Shula’s...
Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart appears to be on track to see his first action of the season this Sunday, when the Panthers host the Atlanta Falcons. David Newton of ESPN.com reports Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was optimistic Stewart would be available against the Falcons this week.
#Panthers Rivera when asked if in all likelihood Stewart would play on Sunday,...
Last week: 12 (+2)
Don’t look now, but the Panthers are a few plays away from 6-1 and have the 5th best point differential in the NFL, on the strength of the #2 scoring defense in the NFL. They are moving the chains at an 80% rate, as opposed to 71% for their opponents, the 3rd best rate in the NFL. Vegas knows how good they are and they probably will only be underdogs...
The Carolina Panthers expect to have running back Jonathan Stewart back this week when they host the Atlanta Falcons. Stewart has stated that he will be ready to go this Sunday. The team has been without the services of Stewart for almost an entire year, after Stewart went down with an ankle injury of November of last season.
Naturally, the Panthers moved on and gave fullback Mike...
In the 11 months since Jonathan Stewart last appeared in a game, the Carolina Panthers running back has undergone surgeries on both ankles, put in hundreds of hours of rehab and logged countless miles on stationary bikes without going anywhere.
But barring any setbacks, Stewart will be back Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Stewart practiced in full pads Wednesday for the first...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers backfield regains an explosive weapon this weekend. Running back Jonathon Stewart has been activated from the PUP list and is expected to make his season debut Sunday after practicing all week. Stewart has been sidelined for the entire season following surgery on both ankles. The timing of his return […]
Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams missed practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Joe Person, Charlotte ObserverFantasy Spin:It's a little concerning that Williams still isn't practicing a week after suffering what was thought to be a pretty minor quad strain. He'll carry the questionable label into Week 9's matchup against Atlanta.
When he stands before the media, Matt Ryan is as polished as they come.
Every word is calculated and mostly it's calculated not to divulge any secret to the opposition, betray any teammate or strategy or fire up the other team with so-called bulletin board material.
In a rare moment last season, Ryan let his emotions get the best of him and the cameras were watching. As the...
Hello Panther fans. Sorry this is coming out so late. It has been a busy week and I am just now able to post it. This week we welcome to town our most bitter of division rivals, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are a team that is banged up. I have heard Roddy White has been practicing this week though. That would be a bit of good news for Atlanta. Julio Jones is done for the year...
Juan’s In the Pistol With
Cam Newton vs Falcons
The Falcons D gets trashed every week by QBs, because they are trash. Newton is on fire and needs to be in every lineup on the planet.
Philip Rivers @ Redskins
The Redskins D gives up the 5th most points to opposing QBs and Rivers has a great chance to continue his great season.
Tony Romo vs Vikings
Romo and Dez are going...
While Cam Newton and Co. receive the credit for the Carolina Panthers' turnaround, it's the play of a stifling defense that has them sitting above .500 for the first time in five years entering Week 9.
A unit that leads the league in total points allowed (96) and ranks third overall in yards per game, knows how to get after the quarterback. Carolina's defense has yet...
While Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are rolling, the same can't be said for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
Newton and the Panthers will try to add to the Falcons' woes while earning a fourth consecutive win Sunday.
Carolina (4-3) is above .500 for the first time since going 12-4 in 2008, the year it most recently made the playoffs or finished ahead of Atlanta...
I got in a heated argument with a friend this week ... about the Carolina Panthers.
This friend is not a fan of any NFC South team, isnt passionate about the leagues scheduling intricacies and isnt someone who criticized Cam Newton for having a fake smile before the 2011 NFL Draft. Hes got no real dog in the fight.
But he said something that really bothered me this week. He said...