After struggling to score points and move the chains for much of the season, the Carolina Panthers' offense has suddenly hit its stride.
Too bad it's too late in the year to make a difference.
At 4-9 the Panthers won't be playing in the postseason, which makes Carolina's 30-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday a little bittersweet.
''This shows what we were capable of,'' coach Ron Rivera said. ''That's the sad part.''
Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and scored on a 72-yard run as the Panthers piled up 475 yards. The second-year quarterback ran for a career-high 116 yards to help the Panthers snap a five-game losing streak against their I-85 rivals.
Said offensive tackle Jordan Gross: ''Our offense today is what I kind of thought it would be all year long. We passed well. We threw the ball. We ran the ball well. We blocked well.''
For Newton, it was his first victory in four tries against his hometown team ...