CHARLOTTE, NC -- The Carolina Panthers turned an ugly start and 13-7 deficit, that should have been greater, into a 35-27 victory Sunday over NFC South foe New Orleans and in the process restored the good vibe that permeated the franchise in the preseason.
The Panthers had some rough moments, especially in the first quarter-plus of the contest. But Carolina found itself and surged forward making plays on both sides of the ball to earn the crucial victory.
Here is a look at the Panthers' report card for their first win of the season in two outings:
Panthers offense: Jonathan Stewart gave the running game a huge lift with his full-steam-ahead physical play. It helped DeAngelo Williams do his thing and blended beautifully with Cam Newton running and throwing the football. Newton passed for 253 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. Carolina ran the ball for 219 yards. Brandon LaFell caught eight passes for 90 yards and Steve Smith had 104 yards receiving. Grade: A.