The Carolina Panthers have defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 28-16 tonight at Bank of America Stadium. The game saw the return of Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, and Jonathan Stewart and it was good to see all those guys. The offense was slow to get started. Once it did, Panthers vs. Chiefs moved at just the kind of pace the Panthers like. Here are things to consider:
1. Still too much Bend Don’t Break by the Defense.
The good news is that Kansas City’s first team offense was denied touchdowns by the Panthers defense. The bad news is that the Chiefs managed to move the ball into Panthers territory to set up Ryan Succop for three field goals. Fortunately the Panthers were scoring enough points on their own.
2. Cam Newton was a little rusty at first…
Newton and the Panthers offense went three and out on their first three drives before Newton started finding his receivers. Kelvin Benjamin had 41 yards receiving in limited action. Jason Avant was interfered with in the end zone to set up one score.
3. …but Jonathan Stewart was raring to go
Stewart broke out on a big 17 yard run to start one Panthers drive toward the end zone and plunged in to the end zone twice in the second quarter to put the Panthers up 14-6 over Kansas City. Stewart averaged a good 6.5 yards per carry.
4. Kelvin Benjamin has a little Steve Smith in him
Benjamin got into two altercations with Chiefs defensive backs during the game. One was after a play out of bounds and one was while he was not even in the game. Coach Ron Rivera pulled him aside and talked to him heading to locker room at halftime. We’ll have to see if Benjamin has more episodes of this.
5. Derek Anderson did a fair imitation of Weinkeball
The Chiefs scored on a quick seam route to Travis Kelce from rookie Aaron Murray. Derek Anderson returned the favor by directing a drive down the field. He hit Brandon Bersin from 16 yards out for a score. Anderson went 5/8 for 91 yards and that touchdown.
6. Muppet Appreciation Night went off without a hitch
Fozzy Whittaker played much of the second half and was productive at running back. He kept finding holes and he was rewarded with a rushing touchdown with :18 to go on the 4th quarter clock. He also converted a fourth down play. On the night he had 13 carries for 71 yards. That gave him a nice 5.5 yards per carry.
The Panthers looked much better than they did against the Bills and it showed. The Panthers have two preseason games left. Then it will be off to Tampa for Week 1. Can’t wait.
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