Panthers prove they 'are good' with record-tying comeback over Eagles

PHILADELPHIA -- Cam Newton was being hit with a lot of questions on Wednesday about why the Carolina Panthers struggled for much of their previous week's loss at Washington when the quarterback interjected: "We are good."

For three-plus quarters of Sunday's 21-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, the Panthers didn't look good at all.

They trailed 17-0, the first time since Newton arrived in the NFL in 2011 that they had gone scoreless for three quarters.

The Panthers seemingly were a 63-yard field goal by Graham Gano at home against the New York Giants from being 0-3 in their past three games.

Exactly why Panthers safety Eric Reid lost his temper with Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins before the game and remained angered throughout the first quarter was the biggest question outside of why Newton and the offense were so ineffective.

Then came the comeback that may have saved Carolina's season.

"It can be one of those statement wins," coach Ron Rivera said after his team improved to 4-2.

Newton doesn't know about a statement win because he believes all wins make a statement. But because the comeback happened on the road, where Carolina was 0-2 this season, and it came against the defending Super Bowl champions, it's one he won't soon forget.

"We were against the ropes to a degree," said Newton, who was 16-for-22 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the final quarter after going 9-of-17 for 68 yards in the first three quarters. "But moving forward this is a confidence booster for us."

Newton was at his best when the Panthers went no-huddle in the final quarter. He immediately led a pair of touchdown drives and a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 17-14 with just over four minutes remaining.

When he was down to fourth-and-10 from his own 31 with just over two minutes left, Newton completed a 35-yard pass to former Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith.

He finished off the drive and miracle finish with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen.

"It wasn't a magic play," Newton said. "It wasn't a magic whatever. We just stayed in our rhythm. Outside of that fourth-and-10, that was probably the only play that we were desperate for some type of movement in the drive."

The Panthers' comeback tied the largest deficit overcome for a win in team history. The last time it happened was 2004 against San Francisco.

Newton had been 0-for-19 in games when trailing by 15 points before now.

One of those times came a week earlier at Washington. The Panthers trailed 17-0 early and lost 23-17 when Newton failed to get a touchdown after having a first down at the Redskins 21 with under a minute left.

"God works in mysterious ways," Newton said. "I believe in putting good energy in the earth and knowing that when the opportunity presents itself again, you just better be ready for it."

Thanks to Newton's heroics, the Panthers have renewed life in their season as they head into a home game against the Baltimore Ravens followed by another home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It appears the Panthers may indeed be "good" after all.

"This place was as advertised," Newton said of Lincoln Financial Field. "Playing in a hostile environment, it felt like a lot of things were holding us back and then thrown at us. We overcame that and we still kept pushing through it.

"You talk about good teams and the development DNA of good teams -- winning on the road, winning close games is something that you have to do."