What it means: This was the first victory of the Ron Rivera/Cam Newton era. Newton already had energized the fan base with dynamic performances in the first two games. This game wasn’t as impressive statistically, but it showed that Newton can win in this league. He led a late touchdown drive and finished it with a scoring pass to Greg Olsen to seal the victory.
What I liked: The Panthers at least attempted to run the ball. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart didn’t put up huge numbers, but they got a fair amount of carries. Part of it might have been because there was heavy rain for much of the game and that made it difficult to throw the ball. The mere fact that the Panthers were at least attempting to run kept the Jacksonville defense honest.
What else I liked: The play of linebacker James Anderson. With linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis out for the season with injuries, Anderson needs to become the leader of this defense. He stepped up to the challenge and led the Panthers in tackles.
What’s next: The Panthers travel to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears next Sunday.