Cam Newton on Panthers' 7-0 start: 'We're not content'
By Zach Kruse
Monday night’s 29-26 victory over the Indianapolis Colts saw the Panthers squander a 23-7 lead and fall behind in overtime. But Graham Gano’s 52-yard field goal sealed the deal at a rain-soaked Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
“We are one of the lucky few to say we’re 7-0,” Newton said, via ESPN. “We’re not content.”
The Panthers host the 6-1 Green Bay Packers next Sunday. The marquee NFC matchup serves as the culmination of a difficult four-game stretch for Carolina, which has already featured a road game against the Seattle Seahawks and primetime showdowns with the Philadelphia Eagles and Colts. Beating Green Bay would keep the Panthers unbeaten and establish the NFC South leaders as the front runners for the No. 1 seed in the conference.
Newton completed just 16 of 35 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts. He threw two second half scores to extend Carolina’s lead to 23-7 in the fourth quarter, but Andrew Luck led Indianapolis to 17 straight points as the Colts forced overtime.
After Adam Vinatieri gave Indianapolis a three-point lead with a field goal, Newton almost ended the proceedings with a deep shot to Ted Ginn. The speedy receiver’s drop cost the Panthers a walk off win. Undeterred, Newton found tight end Greg Olsen to set up the tying field goal. Carolina was able to kick the game-winner after linebacker Luke Kuechly intercepted Luck on a tipped pass.
The Panthers joined the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos as the only four undefeated teams ahead of Week 9. Carolina’s win marked the first time in NFL history four teams have made it to 7-0.
Newton and a top defense remain the driving forces for the Panthers’ dominance. While Newton is pace for over 4,000 total yards and 30 touchdowns, Carolina’s defense ranks 10th in points per game and fourth in yards per play.
However, there are no trophies handed out for starting 7-0. The Panthers need to beat the Packers on Sunday and set up a postseason run going through Charlotte. Much remains for the NFC’s last unbeaten team.
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