Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Panthers at Titans


QB Cam Newton got off to the best start of his career, completing his first 11 attempts. His 21-for-26 line includes just 217 yards because Newton didn't try to stretch the field much. His longest completion was a 27-yarder to WR Devin Funchess. TE Greg Olsen caught all eight of his targets, and after he was brought down at the 1, Newton completed the drive with a TD toss to TE Ed Dickson, his second receiving score since coming to Carolina. Newton was sacked a season-high five times, including three on consecutive plays early in the third quarter.


The Panthers didn't look like the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense until the Titans finally ran out of gas in the fourth. Carolina extended its streak to 20 straight games with at least 100-plus rushing yards thanks to RB Jonathan Stewart's 91 yards on 22 carries. He also scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the year, his most in a season since 2011.


Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota escaped whatever pressure came his way in the first half, but the Panthers shut him down after halftime. Mariota finished with just 185 yards and an interception, but he was sacked only once.



The Titans' middle-of-the-pack run game gave the Panthers some trouble in the first half. But Dexter McCluster's 25-yard touchdown run was the biggest chunk Carolina allowed. Tennessee rushed for 64 yards with just eight coming in the second half.



Ted Ginn took back a punt 87 yards in the second quarter, but it was negated by an illegal block by Joe Webb. K Graham Gano made both of his field goal attempts (48, 19). P Brad Nortman landed two of his four punts inside the 20.



Ron Rivera warned his team and the media all week that the Titans were better than their record showed. They may be defensively, but in the second half, the Panthers did what a good team does to an opponent with a limited offense. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott made adjustments that helped keep the Titans from getting outside. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula gave up on the run for a while, but he brought it back and stuck with it when the Panthers needed to put the game away.


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