The Carolina Panthers managed to finally get a win on Sunday against the New York Giants … and a record-breaking one at that.
Multiple franchise marks were either tied or broken in the Panthers 38-0 romp – the first being the biggest margin of victory in the organization’s history, breaking the record of 34 points set in 2008.
Starting tailback DeAngelo Williams contributed 120 yards on the ground – eclipsing the 6,000-yard rushing mark for his career. He joins Ricky Williams and Tony Dorsett as the only backs to rush for 6,000 yards in college as well as the NFL.
Quarterback Newton tied his career mark with four total touchdowns – one on the ground and three through the air (two to Brandon LaFell and one to Ted Ginn). Sunday was LaFell’s first multi-TD game and Ginn’s second game in a row with a 40-yard touchdown grab.
As good as the Panthers’ offense was, its defense was the real story – registering seven sacks (including five in the first quarter). That tied a franchise record and helped protect an inexperienced secondary featuring a pair of free agent rookies – Melvin White and Robert Lester (both of whom hauled in interceptions on Sunday).
All told, the Panthers held the Giants to only 150 total yards, allowing only 18 total yards in the first half. Not bad considering Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning entered the game having thrown for over 800 yards.
With the win the Panthers showed there is plenty of fight left to this team despite its 0-2 start. Carolina is now tied for second in the division with the Atlanta Falcons – two games behind the New Orleans Saints.
Prior to Sunday’s romp the Panthers had lost their last two games by a combined six points – with the team falling apart in the fourth quarter of both games. Head Coach Ron Rivera’s job was considered in jeopardy, however he should live to coach at least a few more weeks in light of this week’s impressive showing.
Carolina has Sunday off before traveling to Arizona on October 6.
Reece Funderburk currently hosts “The Saturday Morning Blitz” on Saturday morning from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET on WUSC 90.5 FM. He can be found on twitter @TheSMBlitz.