NFL

Cam Newton Leads Panthers To Super Bowl 50: Observations

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The NFL’s Most Valuable Player put on an MVP worthy performance as Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers to their second Super Bowl appearance, with a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

We’re going to give some of our observations from the game.

Carolina

  • Is there anything that Cam Newton can’t do?  He’s the most physically gifted quarterback in the history of the game and he put all of his tools on display Sunday night.  Newton threw laser after laser, shredding the Arizona secondary and then decided to run them over as he scored a pair of touchdowns.  He was amazing.
  • Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short lived in the Arizona backfield, as well as defensive end Charles Johnson.  They affected Carson Palmer early and often, and he was never able to get in a groove.
  • Ted Ginn may never live up to his draft billing, but he’s turned into a receiver that keeps defensive coordinators up at night.  Ginn has as much burst as anyone in the NFL and he can blow the top off the defense.  One of the biggest plays in the game came when Ginn raced down Patrick Peterson after he picked off a Cam Newton pass and weaved his way toward the end zone in a 10-point game.
  • The play calling of Mike Shula was terrific all night long, as it’s been all season.  Why isn’t he one of the “hot candidates” as far as head coaches go?
  • Carolina continues to thrive off not having a true No. 1 wide receiver.  It sounds simple, but Cam Newton just throws the ball to the open man and doesn’t have to worry about getting certain guys a minimum number of touches.
  • The Panthers offensive line doesn’t really have any stars, but they were tremendous all game long.  Part of their success is the fear of rushing Cam Newton and allowing him rush lanes.

Arizona

  • You can’t turn the ball over seven times and expect to win a playoff game on the road.  Especially against a No. 1 seed.
  • Carson Palmer looked pretty shaky early and didn’t improve much, if at all.  He missed open receivers and seemed to be affected by the rush.  His interception in the end zone following the Patrick Peterson INT was an absolute killer.
  • The Arizona offensive line was handled by the Carolina defensive line.  Palmer was under duress all game long.
  • The Cards really missed Tyrann Mathieu in this game.  He was arguably the best safety in football this season and there were open Panthers receivers all night long.
  • Ultimately, Arizona just ran into a much better football team.  It appeared that they would have some match-up advantages on offense, but the line couldn’t hold up long enough to exploit them.  Palmer’s six turnovers should leave the team wondering whether he’s the guy who can get them where they need to go.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.