The Carolina Panthers’ offense racked up a franchise-record 548 yards and a season-high 45 points as they blow out the Miami Dolphins at home on Monday Night Football 45-21. Miami came into the game ranked 31st in yards-allowed per game, and they definitely didn’t help that statistic as Cam Newton and the Panthers could do whatever they wanted on Monday night.
Cam Newton led his team and finished with 21-35 passing with 254 passing yards and four touchdowns. For the first time this season, Cam didn’t lead the team in rushing yards, even though he did finish with 95 yards on the ground including a 69-yard run in the third quarter which was the second-longest of his career. Cam is already at 436 rushing yards on the season, he finished last season with just 359. It was good to see Jonathan Stewart running with confidence again. He finished with a season-high 110 yards, and amazingly, his 18-yard rush in the first half was the longest for a Panthers running back this season. Artis-Payne went off for a 43-yard run in the fourth quarter and finished with 68 yards and a touchdown. Rookie sensation Christian McCaffrey finished with a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown as the Panthers have begun to utilize him the right way as he is deadly in open space and is tough for other teams to bring him down. Devin Funchess led the team with five catches for 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Funchess’ first touchdown was the first receiving touchdown from a wide receiver for Carolina at home all season. Rookie Curtis Samuel has stepped up in the No. 2 receiver role and played well as he had 45 yards on five catches.
The Panthers’ defense once again proved why they are ranked No. 1 in the NFL in defense as they slowed down the Dolphins offense. Miami only threw for 213 yards and rushed for only 100 yards. It would have been much less but Miami running back Kenyan Drake got away for a 66-yard touchdown in the second half. Jay Cutler was intercepted by Luke Kuechly in the second quarter.
Carolina is now 7-3 after its third straight win and is right behind the 7-2 New Orleans Saints in the division. Things look much worse for the Dolphins, who dropped their third straight and fell to 4-5 and further out of the AFC playoff picture.
The Panthers head into their much earned Bye Week with the opportunity to rest and get healthy for a strong playoff push in attempts to win the NFC South.
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