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Tag:Carolina Panthers
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:37 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 2:41 pm
 

Panthers, Saints shatter records in shootout

Brees just keeps on breaking records Sunday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

New Orleans is up 24-17 on Carolina at halftime of a game that's largely meaningless -- a victory by the 49ers means the Saints are the No. 3 seed regardless of what they do.

But that doesn't mean these two division rivals can't have a little fun shattering some NFL records.

For the Saints, they broke the St. Louis Rams "Greatest Show on Turf" record for most yards in a single season. The Rams record of 7,075, which they set in 2000, should be distanced pretty handily by the end of the game. (The Saints had 7,081 before a 42-yard touchdown bomb to Marques Colston at the end of the first half.)

The Saints now have more than 300 points scored in a season at home, which surpasses the 2000 Rams record of 292.

Drew Brees also set another record, as he surpassed Peyton Manning's record of 450 completions in a single season. Again, Brees is cruising past it. (And don't forget, he's actually breaking his own record with each passing yard he accumulates.)

And Marques Colston, an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, is closing in on Joe Horn's Saints record of 50 career touchdowns, as his last-second catch gave him 48 in a New Orleans uniform.

He's not the only wideout setting marks: Steve Smith broke Mushin Muhammad's record for catches by a Panthers wide receiver; he tied Moose's record of 696 early in the first quarter and now has four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.

In an indication of how valuable he's been to Cam Newton in 2011, Jonathan Stewart also set a Panthers single-season record for catches by a running back, with 46.

It's a shootout in the Bayou and it doesn't look like it's not going to slow down in the second half.

Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
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Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:31 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Herzlich + Week 17 film room

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The holiday season's had us off our game when it comes to podcasting (you try talking into a microphone when you've got 14 family members screaming in the background), but we've got a long one to get you through your Friday right now.

Andy Benoit joins Will to break down the NFC East "championship game" on Sunday night and compare/contrast Eli Manning and Tony Romo.

Ryan then chats up Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich about his first year in the NFL, being in the thick of a playoff hunt and how his work with Gatorade prepared him for the NFL.

Then Will and Andy break down all the remaining big games and discuss whether the Bengals can upset the Ravens, if the Jets are actually worthy of the playoffs, if the Broncos deserve to get beat by Kyle Orton, if Cam Newton's first year is the best rookie season ever, and much more.

Finally, Wilson talks to Michael David Smith of PFT about the Lions finally making it back to the playoffs and the week that was in the NFL. It's a jam-packed, holiday bonus show.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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Posted on: December 29, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 2:28 pm
 

VIDEO: D-Wade, LeBron salute Cam at Bobcats game

Cam kicks it courtside with MJ. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Christmas Eve, we noted that Cam Newton's rookie year might qualify for G.O.A.T. status. (That's "Greatest Of All-Time" for those that don't know.) So it's fitting that Cam spent Wednesday evening with OG GOAT, Michael Jordan.

Newton, who lives in Charlotte, was visiting the Heat-Bobcats game and sitting courtside with MJ.

Unfortunately for Jordan, the Bobcats lost the game on a Dwyane Wade game-winning shot with less than three seconds left. But the bright side is that immediately after making the shot, Wade and LeBron James saluted Newton with a Superman shoutout.

The bigger issue, though, as our Eye on Basketball compadres note, is that Wade traveled on the final play of the game. Or maybe he was just trying to impress Cam with his "rushing" skills.

Click to view the clip at NBA.com
Dwyane Wade and LeBron salute Cam Newton. (NBA.com)

So here's an interesting aside: people apparently think Wade was trying to show up Cam. He wasn't, though

"Not showing up #Cam Newton yall-- jus paying respect to one of the great athletes 2day.." Wade tweeted on Thursday.

I thought that was obvious, but apparently it wasn't.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Panthers LB Kion Wilson reports 4 guns stolen

By Will Brinson

Panthers linebacker Kion Wilson reported that four guns were stolen from the back of his truck in a Best Buy parking lot on Monday, according CBSSports.com's Panthers Rapid Reporter Jeff Hawkins.

Wilson told Charlotte police that four guns -- a Glock 23, a 12-gauge shotgun, a 57 FN handgun and a Smith and Wesson -- were stolen from his Ford F-150 on Monday.

The value of the guns is estimated at $1,700. Police are investigating into who stole the guns and, per Hawkins, the police report indicated that the door lock on the truck was damaged as well.

Presumably, Wilson has a permit to own the guns, because otherwise reporting the theft of such guns to the police wouldn't be the smartest move in the world.

The bigger issue for Wilson may be how the Panthers and the NFL look the situation.

Even if Wilson was legally carrying the guns in his truck, having the arsenal that Wilson did in his car in the parking lot of a consumer electronics store a few days after Christmas isn't exactly the type of thing that the NFL wants to see from its players.

UPDATE: The Charlotte Observer's Joe Person writes that Panthers general manager Marty Hurley said all of Walker's guns were registered and he was licensed to travel with them. Wilson also told his teammates that he was on his way to a shooting range, when he stopped at the mall to return an item to Best Buy. When he returned to his truck, the guns were missing.

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Posted on: December 24, 2011 7:37 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile, Week 16: Cam's the GOAT

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action, figures out the winners and losers and asks the big questions. Slightly condensed version this week as it's the holidays. No podcast, no picture of the week and only eight questions. Blame Mrs. Brinson if you're so inclined. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter.

The Greatest Rookie Season Ever?

That's right. The greatest rookie season ever is precisely what Cam Newton's going to wrap up in Week 17 against the Saints a game of no real consequence when it comes to his legacy as the best rookie in NFL history.

There should be no argument that Cam's season, even without the final week, goes down as the greatest season by a rookie quarterback in history. He has the record for most passing yards in a season (again, with a week to go) by a rookie. He has the record for most passing yards in a game by a rookie. He has the record for most rushing touchdowns in a season by any quarterback.

Of the seven rookie quarterbacks with 3,000 passing yards, Newton doesn't have the most passing touchdowns, but he doesn't have the most interceptions either. There shouldn't be any question that his rookie year is the greatest by any quarterback.

As far as other rookies go, you could argue for Eric Dickerson (more than 2,000 total yards and 20 touchdowns in 1983), Dick Lane (14 interceptions, two pick sixes for Night Train in 1952), Randy Moss (17 touchdowns and 1,313 receiving yards in 1998) or Lawrence Taylor (9.5 sacks -- before they were even counted -- in 1981) if you want.

But none of those guys dealt with the complexities of running an offense. None of those guys dealt with a lockout-shortened offseason. None of those guys performed the way they did under the intense scrutiny of 2011 Twitteratiland. None of those guys carried the expectations of the No. 1 overall pick who was supposed to save a franchise ... or cost a GM his job simply because no one was sure how good they'd be. None of those guys inspired the fierce debate that Newton did leading up to being drafted.

Cam's rejuvenated a franchise that was dead in the water and he might be a top-10 quarterback in the NFL right now. It's been a marvel to watch him perform and it's insane to think that there was a debate as to whether or not the Panthers should take him.

Winners

Matthew Stafford: The Lions are in the playoffs. That's worthy of "winner inclusion" all by itself. But the Lions were secretly facing a pretty bad situation, with the white-hot Chargers and the very good Packers over the next two weeks. 9-7 and getting snuck out of the playoffs wasn't out of the question at all. Until Stafford got his surgical precision on and shredded the San Diego secondary, going 29 of 36 with 373 yards and three touchdowns. Stafford's next up for the "is he or isn't he elite" debate.

Pete Prisco
: Yes, my CBSSports.com colleague and former life coach (Pete doesn't know it, but I fired him when he suggested I not wear socks with my loafers). Prisco's the only guy that I know of who refused to budge off his negative stance of Tebow during the Broncos winning streak. There might be an argument that Pete's stubborn and you might be inclined to call him a "hater" but with the way that Tebow egged on Saturday, there are going to be a LOT of people ripping him over the next week. And Prisco's the only one of those people who's stood his ground the whole time.

Kevin Kolb:
The Cardinals were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday and that means Kolb avoided his worst possible nightmare. That would be "John Skelton marching Arizona to an improbable postseason run and the team deciding to bail on Kolb's albatross of a contract." Instead, Arizona now plays out the string and regroups for 2012, likely with Kolb as the starting quarterback for at least another year.

Matt Forte
: What's that, you say? Forte didn't play on Saturday. Oh, I know that. I also know that if the Vikings hadn't handed Adrian Peterson a monster contract before the 2011 season, things would be awkward right about now. Over the past month, the Bears have collapsed without Forte and Jay Cutler, meaning he's beefed up his leverage as an important player for the franchise and, with the Peterson injury, justified his rationale for wanting a new contract.

Jerome Simpson: Did you see his touchdown catch?

Turner's time might be up in San Diego. (US Presswire)

Losers

Norv Turner: A lot of credit goes to the Lions for the way they played on Saturday. Detroit is a very good team and a formidable opponent. But how can the Chargers not show up, especially knowing that the Broncos lost and that they were either a Bengals/Jets pair of losses or a Broncos loss in Week 17 away from making the playoffs? That's still not "controlling your own destiny" but out of everyone who was gifted an early Christmas present during the early games on Sunday, Turner and the Chargers were probably the luckiest. A 24-0 halftime deficit in the most critical game of the season isn't going to inspire any Spanos family members to keep their pink slips tucked away.

Jason Garrett
: No one's going to blame him for losing to Philly. That's what happens with Stephen McGee under center. But holy cow does Garrett have the hardest decision -- and the most scrutiny -- of his short career coming up over the next week. The Giants and Cowboys will play in Week 17, with a trip to the postseason and a division championship on the line. Tony Romo will almost certainly play, but will he be effective? Can Garrett gameplan in order to play to Romo's injury? Will he cough up a shot at the postseason? These are the ways we will judge him after next week's game. And by "we" I obviously mean "Jerry Jones and his potentially angry family."

Adrian Peterson
: AP's leg injury on Sunday was so brutal that I even feel like a jerk putting him in the "losers" section. But if you saw the horrific nature of Peterson's injury, you know precisely why he's not feeling like a winner right now. The Vikings announced after the game that it was a sprained knee but -- all due respect to Minnesota -- that's just not believable at all. The multiple reports that it's a torn ACL (and potentially worse) make a lot more sense. It's just sad that Peterson could miss significant time because he was playing in a meaningless game for a three-win team.

Rex Ryan: Ryan spent all week running his mouth about the New York-New York rivalry and when push came to shove, his guy Mark Sanchez fumbled on the Giants goal line and threw a "pass" to an offensive lineman that resulted in a safety in a devastating loss on Saturday. The Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie combo got torched by Victor Cruz (that's his name, right?) and Brandon Jacobs got to say "It's time to shut up, fat boy." That's just embarrassing. Oh, right, and the Jets lost control of their own destiny with respect to the playoffs. It wouldn't be nearly as mortifying if Ryan hadn't run his mouth all week.

Pipedreams: Just like San Diego, the Eagles were very much a longshot to make the playoffs. But I'm telling you, there was a chance. Then the Giants killed that chance (adding to their winner-y-ness) with a win over the Jets. That means Week 17 is no longer a dream scenario for fans of long shots, because both early-season favorites are now removed from any chance of a postseason berth. You don't have to root for the Eagles or Chargers. In fact, you can root against them. But if you don't like ridiculous storylines and clowning around with playoff predictors then we're not friends.

The Big Questions

 
The new Tebow narrative could be awkward. (AP)

1. What's the new Tim Tebow narrative?
No, but it's on life support (and Prisco wants to pull the plug!). Look, Tebow can still win against Kansas City in Week 17, or even lose as long as the Chargers beat the Raiders. But think about how quickly this narrative could be absolutely flipped on its head: if Kyle Orton, the man Tebow replaced, beats Tebow in Week 17 because Tebow can't win late, and the Raiders beat the Chargers and make the playoffs, the Broncos new narrative will be as chokers. No, really, it will. And that is nuts when you consider where we were just two weeks ago.

2. Why does Leslie Frazier keep playing guys who are hurt?
NO CLUE. But this is a story that's flown under the radar for the past few weeks and it culminated with AP's injury against Washington, as well as the concussion that Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder suffered on Saturday. The Vikings are 3-12 after winning on Christmas Eve, but they didn't even need Peterson or Ponder to put up points -- it was all Joe Webb against the Redskins. Of course, winning, at this point, should be secondary. Frazier's top priority should be the health of his franchise quarterback and running back. Instead, these guys keep getting trotted out with injuries late in a lost season. That's not the sort of thing that keeps a job safe for long.

3. Did Raheem Morris get fired on Saturday?

Almost certainly. The Panthers went out and walloped Tampa Bay 48-16 in Charlotte, meaning that the Bucs lost their eighth game in a row.  Worse than the losses is the way they've happened: over the last four games, the Buccaneers have been outscored 158-64. They've given up 40 points to the Panthers and Jaguars and have topped 20 points just once since their trip to London in late October when things really started to unravel. It's an embarrassing collapse down the stretch and it's hard to blame the Glazer family and GM Mark Dominik when (not if) they fire Morris.

4. Anyone else getting fired?
Gotta think that Turner's done in San Diego now and that Romeo Crennel's the only interim hanging around. I can't buy that Jim Caldwell's saving his job so I'd add him to the list too. But I think any questions about Chan Gailey can now be reserved for a while, given the way he dismantled the Broncos on Sunday.

5.  Why should Tom Brady be worried?
Because his offensive lineman are dropping like flies. And while the Patriots are going to continue being good because that's what the Patriots do, there's absolutely cause for concern in New England if Logan Mankins and Matt Light are hurt for any length of time. As you may be aware, this isn't a team predicated on playing any sort of defense, and if they can't protect Tom Brady, there's little chance of them advancing in the postseason.

5. How mad are the 49ers?
Furious. And it doesn't matter that they won, because they gave up a rushing touchdown to Marshawn Lynch. They might hold the record for most games without one, but you know they wanted to make it the entire season. They did not.

6. Am I going to have to watch Matt Flynn on Christmas night?
Not as much as you might have feared. The 49ers won against the Seahawks on Saturday, and that means Green Bay hasn't clinched the top seed yet. Which means that Aaron Rodgers will stay in the game against the Bears for the entire game, barring an absolute Packers blowout.

7. Was Simpson's catch the play of the year?
Yup, it sure was. Maybe not the "play of the century" or anything insane like people are saying, but it was an absolutely bananas catch and it deserves incredible props. Watch -- it's going to be the type of thing you talk with your relatives about on Christmas. That's the way you can truly judge the greatness of a play.

8. Should Ben Roethlisberger play next week?
No. There's just no need. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice handled the Browns just fine in Week 16, and Charlie Batch/Rashard Mendenhall can do the same in Week 17. Rest the guy, run the ball, cross your fingers that Cincy can summon the strength to beat the Ravens on the road and let Roethlisberger rest.

GIF O' THE WEEK

I mean duh. Did you notice I liked it?



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Posted on: December 24, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Cam Newton sets NFL rookie passing yards record

Newton has more passing yards in a season than any NFL rookie in history. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The phrase "Cam Newton set a rookie record" isn't something that's brand new, because he's been doing it all year long. But on Carolina's first drive against Tampa Bay, Newton set his biggest record yet, breaking Peyton Manning's mark for passing yards in a single season by a rookie.

Manning threw for 3,739 yards in 1998 and with 20 passing yards on the Panthers first drive, Newton jumped him to put himself at 3,742 yards on the year.

Of course, Cam's still got three full quarters of action against the Buccaneers as well as a Week 17 matchup against the Saints, so it's likely the new record will be north of 4,000 yards.

The Panthers are sitting at just five wins (though they lead the Buccaneers early in the first quarter), but Newton's the reason why there's optimism all over Charlotte when it comes to the state of professional football.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this record, though, is how hotly debated the decision to draft Newton first in the 2011 NFL Draft was. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it's clear that there wasn't ever really a decision at all.

In fact, Newton's near the end of perhaps the greatest rookie season by a quarterback we've ever seen.

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Panthers trick play inspired by 'Little Giants'

By Will Brinson

On Sunday, the Panthers ran what's commonly referred to as a "Fumblerooski," with Richie Brockel scoring an unlikely touchdown after Cam Newton handed him the ball between his legs and faked like he was running right. I joked at the time that it would be awesome if Rod Chudzinski would dial up "the Annexation of Puerto Rico" -- a play made famous from the movie "Little Giants" -- in the second half.

There was never any chance of that happening though, because as it turns out, the play in question already was inspired by the movie.

"Just so you know, the unofficial name – I don't know if you guys have ever seen the "Little Giants" – it's called the Annexation of Puerto Rico," Rivera said on Monday when asked about the trick play. "I've seen the movie a hundred times with my kids. They're grown up now.

"So last night we were talking about and they called it everything from the Chud-a-rooskie to the Mauler to what have you. Somebody said, 'Well, it's from the 'Little Giants.'"

For those that haven't seen "Little Giants," well, we're not friends. But you can watch the clip here.


The primary difference is that the Panthers didn't run a double-fake reverse in order to set the play up. And that they didn't need to go 99 yards to score. And Brockel didn't run head-first into the goalpost either.

But you get the point. This isn't the first trick play "Chud" dialed up recently -- a pass from Legadu Naanee to Newton for a touchdown against the Buccaneers two weeks ago also scored a touchdown.

Though it might cheese off fantasy owners of Newton, DeAngelo Williams and/or Jonathan Stewart, the innovation worked, and it's precisely why Carolina's been enjoyable to watch this season, as well as why Chudzinski's name is getting mentioned with head-coaching vacancies.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:07 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 10:15 pm
 

Shockey: Texans didn't 'give respect' to anthem

By Will Brinson

Jeremy Shockey played a big role in Carolina's 28-13 victory over the Texans in Reliant Stadium on Sunday, catching a 9-yard touchdown pass. But he made more noise after the game, when Shockey ripped members of the Texans for not showing respect to the National Anthem.

Well, at least in Shockey's opinion anyway -- the Panthers tight end apparently didn't feel like some of the players should've had their hands on by their sides.

"Myself, I was pretty upset they weren't showing respect to America during the national anthem," Shockey said per Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. "There were about 10 players who didn't put their arms across their chests.  This is America. They should at least give respect to America. Maybe they just forgot to do it or something. I don't see how you can forget something like that."

Um, OK? That's just weird, right?

It's not like the Texans players turned the opposite way as the anthem was being sung. And it's not like they waved British flags while the music was playing.

They simply stood there without putting their hand on their hearts. Good for Shockey if he's able to use it as motivation later during the game, but there's really no reason to rant about it -- unprovoked -- to reporters afterwards.

For what it's worth, Shockey took to Twitter after the game to apologize, so clearly he feels bad about the comments.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com