Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense weren't able to build on 2011, but the Carolina defense showed strong improvement. Here's how the different components of the team graded out:
QB Jimmy Clausen and RB Jonathan Stewart are among Carolina's inactives for its game against the Saints.
The Panthers won their third-straight game, and for the first time this year they managed to win a game where Cam Newton wasn't at his best. The team played with a fire that had been missing in earlier games and relied on its defense to beat Oakland.
The Panthers ran their winning streak to three games, the longest since 2009, with a 17-6 win over the Raiders in a chippy game.
The Panthers had their biggest road win since Cam Newton was in junior college with Sunday's 31-7 victory over the Chargers. Carolina controlled the game from the outset on both sides of the ball in its most complete win in a year.

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