Carolina quarterback Cam Newton said Wednesday afternoon that “we are better than 10 points offensively” and that the “defense did enough” for the Panthers to have won on Sunday against Tampa.
Instead, Carolina lost, 16-10. The Panthers’ 10 points tied the Miami Dolphins for the fewest scored in Week 1.
Newton said the Panthers too frequently had individual breakdowns. Carolina ran the ball for 10 yards, tying a franchise low, and Newton threw for 303 yards but also had two second-half interceptions.
“On offense, it’s 11 guys who have to gel to make a play,” Newton said. “Defensively you can kind of get away with it with a single player making a play and making up the difference of another person. But offensively, if one guy slips down or falls down, it’s going to show on the whole offense.”
Newton said he wasn’t going to address the reported bounty the Saints put on him last season (but other Panther players certainly aren't real fond of the Saints these days, as The Observer's Joseph Person reports here). He didn’t have much more to say than that Wednesday during his scheduled media availability.
Newton was only available for two minutes and 37 seconds, which translated into three questions and three answers, before a Panther official said Newton had to go to a meeting.
Coach Ron Rivera said Newton had handled the Week 1 loss well.
“Cam’s been solid,” he said. “I talked to him yesterday morning. We had a great conversation. In typical Cam fashion, he put it on himself -- things he felt he could have done better, things that he could have handled better. The one thing he has done is he has opened up and been a little more vocal about it. Which I think is good. I think the more he says, the more he’s out there about it, the better off he’s going to be.”
The Saints gave up 320 yards passing to Robert Griffin III in Week 1, and RG3 plays a style that is similar to Newton's. New Orleans (0-1) comes to Carolina Sunday for a game that will kick off at 1 p.m.
I will have more about Newton in my column for Thursday's Charlotte Observer and online.