Despite not running as much, Panthers QB Cam Newton was still able to effectively move the team down the field for two TDs in his first game since Spring ankle surgery.
The Carolina Panthers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in preseason action on Sunday.
Here is what the two teams were able to take away for their players, their schemes or even their coaching staff:
QB Cam Newton is struggling with his feet – After returning from ankle surgery there were bound to be questions as to whether the Panthers trust Newton’s feet. The answer for the moment is “No” because Newton did not scramble once in any of his 5 drives. While he did manage to lead the team to two rushing TDs on his last two drives for the team, the fact remains that Newton’s scrambling ability – one of his best weapons – is being held back either by the Panthers or the man himself.
RB Jonathan Stewart is back to form – With 4 carries for 26 yards and two TDs – a 6.5 yards/carry average – it is hard to argue that RB Jonathan Stewart is back to his playmaking self. And with Cam Newton still recovering to get his legs back under him and the receiving corps’ effectiveness in doubt, the Panthers will need all of the top-flight RB support they can muster.
LT Eric Fisher’s struggle are a bad sign – The Chiefs drafted Eric Fisher No. 1 overall in the 2013 NFL draft thinking that his outstanding athletic ability would enable him to quickly become a mauler on the offensive line. The team started him as a RT in 2013 but moved him to LT in 2014 after Branden Albert left in free agency. While his rookie struggles were understandable considering his move to his non-natural position, Fisher’s continued struggles may make the team regret letting Albert walk.
QB Alex Smith should get his money now – Even with the offensive line struggling, QB Alex Smith was still able to get 127 passing yards on 22 attempts. With Smith playing at his highest level of football in his career, he needs to stop delaying his demands for a new contract and get it now before the offensive line falls apart and gets him hurt like he did in San Francisco.