Cam Newton was having one of his worst games of the season in the biggest game of his young career. He lost his best receiver, Steve Smith, to injury. The Panthers hadn’t converted a 1st down all afternoon (0-for-9). And now, they had :55 to get a field goal to send the game to go to overtime, or a TD to beat the Saints and send Carolina to the playoffs.
Starting from their own 35-yard line, Cam Newton took over.
A 37-yard strike to Ted Ginn.
A 14-yard dart to Greg Olson.
A 14-yard touchdown pass to Domenik Hixon. Calm, cool and collected in the pocket, Newton side-stepped the blitzing cornerback and won the game. Impressive.
Panthers 17, Saints 13. Carolina won without converting a 3rd down in the game. And the Panthers are in the playoffs. And oh, Luke Kuechly will probably get talked about a bit tomorrow: He had 24 tackles and an interception.
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