Cam Newton finished the day much better than he started. On the first five drives of the day, Newton had one fumble and one interception and could only lead the offense to 93 yards of offense. The rest of the day went much better for Newton with four of his final seven drives ending in points. He threw two touchdown passes to Greg Olsen and finished the day with 255 yards passing.
The Panthers were without their top two backs (DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart) and had to turn to undrafted rookie Darrin Reeves and recently signed free agent Chris Ogbonnaya. They didn’t have an exceptional day running the ball but were able to keep the Bears defense honest finishing with 59 yards rushing on 19 carries. These two backs are capable of getting the job done but this team really needs to have their top two backs for this offense to click.
It wasn’t exactly a great day for this position with top wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin struggling catching the ball. He finished the day with three receptions for 38 yards but had a couple of drops and lost track of the ball in the end zone at the end of the first half. The other two wide receivers (Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant) were solid and combined for 5 receptions and 88 yards. The drops by Benjamin had a big impact on this grade.
Greg Olsen looked a little more motivated going up against his former team and turned that into six receptions for 72 yards and two touchdown passes. He was Newton’s number one target today and responded in a big way. While Kelvin Benjamin is the team’s number one wide receiver, a strong case could be made that Olsen is the team’s best pass catcher right now.
The offensive line has struggled the past two weeks keeping Newton upright. This week they only gave up two sacks and two more QB hits. This was a big reason for the team’s success today because when an offensive line is able to control the line of scrimmage they give the skill players a better chance to be successful. The Bears defensive line is one of the better lines in the league so this was a step in the right direction for the starting five.
Overall Offensive Grade
The first half was a little rough for the offense as they turned the ball over three times and couldn’t really get into a rhythm. The second half was a different story as they were able to move the ball almost at will and finished the day with 24 points and 321 yards.