FOXBOROUGH, MASS.- After a back and forth drama packed game, Graham Gano’s 48-yard field goal sealed the upset victory for the Carolina Panthers as they beat New England 33-30 in Foxborough.
“We Expected This” Coach Ron Rivera said in the locker room after the Panthers 33-30 victory. Rivera had this to say in his press conference, “I think the way we prepared this week I thought it was exceptional. I thought our guys came to work on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I thought their attitude, their effort, and the way they prepared was what you have to do to give yourself a chance to win the game. We talked about it and we talked about it last night, that you shouldn’t come here hoping, you should come here expecting. And that’s what I think our guys did. They expected good things to happen today.
Newton was Phenomenal
Cam Newton was nothing short of specular as he torched the Patriot defense for 316 yards on 22-for-29 passing and four total touchdowns and an interception. After Newton’s interception late in the first quarter, he finished the half a perfect eight for eight with two touchdowns, with 189 yards and a 126.3 quarterback rating. And he led a Panthers offense that had struggled all season to an average of over eight yards per play against New England.
“I feel like this was a breakthrough game for us offensively,” said Newton, who had thrown three interceptions in a 21-point home loss to New Orleans only a week ago and then advised the fans to “be patient.”
Q: You raised a black fist after you scored on your rushing touchdown. Why did you do that?
“It was to signify black power, but more importantly, I pray every night for God to give me a pinnacle to give people hope. I did to raise – to show Black Pride because I am an African American, but more or less, I want all people just to see when I play, I want them to see the joy that I go there and play with. Win lose or draw, it was a great win for us today. I just hope that I put a lot, or not I, we as a team put a lot of smiles on the beautiful people of the Carolinas.”
Carolina (3-1) is tied for the best record in the NFC following Atlanta’s loss on Sunday. Suddenly the Panthers look once again very much like a team that can make some playoff noise – if they can make sure Sunday wasn’t a one-game aberration.
“This can be a jump-start to a great season for us,” Newton said, “or it can just be a flash in the frying pan.”
(Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/ Associated Press)