Panthers break 5-game skid, top Redskins 21-13
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) So much for Cam Newton vs. Robert Griffin III. For the ticked-off players in the visitor's locker room, it was more like the Carolina Panthers vs. Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff and Bobby Mitchell.
Newton and the Panthers broke a five-game losing streak Sunday, topping Griffin and the penalty-prone Washington Redskins 21-13, prompting coach Mike Shanahan to essentially throw in the towel on the season. Newton threw for 201 yards, ran for 37, played part of the game with a bloodied thumb and didn't look his usual disconsolate self when he sat with the familiar white towel on his head between drives.
But what really fired up Newton and his teammates was the fact that they had been deemed the "homecoming" opponent by the Redskins, who wore 1937 throwback uniforms and welcomed back dozens of former stars. Carolina's DeAngelo Williams, whose 30-yard touchdown score was his longest run of the season, was so miffed that he raised the issue in a pregame speech and still had the "Game Day" program sitting in his locker after the game and said he might frame it.
"I look on there and it says `homecoming.' And I'm thinking to myself: This is the National Football League. Are you serious? Homecoming," Williams said. "And it's not like you tried to hide it - you blatantly put it on the front of the Game Day. And you're talking about somebody fired up today? I was (ticked).
"It was the whole team. That was definitely motivating. You don't say you're going to have a `homecoming' in the National Football League. You do it in college. It's one of those teams that's just terrible. You don't book, like, a good team for homecoming."
Williams rubbed it in with a series of tweets afterward, and Newton also brought up the issue without any prompting.
"I think it was their homecoming, which was kind of embarrassing for us to be in," said Newton, whose 82-yard pass to Armanti Edwards was among the highlights of a 13-for-23 performance. "And that was a challenge. I think some of the guys took that and put it as a chip on their shoulder."
Maybe the Panthers (2-6) need to find other novel sources of motivation. They entered the game with their season fading fast after four consecutive losses by a combined 12 points. There were questions about whether the team had any leaders and whether Newton had the makeup to assume such a role.
Now, at least for a week, such questions get a hiatus.
"It's a huge morale thing," said Steve Smith, whose 19-yard reception in the second quarter was his first touchdown catch of the season. "It's like the biggest morale thing you could ever have. Times are tough right now, and it's good to build on."
The Redskins (3-6), meanwhile, didn't behave very nicely in front of the franchise's former stars as they lost their third straight. Already leading the NFL in penalties entering the game, Washington committed 13 infractions for 97 yards, including a pair of pass interferences and one roughing the passer.
"That's what nauseates you," Shanahan said.
Shanahan, 14-27 in his third season with the Redskins, now foresees another year out of the playoffs.
"You lose a game like that, now you're playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come," Shanahan said. "I'll get a chance to evaluate players and see where we're at."
Griffin remains the Redskins' must-watch player. He completed 23 of 39 passes for 215 yards, ran 11 times for 53 yards and was sacked four times. But a tide-turning play came when he was stopped on a fourth-and-goal run at the 2, ending a drive that lasted 10:11 with no points and the Redskins trailing 7-3.
The Panthers responded by marching 98 yards, aided by personal foul and pass interference penalties. Newton's thumb was bleeding during the drive, and he stained his white uniform from wiping the thumb on his pants.
But he got the thumb bandaged and carried on, enough to hit Smith with the pass that put Carolina ahead by 11 at the half.
The Redskins cut the deficit to 14-6 with a field goal in the third quarter, but the worst pass defense in the league yielded another big play. Edwards' catch set up Newton's 1-yard run to give Carolina a 15-point lead early in the fourth.
Washington's only touchdown came on Evan Royster's 2-yard run with 1:28 remaining. Soon after, the last two quarterbacks to win the Heisman Trophy were meeting at midfield for a postgame embrace. Griffin said Newton offered his phone number and said to be in touch.
"We're both two young quarterbacks in this league, trying to get better, trying to lead our teams to victory," Griffin said. "I told him that I think his team has a lot of talent and the possibilities are endless for them. I feel the same about our team."
NOTES: An official blew an inadvertent whistle during Williams' touchdown run, but the crew met and decided it did not affect the outcome of the play. "By the time the whistle blew, he had already crossed the goal line," referee Carl Cheffers told a pool reporter. ... Injuries: Panthers WR Kealoha Pilares (shoulder), Redskins WR Santana Moss (concussion). Griffin had sore ribs; X-rays were negative. ... Panthers K Justin Medlock was short on a 50-yard attempt, his first miss of the year.
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Updated November 4, 2012
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien talked to David Ortiz after the Red Sox beat the Twins 12-5. Big Papi said that team chemistry is great, that the new guys see the Sox way of doing things.
Dale and DJ roll on with their puck talk and chat some more about the goalie matchup in this series, as well as the lack of a quality power play for both of these teams. In fact, DJ says the Rangers are even worse on the PP than the B’s! The guys also get into the resurgence of Milan Lucic and his deceptive speed and grit. Dale and DJ talk about the similar styles of play for these teams and look forward to Game 2.
Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
WEEI.com's DJ Bean joins Dale in studio for Sports Sunday to discuss the Bruins playoff run. Game 2 is later today and the guys discuss the results of the first game of the series. They get into the construction of the lines for the B's and if they would make any changes. DJ has a few ideas for the lines today. The boys also discuss the two goalies - Tuukka vs Henrik Lundqvist and wonder why people automatically think the Rangers have the edge at goalie. Finally, they get into the legacy and the decisions of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
Jeff Bauman, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, joined the show to give the guys an update of his condition and a first-hand account of that terrible day. Jeff told the guys how he wrote the description of the bomber as soon as he could. Mr. Bauman added that he is aided every day with the knowledge that he is alive and the terrorist that detonated the bomb is dead.More from this show
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.More from this show