The Loser Papers – 2018 Edition III

Loser Papers Washington Commanders

How did it get to be Thursday so fast? The editors apologize for the lateness of this edition, our typesetter called in sick the first part of the week. Anyhoo, let’s get right to the fun.

Today’s edition features two articles from the Charlotte Observer:

Cam Newton inconsistent in Panthers’ loss to Redskins

Even after blaming pressure and contact to his throwing arm for a costly interception in the first half, Cam Newton had the game on his shoulders in the final minute.

Newton led the Carolina Panthers downfield and into the red zone before three consecutive incompletions ended their hopes in a 23-17 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday. It was a sour ending to an inconsistent day for Newton, who had two touchdown passes but also a costly interception , an almost fumble, and enough off-target passes to cost Carolina (3-2).

“You have games and days like that,” said Newton, who was 27 of 40 for 275 yards passing. “My days of sobbing are over with. I’m excited for what the future holds. I hope we get to see this team again.”

A chance to see the Redskins (3-2) again wouldn’t come until the playoffs, and it’s on Newton to get the Panthers there. He showed flashes of that potential at Washington, connecting on five passes, including a TD to Devin Funchess and executing a near-flawless scoring drive early in the fourth quarter.

But Newton also needed a heads-up catch from left guard Greg Van Roten to avoid a potential fumble, and then gifted former teammate Josh Norman his first interception since 2016 when he lofted up a pass early in the second quarter.

“You just got to protect the football better, and it starts with me,” Newton said. “Felt like we got everything and I just got pushed in the pocket and still tried to force it.”

Despite up-and-down play, Newton had second-and-5 from the Washington 16-yard line with 47 seconds left and the chance to rally the Panthers to tie the biggest comeback in franchise history. He threw incomplete in the end zone to Christian McCaffrey and Funchess, and then couldn’t find Jarius Wright on a shorter route on fourth down.

“We had some opportunities,” coach Ron Rivera said. “You make your breaks, and we didn’t get any breaks on those.”

Read the rest here.

And number two:

Panthers dig a hole, can’t climb out in road loss to Washington.

It’s difficult to win games if you can’t hang on to the ball; Carolina found that out the hard way Sunday.

The Panthers couldn’t climb out of their hole after three first-half turnovers, losing to Washington 23-17.

For the second week in a row, the Panthers struggled against a team they probably should’ve beaten, but there were no special teams heroics to bail them out on the road.

The NFL’s best rushing team hardly looked like it as Washington controlled the line of scrimmage and capitalized on Carolina’s mistakes.

Three who mattered

Josh Norman: The reunion between the Panthers and Norman drew an expected amount of attention during the days leading up to Sunday’s contest, but the Washington cornerback welcomed his old team to his new home with an interception and forced a fumble in the first half.

Torrey Smith: He didn’t show up on the stat sheet through the game’s first three-and-a-half quarters but caught four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown on the Panthers’ first drive of the fourth quarter, capping the drive with a two-point conversion to bring the Panthers within 20-17.

Adrian Peterson: The former MVP turned back the clock Sunday, gashing Carolina’s eighth-ranked rushing defense for 97 yards on 17 carries.

Read the rest here


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