Panthers take care of Bucs without Cam Newton


The Carolina Panthers showed they could win without Cam Newton on Sunday, starting strong then holding off a late Tampa Bay Buccaneers rally in a 20-14 win victory. Our takeaways:

1. Derek Anderson did the job in Newton's place, completing over 70 percent of his passes with two touchdowns. He would've had a third if not for a bad Greg Olsen drop. With a home matchup against the Detroit Lions on deck, could Ron Rivera be tempted to give Newton another week to heal up?

2. Josh McCown did not deliver a consistent performance in his Bucs debut. His third-quarter interception was an all-time blooper, and the offense was in thick quicksand for the game's first three quarters. McCown deserves credit for getting Tampa Bay back in the game with two late TD drives.

3. Kelvin Benjamin is a legitimate Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. The Panthers' first-round pick finished with six catches for 92 yards, including a gorgeous touchdown reception ripped out of the hands of Mike Jenkins. The Panthers need Benjamin to be an instant difference-maker. He's off to a very promising start.

4. Bucs running back Doug Martin -- who must long for the salad days of 2012 -- had nine carries for nine yards. This is considered a poor average.

5. Dashon Goldson gets paid way too much not to take advantage of an Anderson overthrow that should've gone for a go-ahead pick six with less than two minutes to play. Instead, Goldson dropped the ball and the Bucs' offense turned it over on the next play from scrimmage. Game over.

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" covers the Falcons' impressive offense, RGIII's struggles and recaps all Sunday's Week 1 action.