The WFMY News 2 crew is more than just pumped up about the Panthers vs. Broncos rematch! We're ready for game day! WFMY
Well, Cam has a long face in the postgame news conference, but his style is on point as always.
4:07: That's a wrap. Panthers' 14-game home win streak is snapped. Panthers are 0-2 when I blog. Sorry for the bad mojo. I'll have to up my blog game. 22-10 final. Vikings now 3-0.
4:06 What was that old show called? Eight is enough? Eight sacks for Minnesota
4:00 Totally different team that lit up the scoreboard last week against San Francisco. Credit Minnesota for making offensive adjustments at halftime. Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin don't have a catch today.
3:55 Vikings pressure causes Newton to throw his third interception of the day. Wonder when Cam's last three INT game was. That could wrap this one up.
3:53 This time Cam evades the pressure and runs for the first down. Former Panther Captain Munnerlyn hurt for Minnesota
3:50 10 penalties on the Panthers after the pass interference.
3:48 Cam had time on that throw for a first down.
3:47 New with a deep ball to to Devin Funchess again off due to pressure
3:44 Panthers fans wondering where Kelvin Benjamin is today. Amazingly, he hasn't been targeted yet.
3:40 Walsh puts Minnesota up 22-10. Panthers need two touchdowns with 5:07 left.
3:37 Big 'wow' factor on that catch and throw by Minnesota. That's huge and sets up a first-and-goal.
3:30 Make that six sacks...Cam not getting rid of the ball as quickly as he should. Panthers offensive line struggling like they did against Denver in season opener. Vikings and Broncos are two of the best defenses in the league for what its worth.
3:26 Vikings with another sack and a rough day continues for Oher. Panthers back inside their own 5 yard line with third and long. That's five sacks for the Vikings.
3:25 End around to Ted Ginn results in a short gain that's nullified due to another penalty, holding this time. Michael Oher having a tough day at left tackle.
3:22 Big stop by Carolina to force a field goal, it's good and Minnesota holds a 19-10 lead with 13:14 left. Panthers need two scores and have looked lethargic on offense since first quarter.
3:21 Vikings looking like a totally different team on offense this half. Down to the Panthers 10 facing third down.
3:19: Panthers center Ryan Kalil being looked at on the sideline.
3:14: Cam throws his second interception of the day. Panthers haven't looked good on offense since first drive.
3:13: Newton sacked for the third time today. Third and long coming up.
3:10: Big 3 and out forced as Luke Kuechly forces the tackle out of bounds. Panthers take over after punt.
3:07: Vernon Butler is listed as questionable to return with a right ankle injury
3:05 Panthers having a hard time holding off Minnesota up front. Newton evades pressure then has to throw it away. Minnesota has the ball with the lead for the first time all day.
3:04 Third quarter progressing quickly with Carolina equaling Minnesota's earlier drive. Big third down coming up for Panthers at Minnesota 44.
3:00 An illegal contact call keeps the Panthers drive going on third down.
2:52 Bradford with a great over-the-shoulder throw to 6-foot-6 Kyle Rudolph and Vikes lead 16-10 after the two-point conversion.
2:49 Vikings putting together their best drive of the day. first down at Carolina 25 coming out of the half. Panthers rookie Vernon Butler shaken up on the play.
2:41 Missed opportunities the theme of the Panthers' first half, not getting anything out of good field position and Cam taking the sack on the final drive was big as were Benjmain's penalties. Carolina outgained Minnesota in total yards 205-34, but only lead 10-8.
2:29 Vikings with a big sack that pushes Panthers out of FG range. Newton throws an interception on the next play on a jump ball in single coverage. Newton took a shot at Ted Ginn running down the sideline. Looked like ball was underthrown, giving DB a chance to catch up. It's 10-8 at the half.
2:25 Panthers in two-minute offense, convert third and short with Whitaker run. 53 seconds left in the half.
2:21 On Third and inches, Panthers call Cam's number and he keeps it for a big first down.
2:17 Cam has to get rid of the ball to avoid another safety and its fourth down. Vikings take the punt back for a touchdown on a 54-yard score. He got a couple seams and ran down the sideline. Blair Walsh MISSES the extra point and Panthers hang on to a 10-8 lead.
2:13 Panthers have held Vikings to just 35 yards of total offense. But Panthers have seven penalties that have been drive-killers
2:12 Punting has saved Minnesota today, as another great kick, the Panthers will start from their own 2.
2:11 More offensive line injuries for Minnesota, who are already minus Ryan Kahlil. And Bradford is sacked again!
2:08 That was the loudest thud I've ever heard on one of those. If this was golf, that'd be pretty impressive.
2:06: On third and 5, Cam throws an incompletion and Gano will come out for a long field goal try. From 54-yards, Gano hits the upright and it stays 10-2. Both teams sputtering on offense in the second quarter.
2:03 Panthers will get great starting field position inside Minnesota's 40-yard line. Points are likely on this drive as long as mistakes aren't made.
2:01 Vikings QB Sam Bradford is just 3-of-9 passing and the Vikings have under 40 yards of total offense entering third and long inside their own 5. Bradford completes a pass short of a first down and it's become a field-position game.
1:54 Cam still perfect throwing the ball, now 9-for-9, but Panthers punt back to Minnesota. Another penalty on the punt as Vikings will take over at own 3-yard-line.
1:53 Fozzy Whitaker with a outstanding catch-and-run, but a block in the back on Benjamin nullifies a huge play. Whitaker was out of bounds inside the MN 5. Was a 56-yard gain.
1:53 Cam comes back after missing one play. Anderson finishes the day 1 of 1 passing.
1:50 Cam shaken up. looks like an ankle injury as he limps off the field. Derek Anderson coming onto the field.
1:49 Cam's accuracy looks good so far on another first down pass to Ginn. 7-for-7 passing for Cam. Not too shabby.
1:47 Artis-Payne having a good game so far. He catches a screen pass with blockers in front to get a first down.
1:44 Vikings' Stefon Diggs can't pull in a deep pass and the Panthers force a punt. Big play there to keep momentum on Carolina's side.
1:41 End of the first quarter. Panthers lead 10-2. Vikings with third and short coming up.
1:40 James Bradberry nearly gets an interception for Panthers
1:37 The Vikings' defense does it again by creating points. Hunter with a safety sack in the end zone. Not often you see a guy handle Cam like that. Hunter got passed Michael Oher, who fell down. 10-2.
1:36 Panthers backed up deep in their own end after a hold negates a big run by Artis-Payne.
1:33 Thomas Davis sack! The Vikings' running back was overmatched trying to block Davis on the blitz. The Vikings get a good punt for probably their best play of the game so far. Panthers in good shape late in the first quarter.
1:29 Vikings working the short passing game. Get their first 1st down at own 37.
1:27 The Cam pass to Corey Brown on third and long is the early play of the game. Accurate throw to the sideline that kept a TD drive going.
1:22 Cam keeps it on a read option and scores! A kid with a birthday sign gets the ball 10-0 after the extra point. That drive was helped by good starting field position.
1:20 3rd and 12 pass to Corey Brown is right on target. Great pass by Cam with pressure in his face. Brown ran to the corner. First and goal.
1:17 Panthers moving the ball well on Minnesota's respected defense before a Kelvin Benjamin holding call.
1:16 Panthers first play is a first-down checkdown pass to Greg Olsen for 18 yards.
1:14 Luke Kuechly dangerous as always reading the short pass, deflects a Sam Bradford throw to force a punt.
1:12 Vikings take over at 20, face third and long after a couple of runs.
Panthers get a couple of first downs, 48-yard field goal by Graham Gano is good. 3-0 Panthers.
Cameron Artis-Payne with good burst on the first carry of the game filling in for Jonathan Stewart.
Kickoff looms. Vikings won the toss and defer to second half. Ted Ginn Jr. will get a chance to return the opening kickoff.
12:50 Devin Fuchness warming up
Kickoff getting closer!
WFMY News 2 photographer captures Kurt Coleman and Tre Boston warming up pregame.
From Sports Anchor Patrick Wright, Charles Johnson hangs out with some fans.
Hey guys, Ryan here again to live-blog the Panthers' Week 3 showdown with the Minnesota Vikings.
This game carries a unique meaning to Charlotte. The city endured a rough week when protests against the death of Charlotte man Keith Scott turned ugly with destruction, vandalism and violence coming to a normally pleasant uptown area Wednesday night.
There was questions whether the game would be relocated due to security concerns. The protests have continued through the weekend, though tensions have cooled considerably.
Several Panthers spoke to the events in town Thursday. Quarterback Cam Newton came onto the field for warmups wearing a shirt bearing a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote. Jeremy Igo of Carolina Huddle tweeted the following picture before the game:
What's happening outside the stadium is a story today. Looking around twitter and there's a small presence from protestors, but no major incidents to speak of on that end. David Whisenant of WBTV in Charlotte tweeted this picture earlier.
Game-wise, the Panthers are playing without running back Jonathan Stewart, who could miss multiple games according to coach Ron Rivera. The Panthers have a 14-game winning streak at Bank of America Stadium.
The Vikings (2-0) pose a serious challenge even without injured quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and star running back Adrian Peterson, who tore his meniscus in last week's win against Green Bay. Minnesota's defense was impressive in the opener against Tennessee with two defensive touchdowns. Last week, the Vikings held NFC North rival Green Bay's prolific offense to just 14 points.
Kickoff is about 40 minutes away.
The Panthers' protection seemed to break down in the second half as Cam seemed to be consistently under duress. Hats off to Siemian who had a pretty decent first game on a huge stage. Panthers peaked on the 19-play drive in the first half. I thought Denver's offensive line was very effective for much of the game. Panthers have to hope Cam isn't seriously injured. Thanks for following along tonight guys! Have a great weekend.
Graham Gano's 50-yard field goal attempt is wide left. The Broncos will win this one 21-20.
First down to Kelvin Benjamin, huge play. Another huge catch by Ted Ginn as he gets out of bounds. Play under review now with nine seconds left. Panthers in field goal range down 21-20. Nwton with a so-so second half, especially with the hits he took, but made big throws on this drive.
Another senseless Denver penalty on Denver. Wow. A helmet-to-helmet hit to Cam and he's a bit woozy. Intentional grounding called on Newton since the throw didn't get back to the line of scrimmage so penalties offset. Second down.
Harris almost comes up with another interception. 42 seconds left.
Panthers take their last timeout after lackadaisical effort forming the huddle. So no timeouts left for Carolina. Just need to get into field goal range. Thin air means the ball travels further in Denver.
4th and 21 pass is incomplete but warrants a flag, hands to the face on Chris Harris keeps the game alive for Carolina. Looks like Harris put his hands on Funchess helmet at the line of scrimmage. Massive break. 1:33 left.
Cam sacked again by his defensive counterpart, Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. It'll be fourth down and a while at the two-minute warning. Panthers may punt here and hope for the best on defense.
False Start on Carolina and Newton sacked to force 2nd and 19. Cam gets a few yards back and it's third and 15.
Siemian sacked by Tre Boston on a safety blitz to force fourth down. Panthers get the ball back with 3:06 left. Denver up 21-20, but feels like this is Carolina's game to lose now. Will they be the Cardiac Cats again?
It feels like Denver has to get a couple first downs here to win. You don't want to give the ball back to Cam at this point.
Talib breaks up a third-down pass in single coverage against Devin Funchess to force a field goal. 21-20 with 4:21 left to play. My pick was 21-17 Carolina. Whoops.
Newton, only 1 for 5 this half to start this drive, gets two big passes to get Carolina across the 50 and hits Olsen again to get in field goal range.
Panthers convert third and 2. a flag is thrown then picked up so the play stands. That will be huge as the crowd settles down a little.
Denver struggles to punch it in, but Anderson squeezes in between big guys and crosses the goal line. 14 straight points and Denver gets its first lead and have momentum. 9:26 left to play.
Anderson gets the first down.
That spot looked pretty favorable to Denver, they'll look at it on replay. Denver will use the time during the challenge to think over how to handle fourth and inches at the 2.
Denver offensive line has opened up holes all game for Anderson. Third and 1 ends with Siemian pulling it down and running for a first down at the 11.
Wow, tipped pass leads to interception by Chris Harris and the circumstances of the game have changed completely. Denver will get the ball inside the Carolina 25 down three.
CJ Anderson throws a quick block on Thomas Davis then takes a screen pass to the end zone. Broncos are back in it after a 78-yard drive. 17-14.
End of the third quarter and Panthers still leading 17-7. The three turnovers in Carolina territory have been huge. Broncos finally getting stops in the third quarter.
Siemian making some good throws and Denver's running game has opened up several times. The 2 INTs have been the difference maker.
Cam eludes a sack again and dumps it off to Stewart for a first down, but it's nullified after a face mask on Ryan Kahlil. A false start on Devin Funchess makes it third and 30 as Panthers sputtering a bit. Will punt it again as they've failed to extend the lead beyond 10.
Cam is back on the field, but still being chased as he throws it away on first down. Then misses Corey Brown on a screen pass.
Peyton Manning is going to remain a star if this cameo in the booth is any indicator. He's affable, polite and just the right amount of funny. Would do well with most audiences.
Looks like Cam's back bent at a painful angle. Looks like backup Derek Anderson is warming up with baseball cap on.
Cam is really strong, throws it over his receiver and out of bounds after getting whacked. Demarcus Ware beats Michael Oher for Denver's first sack and Cam is getting attention from the trainer on the sideline. Great punt by Lee again. 76 yards.
Interception Panthers! Siemian couldn't step into a throw on a Kurt Coleman safety blitz and underthrows his receiver, Bene Benwikere goes up for the pick in the red zone. Carolina forces its third turnover of the night. All three turnovers for Denver have come inside the Carolina 30.
Siemian had a nice throw for a first down, than the rookie Bradberry called for getting too rough with Demaryius Thomas and Denver in Carolina territory.
Panthers moving the ball without much resistance the last three drives. As Soon as I say that, Newton is stopped short of the first down on third and inches. Denver needed that stop. Andy Lee kicks it to the end zone. REM's Orange Crush plays as bumper music going to break, but Panthers still in control.
First-half positives for the Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin is back and very effective, winning the turnover battle 2-0, Cam is being his usual self as a double threat, Rookie cornerbacks playing reasonably well.
Play of the half: Newton shaking off TJ Ward on a third and long and finding Greg Olsen for a first down. Cam now has the NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback...in his sixth season.
Field goal is good and Carolina will carry a 17-7 lead into the half.
Playing soft in coverage is hard when facing a running quarterback who can take off on you like Cam. 12 seconds left in the half and Cam throws a rocket to Olsen only where he could catch it. Field attempt forthcoming for Carolina.
Benjamin is too big to try and arm tackle. First down Panthers.
Panthers in hurry-up offense with under a minute left.
Broncos go three-and-out as Siemian misfires on an out route. Carolina will get one more drive here to add to their lead before half.
Cam goes back to the Superman pose after a two-yard TD run and he can do it after that stretch. That was a game-defining drive steered by the reigning MVP. Lasted 9:15 and 18 plays with five third-down conversions. 14-7 Carolina late in the first half.
Third and 7, great touch pass by Cam to Greg Olsen, who somehow was wide open. Denver called for 12 men on defense and Carolina at the doorstep.
Newton shook TJ Ward, who was barking at him earlier, coming on a safety blitz. Classic Cam play to stay alive and throw for a first down. 17th play of the drive coming up.
Nice ball-control, methodical drive by the Panthers here to eat up clock and keep the ball out of the vaunted Andy Janovich's hands for Denver. third down coming up.
Cam responds by finding Benjamin again for a first down. Benjamin takes a spill and heads to the sideline.
Cam with a run on first down, then eludes pressure and throws it away. Third and long play and the Panthers have to use their final timeout. Broncos safety TJ Ward and Cam jaw at each other during the stoppage.
Wow. First carry for Andy Janovich is for a touchdown. Janovich was a sixth-round draft pick. Panthers didn't see it coming. Go add him to your fantasy team. Tied at 7.
Nice blocking by Denver on that run by CJ Anderson.
Broncos get stop on third and 9, Panthers lead 7-0 at end of the first quarter. Panthers about to punt with new punter Andy Lee,
Cam wanted a flag after getting whacked when he threw it on first down. He's a big dude so it doesn't hurt as much.
Tipped pass leads to Thomas Davis interception. Panthers defense has forced two turnovers in two possessions. As much of a statement as your defense can make. Kuechly and Thomas Davis are everywhere. Panthers take over.
Panthers first-round pick Vernon Butler gets his first sack to make it 3rd and 19.
Great penetration by Kuechly, who found the gap in protection for a tackle for loss.
Emmanuel Sanders may not have caught that ball in bounds, but Carolina doesn't risk using a challenge with only one timeout left in the half.
Broadcast shows graphics showing Cam's proficiency on third down, Cam then finds Kelvin Benjamin for a first down in Denver territory.
Charles Johnson apparently caused the fumble after replay. Crafty run by Johnathan Stewart to juke Demarcus Ware in the backfield and run for first down.
Panthers force fumble and it's Luke Kuechly who caused it. Carolina ball. That was rookie Devontae Booker's first carry.
Siemian pressured on two straight plays that cause wild throws, then stays alive long enough to find a receiver open for first down. Surprised he's thrown five passes in five plays.
Siemian pump fakes, then throws sidearm on first play for first down. Pretty savvy looking first pass
National Anthem being sung. Looks like Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was kneeling during it. I got a feeling this will be a thing all year.
Panthers win coin toss, Denver will get ball first. The Trevor Siemian era is about to begin.
Both teams take the field!
As Kickoff nears, here's the inactive list for the Panthers:
RB Cameron Artis-Payne, WR Brenton Bersin, WR Damiere Byrd, DE Lavar Edwards, G Tyler Larsen, S Dean Marlowe, LB Jared Norris
Nothing marks the return of the NFL better than One Direction.
The Rob Gronkowski and Jim Kelly commercials are awesome. Haven't seen the new Gatorade ad with Cam yet.
Watching the pregame show. Commentator Rodney Harrison struck by how big Cam is when he comes over to say hello. "That guy is huge! It wouldn't surprise me if they design more runs for him." Tony Dungy says Cam looks relaxed and loose.
AND WE'RE LIVE!
The Panthers have arrived at the Stadium! Not too long now before gametime.
Hi folks, my name is Ryan Bisesi, and I'm a digital producer at WFMY News 2. This is the first entry of our station's Panthers Blog that we'll update throughout the season. Various personalities from around the WFMY News 2 Information Center will chime in with opinions and insight, photos, videos and other exciting content throughout the season. We'll try to interact with our viewership by reaching out for opinions and insight from the passionate Panthers fan base in the Triad. So don't be afraid to reach out and tell us your thoughts on players, coaches, games or anything Panthers-related. Show us your fandom!
As the 2016 season dawns, the Panthers shoulder the load of expectation that they didn't last year and the league will be ready for them. Before we preview the game, let's take a last look at 2015. Here are some images that tell the tale.
Panthers at Broncos, 8:30 p.m., Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
It took a team from the Mile High City to hand the Panthers the low point of their season. An uncharacteristic Super Bowl 50 performance six months ago is the last time much of America saw the Panthers, who posted as ho-hum a 15-1 regular season as you'll see before blowing out their foes in the NFC Divisional and Championship Rounds. The loss put a sour ending on an otherwise stellar season, making tonight's clash personal for the Panthers.
* The Super Bowl rematch and first game of the NFL regular season boasts both the Regular Season MVP in Cam Newton and Super Bowl MVP in Von Miller. As much as both players want a win to start off the regular season, they both say there's no animosity between them at this point. Newton and Carolina want to put a band-aid on the sting from a forgettable Super Bowl performance seven months ago. Miller's team seeks to defend its championship without the Hall of Fame quarterback that orchestrated the path. Newton's been one of the more scrutinized players since entering the league in 2011 by players and media, but Miller praised Newton in a conference call with the media last weekend.
“I admire Cam” Miller said. “If I had a son that wanted to be a quarterback, I would point him in the direction of Cam Newton and Peyton Manning.”
"Mutual respect," Newton told reporters when asked what was the relationship like between the two.
The Panthers' twitter account tweeted out a Gatorade commercial featuring Newton Thursday afternoon. The spot highlights some of the criticism Newton received after walking out on the post game news conference after the Super Bowl.
* Beating the Broncos in a season opener has proved to be a tall task since their inception. Denver posts the league's best record in season openers at 42-13-1. The Broncos are 15-1 in home openers since 2000. They started the season on Thursday night in 2013, defeating Baltimore 49-27.
* Newton's increased profile last year made him step up his thread game as well. In addition to being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Newton recently graced the cover of GQ's fall fashion issue and was seen sporting several stylish threads at news conferences and in the tunnels before games last season. Newton has his own line of clothing and doesn't hesitate to branch out when it comes to the wardrobe.
* Fans are excited to see wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin back. Benjamin will start after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. In his rookie season in 2014, Benjamin became the 11th rookie in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving yards.
* How will Carolina's secondary play? All-Pro Josh Norman and Robert McClain were the starting cornerbacks for Carolina in the Super Bowl, but after Norman signed with Washington in the offseason the Panthers carry a pair of rookies at corner. The Panthers will be fortunate to replace anything close to Norman's production last year as he held quarterbacks to a league-low 54 passer rating.
Second-round pick James Bradberry and third-rounder Daryl Worley are listed as starters on the Panthers' unofficial depth chart. McClain, who only played 35 snaps during the regular season, will back up Bradberry. The Panthers' inexperience at the position is a stark contrast to the Broncos, who still have Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. at corner with T.J. Ward at safety, all of which have multiple Pro Bowls under their belt. Safety Roman Harper returned to New Orleans after a respectable 2015 with Carolina while corner Charles Tillman retired after tearing his ACL.
* Trevor Who? With Peyton Manning the most notable absence from Thursday's game, few could have predicted Denver's Trevor Siemian would be starting in his place. Siemian is at a completely different stage in his career from Newton, as KUSA's Mike Klis opined. For one thing, Cam has thrown an NFL regular season pass. Siemian, a second-year player and seventh-round draft pick from Northwestern, took one regular season snap last year, a kneel down in Week 15, but what a kneel down it was.
Trevor Siemian wins Broncos job despite only one regular season snap, a 2015 Week 15 kneel down. What a story. pic.twitter.com/buxvCK4Kh3— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) August 29, 2016
Prediction: I don't anticipate another 15-1 season for the Panthers, but I think an inexperienced quarterback will be hard pressed to consistently go down field against their defense. Not to dismiss the legion of stars on Denver's defensive unit, but Carolina played an especially sloppy game in the Super Bowl and won't let that happen again. A win Thursday won't take away the sting of losing the Super Bowl, but it will make Carolina undefeated, a place they were pretty comfortable at last year for much of the season. My Week 1 pick is Panthers 21, Broncos 17. Also, it's a good bet Cam will wear something flashy after the game.
Hey there, my name is Carrie Hodgin and I’m a digital producer for WFMY News 2.
Prediction: I have high hopes for the Panthers this season. Do I think we’ll make it back to the Super Bowl? Well, let’s just say we’ll have to wait to see how that turns out. I do think the Panthers have something to prove tonight against the Broncos because the SB 50 loss still stings. I just want to see the Panthers hold on to that ball tonight. We’ve got to see more consistency, I think, from Cam with throwing the ball. I’m in fear of seeing a repeat of SB 50 when we just kept seeing that ball bounce on the gridiron. I’m betting on both of these teams coming out of the tunnel fired up for a rematch in this season opener. I think we’re going to see a really great and close game tonight. After all, they don’t call it them the Cardiac Cats for nothing. My Week 1 pick is Panthers 24, Broncos 16. Game on!
Speaking of Cam, now that the dab is retired, what will he do if he scores a touchdown tonight? Tweet us your thoughts at @WFMY using the hashtag #Pantherson2 or leave a comment below. Also, don't hesitate to send us your pictures, videos, anything that captures your game reaction and displays your passion for the defending NFC champions.