Fresh off the high from their win over the Saints in Week Two, the Panthers came crashing back to earth in Week Three. The Giants had their way with Carolina in a 36-7 drubbing that embarrassed the franchise in its first prime-time home game since the 2009 season.
With the game well out of reach on Carolina’s final possession, the Panthers pulled QB Cam Newton — who threw three picks and set a career-low with a 40.6 passer rating — in favor of backup QB Derek Anderson, but Panthers WR Steve Smith refused to leave the game and made two catches (one was negated by a defensive penalty) during the final drive.
Smith revealed that he delivered some pointed words to Newton on the sideline for sitting on the bench and appearing to sulk during the game’s final moments. This was not the first time team leaders have approached Newton to suggest he should change his demeanor, though, and it continues to be a point of scrutiny for the exceptionally talented second-year quarterback.