The big win on Thursday night to kickoff the NFL season was definitely worth the wait. For old school football fans, the Broncos and Panthers played the perfect game. It was smash mouth, physical, hard hitting, insert next cliche here.
But the narrative became all about Cam Newton’s head. The quarterback was smiling and dancing most of the first half. He enjoyed his trash talking. His infectious laugh seemed to permeate through Mile High Stadium. The Defense noticed.
Apparently, the last thing anyone wants to do is make the Broncos defense angry. Darian Stewart and TJ Ward do not appreciate all your dancing Cam. Stewart, Ward, and the rest of the D went about chopping down the Newton tree. You could see it. Every hit was like the swing of an ax. Chips flew, and the tree was bound to fall, eventually.
One thing we know about Cam Newton is that when he is winning, he likes to let you know about it. The Panthers tried to downplay the revenge factor, but it was hard to hide. The defensive struggles in the first half, and the Newton touchdown only brought out the true colors of the Panthers. They wanted that win, but the celebration came a bit early.
So, what did we learn? Do not piss off the Denver Broncos defense. The Broncos set about laying the wood, and punishing Newton for smiling too much, and having too much fun. It may not have been a revenge game for Carolina, but it was for the Broncos defense in the second half. You can bet the rest of the league took noticed. Stewart’s hits shook Mile High Stadium on Thursday night. Maybe next time Newton won’t wake a sleeping giant.