In the end, the Carolina Panthers were simply a better team than the Washington Redskins. On offense and defense, Carolina outplayed the Washington, and the final score of 33-20 reflects it.
Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton was the best player on the field. Newton threw for more than 250 yards and a touchdown, not to mention running for over 60 yards and a score. Newton may be a rookie, but he is smart enough to throw the ball often to wide receiver Steve Smith. Smith led the Panthers with more than 140 yards of receiving.
The biggest difference may have been adjustments after halftime. In the first half the Redskins defense contained the Panthers, giving up just three field goals. In the second half, that all changed. The Panthers scored three touchdowns and moved the ball at will. The Redskins pass rush generated little pressure on Newton, and the secondary got absolutely shredded by Smith.
The Redskins offense moved the ball with some efficiency throughout the game. The run game looked strong in the first half, but starting running back Tim Hightower left the game with an injury in the second half. From there, it appeared the Redskins abandoned the run game. Quarterback John Beck was able to find tight ends Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen on a series of roll-outs and bootleg plays, but in the end Beck and company could not keep up with the Panthers.
For more on the Washington Redskins, check out SB Nation's Washington Redskins blogHogs Haven. For more on the Redskins vs. Panthers showdown, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Panthers, visit SB Nation's Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader.