CHARLOTTE – It was the kind of start that has admittedly given the Panthers' offense trouble.
The kind where early mistakes must be overcome quickly.
St. Louis was intent on quite literally fighting their way back, and after Munnerlyn's touchdown, the Panthers took a sack, went three-and-out, and then gave up a safety.
"There's been games in the past where a sack on our second play of the game and a safety on the second drive of the game might have spelled trouble for us offensively," left tackle
The Panthers put the early offensive miscues behind them and proceeded to play efficient, turnover-free football in a 30-15 victory.
"I was really proud of everybody on the offense," Gross said. "We kept working and kept grinding."
Gross and the offensive line gave up just two sacks to a Rams team that led the league in that category a year ago.
"I'm not sure why we sputtered at first but I do know this – once (offensive coordinator) Mike Shula got into a rhythm with his guys and had a real good feel for the offensive side, the play calling was outstanding," head coach Ron Rivera said. "They knew we wanted to run the ball. They loaded up the box a couple times. We had to make something happen and we did."
It wasn't an explosive offensive display by any means, with Carolina averaging 4.9 yards per play and totaling 282 yards, but it was effective.
"I don't know if our stats were flashy today," tight end
"We were able to have a pretty significant win at home by a pretty good margin."
And that has the 3-3 Panthers believing in the momentum they've built with Thursday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up next.
"I really do (believe momentum is building), but I don't want to stunt any growth for us right now," Newton said. "Our preparation leading up into this week is to put ourselves in a situation where we can be 4-3 on Thursday."