CHARLOTTE – The Panthers' first win of the season was indeed sweet.
"Very sweet," quarterback Cam Newton. "And it's something we want to get accustomed to."
But if the Panthers want Sunday's 38-0 victory to be the first of many, they need to accept it for what it is: one win.
"For us, this is just one step. We have a long way to go. We haven't achieved anything yet," Newton said.
Left tackle and fellow-team captain Jordan Gross echoed that sentiment.
"We just need to make sure we turn one into two in a row," Gross said. "We can't think that we are the greatest team ever now because we got one win."
Carolina travels to Arizona to play the Cardinals after a Week 4 bye. Newton said the Panthers will make that trip with a renewed confidence and newfound swagger after thrashing the Giants at Bank of America Stadium.
"It's very big," Newton said. "Any time you talk about great teams or teams that mesh, one common denominator is a particular swagger. You never see a playoff caliber team play scared or conservative."
Gross described how the first win of the season impacted Carolina's collective confidence, explaining that the victory had a way of reassuring the Panthers that they are capable of attaining success.
"Success cures a lot of things. But more than that, it gives you confirmation that what you're doing works," Gross said. "More than anything, us winning lets everybody know that we have been doing the right thing and we have been working hard and we have been running the plays and blocking them the right way.
"We just needed it all to come together."
It certainly did on Sunday, and Newton said it was the team-wide contributions that made him most proud.
"I just think everyone (taking advantage of) opportunity," Newton said. "As an offense, we had opportunities in the red zone, and instead of putting three points up we scored touchdowns.
"(Wide receiver Brandon) LaFell blossomed and took the pressure off Smitty (Steve Smith) in a lot of cases. Guys took a role that they needed."
And with their first win behind then, the Panthers will use the bye week to help prepare for the 13-game marathon that lies ahead, starting with a cross-country trip to face the Cardinals.
"This is a marathon; this is not a sprint. We have to prepare for that mentally and physically," Newton said. "We can't get beside ourselves with this win. It's a great win, but at the same time, we have to get prepared for Arizona."