Continued from page 1

“I guess we weren’t gap sound,” Orakpo said. “They were moving guys around in different formations trying to get us thinking and out of our gaps, and that’s what kind of translated into them making those big runs.”

Carolina hurt the Redskins just as badly through the air. Newton threw for 256 yards and posted a career-high passer rating of 127.5. He threw only five incompletions in 23 attempts. Four-time Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith was the main beneficiary, with 143 yards on seven catches.

Newton began the day with an NFL-high nine interceptions, but the Redskins couldn’t coax one out of him.

“Today he made plays where he didn’t force [the ball] into windows,” linebacker London Fletcher said. “Guys were open. He made plays for them. He’s a good player, a lot better than you would expect a guy to be at such a young age and with no offseason workouts.”

All of Carolina’s offensive firepower kept the Redskins‘ defense on the field for long stretches. The Panthers had an 11-minute advantage in time of possession. One of their second-half scoring drives lasted a whopping 8 minutes, 26 seconds, and two field goal drives in the first lasted longer than 7 minutes.

Heck, even when Newton got sacked he made a big play. Orakpo crushed him on a blindside sack at the Redskins‘ 18-yard line after rushing unblocked, but Newton held onto the ball and preserved a field goal.

“He’s a big dude, man,” Orakpo said. “I’m very surprised it didn’t come out.”

It left the Redskins searching for Kryptonite, while Newton, in the end, soaked in the adoration.

“That,” he said, “is the fun part — celebrating.”