Was this the best sports weekend in Charlotte History? I don’t think anyone would have believed you 24 hours ago if you’d told them the Carolina Panthers would cruise to victory against the Cardinals and the Hornets would come away with the 106-102 win over Golden State. Cam Newton’s return to the offense provided a much-needed spark to the team, which had dropped 5 of their last 6 games.
The offense had looked cathartic at best recently, with Sam Darnold struggling with interceptions before ultimately getting injured. Christian McCaffery was electric in his second game back after returning from a hamstring injury. Newton, who didn’t start the game, came in and scored touchdowns on his first two plays. After running the ball across the goal line he could be seen yelling “I’m back, I’m back”. And there is no denying his presence helped the team Sunday. The Cardinals, who were without starting QB Kyler Murray, had the best record in the NFL (8-1) going into the game.
However, the Panthers weren’t the only Charlotte team to beat the team with the best record in their league. The Charlotte Hornets secured a win against the Golden State Warriors who were 11-1 before into the matchup. The game also served as a homecoming for Steph Curry but his was not as successful as that of Newton. Miles Bridges and Lorenzo Ball lead the team in scoring with 22 and 21 points respectively. Additionally, the Hornets were able to get a victory against the New York Knicks Friday evening. I also can’t forget to shout out the Carolina Hurricanes who are leading their division in the NHL.
While I could be wrong, I can’t think of a weekend where both local teams got wins this big the same day. Which begs the question “is this the best sports weekend in Charlotte history?” Yes, there have been bigger games for both teams, but these wins were HUGE for both teams. And the opportunity for both teams to build on the success is there as well.