Nationals

Newton leads Panthers over Raiders 17-6

201212231249461814134-p2.jpeg

Newton leads Panthers over Raiders 17-6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton is looking ahead.

Forget that this is another lost season. The dynamic quarterback believes the Panthers can build on the success of having won four of their last five games.

``It's just something for the team's psyche,'' Newton said after a 17-6 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. ``People ask, what are we playing for this year? It's a respect thing. It's pride. Every single person that's on this roster can say I'm not a quitter. I'm finishing and I'm setting up for something.

``We know what kind of team we are overall, as a whole and we're playing for hope,'' he added. ``Is it too late? Some may say that, but I'm a part of a lot of teammates that aren't quitters and I'm proud to say that.''

Of course, the Panthers won four of their last six last season and stumbled out of the gates this year amid high expectations in his second season at the helm.

Newton apologized after the win Sunday. It had nothing to do with his performance on the field, but rather what he said when he angrily confronted referee Jerome Boger and drew a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the fourth quarter.

``The words that I said during the game were very disrespectful and I apologized to him during the game, but I'm going public and apologizing again,'' Newton said. ``It was something in the heat of the moment.''

The second-year quarterback made up for it by throwing for 171 yards and a touchdown and running for 60 yards and another score.

Newton's frustration stemmed from a heated game featuring several shoving matches, plenty of verbal exchanges and six unnecessary roughness penalties - including one that sidelined Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer in the first quarter for the rest of the day.

Newton took exception with what he felt was a late hit by Raiders safety Mike Mitchell with Carolina up 14-6.

``During the heat of the moment I felt as if he finished the hit and I had already thrown the ball,'' Newton said. ``I felt like after he threw it he still finished and drove me into the ground. With the referee right there I questioned his decision not to throw the flag on him.''

Boger said after the game he penalized Newton for ``disrespectfully addressing an official'' and that he ``misspoke'' when he announced that Newton was flagged for bumping an official.

Boger said he didn't feel the bump was enough to warrant an ejection.

``It wasn't of a malicious nature,'' Boger said.

Said Newton: ``I have to learn to control what I can control.''

Panthers coach Ron Rivera Newton said he told Newton he has to learn to keep his emotions in check, although he added ``he knows that. He's an emotional guy and he wants to win in a bad way.''

Defensive lineman Tommy Kelly admitted the Raiders were going after Newton following Greg Hardy's hard hit to Palmer's back that sidelined their starting quarterback.

``You take our guy out, we're going to go and try to take your guy out,'' Kelly said. ``We're not out to hurt someone, but when that happens ...''

Coach Dennis Allen said Palmer was taken to the hospital after the game, but X-rays on his ribs were negative.

Earlier in the game Newton appeared to kick Kelly as he got up from being sacked. Kelly was penalized for unnecessary roughness when he pushed back after the play.

``He kicked me,'' Kelly said. ``I guess he thought I was trying to do something to his leg, but I don't play like that. How are you going to react if someone kicks you? Are you just going to take it?''

With Palmer out, the Raiders' offense was rendered ineffective.

Carolina's defense limited the Raiders to 189 total yards and 12 first downs.

Newton and the Panthers built a 14-3 lead at halftime then let linebacker Luke Kuechly and the defense do the rest.

Palmer's replacement, Matt Leinart, managed only 115 yards passing in three-plus quarters and was intercepted once by Kuechly, setting up Carolina's second touchdown of the game.

``That's his first extended action in a regular-season game in a long time, so I'm sure there was a little bit of rust there,'' Allen said of Leinart. ``But, at the end of the day, when you lose your starting quarterback, there are a lot of other guys who have got to step up, and we didn't have enough guys that make enough plays for us offensively.''

Newton accounted for 231 of the 271 yards for the Panthers, who have won four of their last five games under Rivera. It's unclear if that will be enough to save his job.

Rivera is 12-19 in two years as Carolina's coach.

The Raiders (4-11), losers of seven of eight, were held to 47 yards rushing on 22 carries. Their longest play was a 22-yard reception by third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor on a trick play.

After being penalized for holding on the game's opening drive nullifying a 76-yard touchdown run by DeAngelo Williams, Panthers receiver Steve Smith hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Newton on Carolina's second possession.

Newton added a 3-yard run to make it 14-3 before halftime.

Palmer left late in the first quarter.

After being flushed from the pocket, Palmer set up to throw when Hardy came barreling into him from behind and delivered a vicious blow to the middle of his back. Hardy was flagged for unnecessary roughness and the Raiders received an automatic first down, but was lost Palmer for the day.

NOTES: Kuechly finished with a game-high 13 tackles for the Panthers. At one point he had six tackles in seven plays after he got fired up when officials flagged him for hitting a defenseless receiver. ... The Raiders were held to 47 yards rushing. ... The Panthers have now equaled last year's win total.

Quick Links

There’s a Harper in DC again: Nationals trade for reliever Ryne Harper

There’s a Harper in DC again: Nationals trade for reliever Ryne Harper

It may have taken until Jan. 29, but the Nationals finally made their first trade of the offseason Wednesday when they acquired right-hander reliever Ryne Harper from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for 21-year-old pitching prospect Hunter McMahon.

Of course, he won’t be the first Harper to don the Curly W. He’ll have a lot of work to do if he wants to top the legacy of the former MVP now playing in Philadelphia.

Putting that aside, he’s joining the Nationals coming off a solid rookie season in which he posted a 3.81 ERA with one save and 12 holds in 61 appearances for Minnesota.

At 30 years old, Harper will certainly be a bit seasoned for a second-year player. Per Brooks Baseball, his fastball averaged out at 89.7 mph while he also mixed in healthy usage of a slider and curveball. He isn’t a big strikeout pitcher (8.3 K/9), allowing mostly grounders (38.5 percent) and flyballs (37.3 percent).

Harper was designated for assignment by the Twins to make room for Josh Donaldson on the 40-man roster. Washington was among the suitors for Donaldson; although they didn’t end up signing him, the third baseman still managed to make an impact that affected the Nationals.

McMahon was a ninth-round pick out of last year’s draft who posted a 0.71 ERA over nine appearances last season between rookie ball and Low-A Auburn.

Washington figures to give Harper a chance to compete for a bullpen spot in spring training, joining a crowded group that only has three pitchers guaranteed spots heading into the year: Sean Doolittle, Will Harris and Daniel Hudson.

After the Nationals made the trade official Wednesday, their 40-man roster is now officially full. For fans still holding out hope that Kris Bryant could be going to D.C., this trade only lowers those odds even further after Bryant lost his service-time grievance with the Chicago Cubs.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

History shows how much the Wizards could get in a trade for Davis Bertans

History shows how much the Wizards could get in a trade for Davis Bertans

Indications both on the record and through back channel reporting remain that the Wizards would like to keep sharpshooting forward Davis Bertans beyond the Feb. 6 trade deadline and attempt to re-sign him in the offseason, once they are allowed to negotiate per CBA rules. The most recent story came from Sports Illustrated and it suggested the Wizards aren't entertaining offers.

Still, nothing can be ruled out. Things can change, teams could increase their offers and trade talks always ramp up as the deadline nears. And, if the Wizards do decide to trade Bertans, it would make sense if the return package was centered around draft picks, given the Wizards are in the middle of a franchise reset where those are at a premium.

So, what type of draft pick could the Wizards get for Bertans? For starters, it doesn't seem likely any collection of second round picks would get the deal done given the caliber of player he is. And while first round picks are most often dealt on draft night, there are still plenty of cases where they were sent in exchange for players at other points on the calendar.

With Bertans in mind, here are some examples of teams getting first round picks for players. You may notice a lot of them involved the Wizards being the team that gave up the draft pick. And a few of them ironically included players who are now in Washington.

February 22, 2017: Wizards traded lottery-protected 2017 first round pick (Jarrett Allen was selected), Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton to the Nets for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough

Takeaway: This may be the best comp for a potential Bertans trade because Bogdanovic was on an expiring deal and acquired by a playoff contender at the time looking for a bench shooter. Though Bogdanovic is now a better player than Bertans, at the time he was on the level Bertans is now.

This trade also offers an ideal scenario for the Wizards in that the Nets got a really good player out of it with their draft pick. Allen is one of the game's best young rim protectors.

February 14, 2017: Raptors traded 2017 first round pick (Anzejs Pasecniks was selected) and Terrence Ross to the Magic for Serge Ibaka

Takeaway: Though Ibaka was and is better than Bertans, this type of deal in a basic sense might appeal to the Wizards. The Magic got a first round pick and a quality bench player in Ross. The Magic then used that pick in a separate deal.

February 23, 2017: Rockets traded a 2017 first round pick (Tony Bradley was selected) and Corey Brewer to the Lakers for Lou Williams

Takeaway: Williams, though more accomplished than Bertans, was acquired for the same reason that may make Bertans attractive to teams right now. He is a proven bench scorer with the ability to change the momentum of games. And like the Ibaka deal, the Lakers got both a pick and a serviceable player. If the Wizards could get a first round pick and a player who could help them, that might be hard to pass up.

February 18, 2016: Wizards traded a top-9 protected 2016 first round pick (Georgios Papagiannis was selected), DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries to the Suns for Markieff Morris

Takeaway: Morris had the pedigree of a recent first round pick with upside, but Bertans might be a more appealing trade piece at the moment. Morris had some off-court issues and a public dispute with an assistant coach and that affected his stock. The Suns getting a pick that was only top-9 protected was an impressive return, even if they didn't make much of it.

February 19, 2015: Three-team deal in which the Celtics traded a top-10 protected 2016 first round pick (Skal Labissiere was selected) to the Suns, the Suns traded Isaiah Thomas to the Celtics, the Celtics traded Tayshaun Prince to the Pistons and the Pistons traded Gigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko to the Celtics.

Takeaway: This one is complicated by the fact three teams were involved. Also, Thomas was a better player than Bertans. But the framework of this deal is worth examining given the potential for the Wizards to get another team involved if they decide to part with him.

October 25, 2013: Wizards traded a top-12 protected 2014 first round pick and Emeka Okafor to the Suns for Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall.

Takeaway: Yet another trade where the Wizards dealt a first round pick in a win-now move. This one had some throw-in pieces, but Gortat could be seen as a similar level player relative to his position as Bertans is now. And a top-12 protected first round pick would arguably be a solid return for the Latvian Laser.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: