'Double Trouble' busy smashing records

Jonathan Stewart

They might have changed their nickname on Sunday, but DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart certainly didn't change their running style. Carolina's dynamic rushing duo combined for 234 yards on the ground and both ran their way into the record books as the Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 33-31 to win the NFC South division title and clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Lost in the excitement of Carolina's come-from-behind victory was Williams breaking Stephen Davis' single-season team rushing record of 1,444 yards set back in 2003. Williams ran for 178 yards on Sunday, giving him 1,515 yards for the season, third most in the NFL.

"The offensive line and (fullback) Brad Hoover and those guys broke the record today," Williams said, deflecting the praise to others. "They've done a great job for me all year. They've continued blocking for us and the wide receivers too, all in all those guys deserve this record today."

Stewart established a rookie rushing record, surpassing Fred Lane's mark of 809. Stewart finished his rookie campaign with 836 yards and 10 touchdowns, also a team record.

After the game, Williams hung around his locker waiting for the media to gather before unveiling the duo's new nickname: "Double Trouble."

He held up a blackboard advertising his new website -- www.nameswecanbelievein.com -- which pokes a little fun at Tennessee's running back duo of LenDale White and Chris Johnson, who claimed earlier in the year that Williams and Stewart had stolen their nickname "Smash and Dash."

"It's very beautiful," Williams said. "You guys are going to love it. You guys are going to laugh like so much. Fans, you're going to enjoy this site as much as I did. You'll see. After I saw it I was crying, literally tears I was laughing so hard."

The problem for the Panthers heading into the postseason will be fixing a pass defense that has fallen apart. The Panthers allowed Drew Brees to throw for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter as they watched their 20-point lead disappear.

Brees torched the Panthers for 386 yards and four touchdowns.

Quote: "That played big. Anytime you have two guys that started 15 games for you and they are out for the 16th that hurts you. But I thought we had guys respond great. I think they grew up a little bit today. Hopefully we can get both of our starters back for that playoff game." -- Coach John Fox on the absence of defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu (ankle) and Damione Lewis (shoulder) Sunday.

Trending: The Panthers are in dire need of a bye week. They played without both starting defensive tackles Sunday and then suffered two injuries on the offensive line as Geoff Hangartner (ankle) went out in the second quarter and Jeff Otah (toe) left in the third quarter.

"To get them healthy and rested I think is crucial," Fox said.

Nine-year NFL veteran Darwin Walker and rookie Nick Hayden started at defensive tackle for the Panthers. Tyler Brayton and Charles Johnson also took some reps inside.

PantherInsider.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Forums


0 Fans online
    Join The Conversation

    Tweets