CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton turned in an MVP performance last season while leading the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl -- and he didnt even have his favorite wide receiver.So theres plenty of curiosity over what the leagues highest-scoring team can accomplish this year with Kelvin Benjamin returning from a torn ACL.Benjamin caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie in 2014 before surgery. Hes back now, and will start alongside second-year wideout Devin Funchess, who replaces veteran Jerricho Cotchery following an impressive training camp.Along with Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen and deep threat Ted Ginn Jr., who accounted for 10 TD receptions in 2015, Newton has plenty of options in the passing game.Benjis coming back with a vengeance -- and I mean it, Newton said earlier this offseason. And not only that, hes challenged more so from the production that Ted Ginn has had, the production that Fun (Funchess) has had, that Philly (Brown), that Greg (Olsen), everybody.Rivera said Benjamins return is exciting, but he wants to make sure Newton doesnt lock in too much on the big man.Everyone has to understand that last year a lot of guys established who they are in this league, Rivera said. I think those (other) guys really took another step. I think our offense has to continue to grow and take steps. I know a couple years ago we were really heavy at getting the ball at Kelvin and I would love to continue to see us spread it because it will only open things up for everyone else.That includes the running game.Jonathan Stewart returns to anchor a group that has rushed for at least 100 yards in an NFL-best 32 straight games, including the playoffs. Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker will see action in the backfield along with fullback Mike Tolbert.Newton, of course, is a threat all by himself.The Panthers have turned the read-option into a dangerous weapon behind the powerful 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback. With one more rushing touchdown Newton will move past Steve Young for the most ever by a quarterback.Some things to watch this season for the Panthers:ROOKIE CORNERBACKS: The Panthers are expected to start rookies James Bradberry and Daryl Worley at cornerback after losing All-Pro Josh Norman to free agency and Charles Tillman to retirement. Thats a lot of pressure on young players, considering they will face Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston each twice this season.However, its clear the Panthers arent looking back at the decision to remove the franchise tag on Norman with any trepidation.Football is the truest of all team games, Gettleman said. It takes 53 guys. ... I dont subscribe to the one-player-away theory. I dont believe in it. Lets find out.KUECHLY AND COMPANY: Behind middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, the Panthers led the league in takeaways last season with 39, with 24 coming on interceptions. The Panthers scored an NFL-leading 148 points off turnovers in 2015, shattering a franchise record.The takeaways often provided short fields for Newton to work with on the ensuing possession.EALYS TIME TO SHINE: After an incredible Super Bowl in which he had three sacks and forced two turnovers by Peyton Manning, defensive end Kony Ealy is looking to carry that success over to 2016.Ealy had steadily improved throughout his second season in the league, culminating in the big game against the Broncos. But with Jared Allen gone, Carolina will need Ealy to step up and be a pass-rushing force playing opposite Charles Johnson. Johnson has something to prove after missing all of last season with a hamstring and returning to the team after taking a $6 million pay cut to return to the team.RED-ZONE EFFICIENCY: The Panthers started off 14-0 last season in large part due to their red zone offense, converting 68.3 percent of their attempts into touchdowns -- second-best in the league. Newton was near perfect inside the opponents 20-yard line, tossing 24 touchdown passes with no interceptions.That number could go up this season as the 6- 5, 250-pound Benjamin figures to be a big weapon near the goal line given his height advantage over smaller cornerbacks and his jumping ability.NEWTONS MILESTONES: Newton needs 996 yards passing and four touchdown passes to set franchise career records.Nationally, hes the only player in NFL history to record five seasons with at least 3,000 yards passing and 400 yards rushing.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Miami Heat Jerseys . After taking two big hits this week -- losing at home and dropping back-to-back games for the first time all season -- Indiana struck back by playing its most complete game of the year. Kelly Olynyk Heat Jersey . What general manager Dave Nonis called "short and productive" negotiations ended with Kessel signing a US$64-million, eight-year contract on Tuesday. https://www.heatlockerroom.com/Kyle-Alexander-City-Edition-Jersey/ . 1 position. The Mustangs (6-0), who beat Queens 50-31 last weekend, earned 17 first-place votes and 287 points in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada. Western was last ranked first in the country in October 2011. Glen Rice Heat Jersey . "Trying to breathe," he said with a grin. Bernier stopped 42 of 43 shots on Monday night, including all 22 in a hectic middle frame, his heroic performance propelling the Leafs toward an undue point in their final game before the Christmas break. Glen Rice Jersey . First off, the fans ripped the Cubbies introduction of a fuzzy new kid-friendly mascot named "Clark". EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- Walking toward the 18th green at the Evian Championship with one putt to make golfing history, In Gee Chun felt the nerves gripping her.After some motivating words from her caddie, she steadied herself and sank a putt from 10 feet to hold a difficult par. That putt saw her win on 21 under to record the lowest 72-round ever in a mens or womens major.It was the 22-year-old South Koreans second major after winning last years womens U.S. Open.Given her lead over countrywomen Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu, victory was effectively assured as Chun approached the 18th tee. But it looked like she might miss the record lowest score when her tee shot flew into the left rough.After chatting to her caddie, she chose the safe option and used a wedge to chop her way onto the fairway, about 95 yards from the pin.Then, Chun glided her ball over the water magnificently to give herself a shot at history. But the short walk to the green felt like an eternity.I was so nervous, Chun said. So my caddie David Jones told me `if you make the par, I buy the dinner.Jones might regret it when he sees the bill.I can pick any expensive one, said a smiling Chun, who broke the record of 20 under co-held by Henrik Stenson and Jason Day, and also bettered the womens record by two.She led from start to finish, although she did share the first-round lead with Park -- who finished four shots back in a tie for second with Ryu.Shanshan Feng, Chinas only major winner, was six shots back in fourth place, with South Korean Sei Young Kim posting an impressive 65 to move up to fifth ahead of countrywoman I.K. Kim.Chun finished the day with a 2-under 69, the most modest of her four rounds. Not that it took anything away from her achievement.I just cannot believe I won the Evian Championship and made 21 under par, Chun said moments after her win as she clutched the trophy. Im not dreaming right?Some difference from last year, when she missed the cut here at Evian Ressort.dddddddddddd In 2014 she tied for 65th.Over four days of intensely accurate driving and clinical putting, she was near-faultless this time. Her only significant blemish was a double bogey on the ninth hole in the third round -- and even then she limited the damage having opted for a two-stroke penalty.There was one bogey on Sunday, on the 14th, but Chun made a birdie on the next to move back to 21 under and almost added another birdie on the 16th, with her attempt stopping just short.Chun is the only the second player in LPGA history to have her first two LPGA wins come at majors. The other was countrywoman Se Ri Pak in 1998.After making her record-breaking putt, Chun raised both arms in the air.I think shes an amazing ambassador for the womens game, said Lydia Ko, the defending Evian champion. You can kind of see that from her personality.It was a tournament to forget for Ko.Chasing her third major, the 19-year-old New Zealander finished in a tie for 43rd at 2 over.She did enough, however, to win the third edition of the Rolex Annika Major Award -- rewarding the player with the best combined record at all five majors and named after 10-time major winner Annika Sorenstam.For (Sorenstam) to be here and for her to be able to present the trophy to me makes it even more special, Ko said.Ko won the ANA Inspiration in April, where Chun was tied for second.That tournament was Chuns first start after a month out with a back injury caused in bizarre circumstances. She was struck by a hard-case suitcase that rival South Korean player Ha Na Jangs father dropped down an escalator at the Singapore airport.I was struggling, between the injury and my body and psychological problems, Chun said through a translator. It was an inner struggle, and it was going around and around, so it was difficult for me to get out of that situation. ' ' '