Standing 6 feet and 5 inches tall weighing in at 245 pounds… In his 5th year as an NFL quarterback, Cam Newton is finally putting the pieces together. Coming into this season I already knew Cam had shown moments of great leadership last year as the Carolina Panthers won the NFC South division title. Beating the Arizona Cardinals in a wild card game and ultimately losing to an eventual Super Bowl contender Seattle Seahawks team in the following round.
As this season came around, I had a feeling Cam Newton would be something special. Especially after 2nd year wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had an amazing rookie year campaign. Knowing those two would have a special connection in the passing game. But when Kelvin tore his ACL during training camp this summer, all of my excitement seemed to wash away that day. Also losing former running back De’Angelo Williams to the Pittsburgh Steelers slimmed down the options for our running attack. So what do the Carolina Panthers do now? Fold? No, you look at your head coach, you look to your team captains, and you look to your quarterback. Cam Newton now has Ted Ginn Jr., Devin Funchess, and two undrafted players in Corey Brown and Brenton Bersin as receiver options. The most notable household name of the bunch is tide end Greg Olsen.
With this receiving core, Newton has a completion percentage of just 55.4% (lowest in his career) but has still passed for 9 touchdowns with only 3 turnovers. Using my eye test, I’ve seen Cam throw a lot better in the slot this year. Using short-gain situations to move the ball down the field, scrambling when the play doesn’t develop in time. Off value of teammates alone matched up against production and overall record, Cam has lead the Panthers to it’s first 4-0 start to the season since the 2003 Carolina Panthers did so. That same squad went on to face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Regardless of who your early MVP candidate is, no other NFL player is more valuable to their teams’ success than Cam Newton is right now for the Panthers. Throwing to who knows who and scrambling for his life when he can, but most importantly winning games for the city! My hometown! Anyway, catch Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers play their next game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday October 18th. Until then, it was written!!!
Credits: Charlotte Observer (For the Statistics). CBS Sports (For the photo)