Cam Newton is essentially identified for 3 issues. The previous Heisman Trophy winner and league MVP is an explosive athlete who performs quarterback in a manner few gamers have ever performed the place. Newton is sort of as well-known for his colourful, outgoing persona that comes out in landing celebrations in addition to in his pre and postgame outfits. Controversy has additionally been a part of Newton’s story, from his unceremonious departure from Florida, his Auburn recruitment, insensitive feedback made to a feminine reporter throughout a 2017 presser, and his lack of hustle on a fumble close to the tip of Carolina’s loss to Denver in Tremendous Bowl 50.
As soon as thought-about a shoo-in for future induction for the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Newton’s profession has largely gone downhill since his MVP season of 2015. He has not made a single Professional Bowl since his MVP season, when he led the Panthers to a 15-1 common season document. Since 2015, Newton has had only one season with a profitable document. Accidents have contributed to Newton’s decline in manufacturing, as he missed a lot of the 2019 season with a Lisfranc fracture.
Newton’s lone season in New England was in some ways successful. Quarterbacking a staff in flux (the Patriots led the league in COVID-19 choose outs), Newton went 7-8 as a starter whereas finishing almost 66% of his passes. At age 31, Newton had top-of-the-line dashing seasons by a quarterback in league historical past, with 592 yards and 12 touchdowns on the bottom. However Newton’s lack of landing passes — a good criticism — generated way more headlines in New England, the place followers had grown accustomed to watching Tom Brady’s greatness for 2 full a long time.
Newton’s time in New England ended together with his launch earlier than the beginning of the common season. And after remaining unsigned for the primary half of the common season, it was affordable to wonder if or not the one-time human spotlight reel had performed his last down of significant soccer.
The whole lot modified final week, when the Panthers — the staff that launched Newton in March of 2020 — signed him to assist save a season that began with a lot promise. Accidents sapped the luster out of Carolina’s 3-0 begin, as Carolina gained simply one among its final six video games previous to signing Newton. Paradoxically, the final of these losses got here towards Newton’s different former staff, the Patriots, who held Carolina’s punchless offense to a mere six factors in an 18-point defeat.
Upon starting his second chapter in Carolina, Newton rapidly knowledgeable anybody listening that his signing was not a novelty act. Newton returned to assist the Panthers salvage their season.
Newton’s affect was felt in Sunday’s shocking win over the Cardinals, who entered the sport because the NFC’s top-seeded staff. Newton received the sport began with a 2-yard landing run. On the Panthers’ subsequent possession, Newton fired a 2-yard landing move to Robby Anderson. Earlier than the Cardinals might blink, Newton had scored two touchdowns whereas serving to the Panthers soar out to a 14-0 lead. The Panthers by no means misplaced momentum en path to shifting again to .500. The 34-10 win additionally moved the Panthers forward of the Falcons within the NFC South division standings. Carolina additionally gained floor on the Saints and Buccaneers, who misplaced their respective matchups on Sunday.
Given his lack of expertise inside the Panthers’ system, Newton performed in simply 12% of Carolina’s offensive snaps. However his power and manufacturing in his restricted function was infectious on his new teammates, who parlayed that momentum into the staff’s most spectacular win throughout Matt Rhule’s two seasons in Carolina.
“It was a blast. It was quite a lot of enjoyable,” Panthers working again Christian McCaffrey mentioned of taking part in with Newton once more, through Joseph Particular person of The Athletic. “The power that he brings is not like anybody I’ve ever met.
“Clearly, the story has been Cam this complete week. One factor that I see out of Cam that is no totally different than what I’ve seen earlier than: He is right here to win. Everyone’s right here to win. … I feel immediately was a superb instance of the staff that we may be.”
Together with serving to revive their season (the Panthers can be the NFC’s seventh and last playoff seed if the postseason began immediately), Newton reminded everybody on Sunday of his distinctive expertise as a twin risk quarterback. Newton will certainly proceed to remind everybody of his distinctive skillset as he continues to get extra acclimated to the Panthers’ offense.
Past his expertise, Newton reminded the soccer world that his presence, alongside together with his expertise, is likely one of the the reason why he was one of many NFL‘s finest gamers for almost a full decade. And If he may also help carry the Panthers to their first postseason berth since 2017, it could be one more feather on Newton’s postgame cap so far as his future Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame prospects is worried.