Cam Newton Takes a Beating as Panthers Lose Again
A lot of people that bet the NFL lines this week took a hit because week 3 was another unpredictable week in the NFL. Despite the unpredictability, the games provided a lot of entertainment to fans that just enjoy watching football games.
Coming into the season, the Carolina Panthers were one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, after a disappointing last second loss to the Denver Broncos to open the season, the Panthers looked very good for three quarters against the San Francisco 49ers in week 2, and entered the weekend a 7 point favorite against the Minnesota Vikings.
Going into the game, the Vikings were 2-0, but during the week, the team announced Adrian Peterson was injured and won’t play against the Panthers, making Carolina the overwhelming favorite to win the game. The Vikings apparently didn’t get the memo because they dominated the Panthers in their own stadium, sacking Cam Newton eight times and picking him off twice en route to their third consecutive win.
After three games, the one thing we know for sure is that this isn’t the same Carolina team from last season. Last season, the Panthers finished the year 15-1, and had the top rated defense in the NFL, this year, they have only one win and have tripled their loses from a year ago.
Last year, Cam Newton didn’t have his top receiver Kelvin Benjamin, but still had the top offense in the league, which is why many expected the offense to be better than it was last year. However, that hasn’t been the case, and the offense hasn’t looked good except when they faced the San Francisco 49ers last week.
On the other side of the ball, the defense is also not playing as well as it did last year. After a solid outing in the first game, the defense allowed the 49ers, who have one of the worst offenses in the NFL, to put up 27 points, granted most of the points came in garbage time.
Against the Vikings, the Panthers allowed a team whose quarterback was starting his second game with a team he signed with just before the season started, and played without his top offensive weapon, score 22 points against them.
One of the reasons the offense hasn’t looked as good this year is the lack of protection Cam Newton is receiving. After winning the MVP award last season, you would expect the team to do a better job protecting its quarterback especially after spending money on keeping the same offensive line from last season.
However, Newton has been banged up a lot this season because teams have been able to get to him. Against Denver, he took multiple helmet to helmet shots, and against the Vikings, he was a human piñata, which is something that the team can’t afford to keep happening if they want to win it all this year.
The Panthers also need to improve their running game, so they have a more balanced offense that will keep opponents on their toes.
The Panthers can still make it back to the Super Bowl, but they need to give their quarterback time in the pocket to make things happen.