The Carolina Panthers and their star quarterback Cam Newton enjoyed a little more positive news on Wednesday when it was announced by the NFL that Newton earned the title of NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance on Monday Night Football in week 12.
Newton played a chief role in Carolina’s 30-22 drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles in prime-time, passing for 306 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 52 yards and two touchdowns. In short and for those struggling to keep count, Newton had a hand in all four of Carolina’s end-zone celebrations.
This also marks the second time in Newton’s young career to receive such an honor, winning the weekly award back in week 13 of his rookie season.
Newton has endured the typical sophomore slump most inexperienced quarterbacks in the NFL go through. However, Newton’s display of talent and leadership on Monday night might have been the game in which Newton finally shook his sophomore jinx. A much needed hope for Panthers fans now eager to move onto 2013.
Professional athletes whom possess the same swagger as Newton tend to shine on some of the games bigger stages. Newton still has a long way to go and needs to shine every week before he can claim prime-time action his own, but this week 12 award should surely serve as his great awakening heading into next season.
If not, then the Panthers and Newton have another problem all together. For now and going forward though, expect Newton’s second year learning curve to be over.
Robert Kester, Carolina Panthers Columnist. Contact @robertkester1