Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers need not look at where they rank in the passing game right now. For, if they did, the stat might scare them. As they approach their week two matchup with the Buffalo Bills, let’s just get one thing straight: It needs to improve.
Fortunately, the Panthers’ current rank of 30th in the NFL in passing yards isn’t too far off from the Bills’ rank at 28th. Week one wasn’t chock full of many high-flying moments through the air, however both Newton and E.J. Manuel played efficiently. The problem was, that neither quarterback came out with a win.
Newton ended the day with only 125 yards passing and a touchdown, but came out with a rating of 97.2. Manuel, on the flip side, threw for 150 yards, two touchdowns and ended with a rating of 105.5.
Both the Panthers and Bills ended with 134 and 136 yards on the ground, respectively, with Buffalo doing most of the damage by splitting the carries between C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. In their week two matchup, the weight of the game will likely hinge on these two young quarterbacks and which team enjoys more success through the air.
We know each team will try and establish a run, but will Newton be able to out-shine Manuel through the air? One thing is for certain: Carolina has to put more points on the board than they did in week one, scoring only seven. The Bills’ offense is incredibly underrated and Manuel has already shown the ability to play at a high level even as a first-year pro.
Newton has everything to prove this year. As a starter who is supposed to be the franchise quarterback of the next decade, he boasts a losing record and has yet to get his Panthers to the ‘next level,’ whatever that level may be at this point. On Sunday, Newton must play his way to a victory and avoid starting his third year 0-2.