Cam Newton's Struggles a Good Sign for the Carolina Panthers

By Rich Welch
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

You know, usually throwing interceptions is a bad thing. It means you’ve given your opponent another shot and robbed yourself and your team of a chance to score. It usually leads to additional heat on the team and on the player, leading the them to losses and forcing doubt into the minds of the ownership and the fan base. But not always.

The Carolina Panthers have found a way to win in spite of quarterback struggles, with Cam Newton going from flawless technician with supreme athletic ability, to a player with questionable fundamentals who seems to overthrow receivers in rhythm.

But yet, Cam isn’t feeling the heat. He makes bad throws every week, yet after every Sunday, he’s being lauded for is marked improvement. How can someone be improving, or have improved, if they’re not playing up to par? It all has to do with mindset. In previous years, Newton has put it upon himself to be the playmaker, the engine of the offense, with the team’s performance being relative to his own. When he would start to throw interceptions and miss receivers, more pressure would go on him to make plays, and the team came with him as he spiraled down the drain.

So, what has changed? Instead of Newton trying to do it all himself, he has passed some of the responsibility off to his teammates; that way if Newton falters, the team can still stay on course. If he commits a turnover, he can rely on his defense to make sure he doesn’t pay for it. If he is struggling to get yards through the air or on the ground, he can rely on Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams to get yards where he can’t and set up manageable third downs. Even if he struggles the whole game, Newton has found a way to come alive in the fourth quarter, finally becoming the clutch quarterback the Panthers have always wanted. As a result, the Panthers are putting together possibly the best streak in franchise history, one they hope to continue.

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