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Is 2018 Cam Newton’s Make or Break season?

by Giovanni Barone

The  Carolina Panther’s years under Cam Newton have been shaky ones at best. Drafted back in 2011, the Panthers haven’t had back-to-back winning seasons in his 7 years with the team. Aside from his 2015 MVP Season, the rest of his years have been fairly mediocre. His second and third best seasons were his 2013 season, in which he posted 24 TD’s and 13 INT’s, and his 2017 season, in which he posted 22 TD’s and 16 INT’s. At this point in his career, his 35 TD/10 INT MVP season certainly seems to be an oddity, because he hasn’t even come close to replicating those numbers. Even with a great team around him, he’s never been one to put up monster numbers. He’s always hovered around 58% completion percentage, he’s only passed for 4,000 yards once, and has only thrown twice as many TD’s as INT’s once, which was in his MVP season.

His Leadership

    In this upcoming season, Cam needs to prove that he is not only a good player, but a good leader. Murmurs have been rumbling around for years that he is not a good leader and that his teammates are becoming increasingly fed up with him. Former player and current analyst Anthony “Booger” McFarland had this to say:


    “People I talk to in Carolina tell me Cam’s not a leader and not well liked by a lot of his teammates.”

  The Norv Factor

The Panther’s recently brought in Norv Turner to become the team’s newest offensive coordinator, and I believe he can make Cam shine. Cam’s biggest problem seems to be throwing into coverage when he shouldn’t, shown by his 30 INT’s in the last two seasons alone. Norv Turner has shown his ability to positively affect a team’s offense. During his time with the Washington Redskins, the team’s passing game went from 26th to 11th, with touchdowns and yards per attempt increasing as well. During his time with the Raiders, their passing game went from 27th to 8th, and also increased their PPG by over three points. His second tenure with the San Diego Chargers saw him take his 11-5 squad to the playoffs and notch two wins before finally falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Norv Turner is serious business and he knows how to take a team to the next level.

    Not only does the coaching staff have Cam primed for success, but his defense does as well. Last season the Panthers defense ranked 7th in yards per game, 3rd in rush yards per game, and 11th in points per game. While their defense could certainly get teams off the field, the offense just couldn’t get the job done, more specifically Cam couldn’t get the job done. The Panther’s run game was beastly last year, ranking 3rd with 131.4 YPG, but their passing game, on the other hand, certainly needed some work. Cam’s 192 yards per game left them ranked 28th, while their overall offense boasted a mediocre ranking of just 19th. Cam knows as well as anyone that these numbers will not get the job done in a division where he has to face both Drew Brees and Matt Ryan twice a year.

    With an absolutely brilliant football mind in Norv Turner taking the helm that offensive coordinator, an utterly destructive running game, and arguably the best front seven in football, the 2018 season is Cam Newton’s for the taking. Cam needs to put a stop to all the drama, all the off-field shenanigans, and show people he is the once-in-a-generation talent that he knows, and everyone else knows, he can be.

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