The 2012 season has been a trying one for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. A 6-10 season in 2011 showed signs of promise for Panthers fans, who expected their team to be in playoff contention this year. That has not happened, and much of the blame has fallen on Newton’s shoulders.
Last season, Newton lit up the stat sheet and set a number of NFL rookie quarterback records — both with his arm and legs. His numbers have fallen this season and it has shown in the wins and losses columns. The losses are something Cam says he cares about. The stats? Not so much.
“As far as statistically I could really care less as far as how it’s been going,” Newton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution when discussing this weekend’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. “We play this game for one reason. We are looking forward to playing this game. It’s a division game and we just want to get back in the swing of things.”
As Alex Smith reminded us earlier this season by using Newton as an example, statistics mean very little if you aren’t winning games. That being said, the Panthers drafted Newton to be a game-changer, and game-changers typically put up numbers. The fact that Newton’s numbers are down this season and the Panthers have only won three games is not a coincidence.
Putting up huge numbers but missing the playoffs is pointless, unless you’re simply aiming to make the Pro Bowl. Based on what we heard about Newton’s experience in Hawaii last season, veterans around the league will likely be pleased if he’s not around when the stars get together this year.
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