Cam Newton has been a polarizing figure for Atlanta fans since they drafted him in 2011. But on Thursday, he showed glimpses of his future self and what the Falcons could have with their second-round pick from this year’s draft: one more white quarterback who can’t be trusted to play at an elite level or even find a way to beat a bad team.
Cam Newton’s performance against the Dolphins on Sunday put him in a historically bad company. The 2011 NFL draft had more than its fair share of busts, but Newton is now alongside them. Read more in detail here: 2011 draft nfl.
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule had had enough of Cam Newton, the former superhero, after falling down 30-10 in the fourth quarter.
Newton was benched in Carolina’s 33-10 defeat to the Miami Dolphins, despite his recent return to Carolina with pomp and scene. In the process, he created history with a guy who was widely considered to be a complete draft flop.
Cam Newton, the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, had a bad game against the Miami Dolphins.
Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers warms up during a play review against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in the first quarter | Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
After being mainly ineffectual in moving the ball for the Panthers, Rhule decided to bench Newton. He threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Moore to open the game, then a one-yard spin into the end zone for Carolina’s lone score. Newton, on the other hand, was unable to achieve anything after that, and his final box score reflected his poor performance.
Newton threw for 92 yards on 5-of-21 passing. He only averaged 4.4 yards per catch and was intercepted twice by the Dolphins.
“As it progressed, or should I say degraded… According to ESPN, Rhule said, “I purely believe Miami outplayed us today, outcoached us today.” “They outperformed us today.” “It seems quite straightforward to me.”
In the fourth quarter, Rhule switched to P.J. Walker to attempt to liven things up, as Newton looked far from the MVP quarterback he once was for the Panthers.
If it’s any comfort to Newton, the Dolphins also intercepted Walker. The Panthers were restricted to only 198 total yards of offense, which is a startling result.
Newton is a flop in the NFL Draft. Joey Harrington and I now have a bond.
Joey Harrington isn’t a household name these days, but he was once supposed to be the salvation of the Detroit Lions. Of course, we all know how that turned out, but there was a time when “Joey Blue-Skies” was held in high regard.
Harrington was a three-year starter for the Ducks during his collegiate career. He threw for 2,415 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior season. He was a contender for the Heisman Trophy and the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2001.
In the 2002 NFL Draft, the Lions selected him third overall, expecting him to be their franchise quarterback. Obviously, it never occurred, as Harrington finished 18-37 in 55 career games for the Lions. Harrington was widely seen as a massive draft flop in Detroit, but it’s important mentioning that he didn’t have much support. For a reason, the Lions are one of the worst franchises in sports, not just in the NFL.
Newton now shares whatever the inverse of rarified air is with Harrington after his performance against the Dolphins. Since Harrington completed only 22.7 percent of his passes in a game with 20 or more throws in 2004, Newton’s 23.8 percent completion rate versus Miami is the lowest the NFL has seen from a quarterback in a game with 20 or more throws.
Newton is certainly not the Panthers’ long-term quarterback.
Before the game against the Miami Dolphins, Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers enters the field for pregame warm-ups | Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
With a record of 5-7 and losses in two of their previous three games, the Panthers have lost the spark that came with Newton’s return to the team. Any remaining enthusiasm was crushed when it was announced that running back Christian McCaffrey would miss the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury.
The Panthers’ postseason aspirations are bleak, if not completely unattainable, at this point. They’re currently in fourth place in the NFC South. Despite the fact that four of their next five games are against division opponents, and they already have victories over the Saints and Falcons, the Panthers will need a dramatic turnaround to salvage the remainder of the season.
The absence of McCaffrey, as well as Newton’s performance over the last two weeks, has contributed significantly to the skepticism.
The Panthers are 0-2 in his two starts, and he seems to be more of a novelty player than anything else at this stage in his career. Bill Belichick didn’t want him in New England longer for a reason. There’s a reason he sat on the free-agent market for so long until the Panthers snapped him up out of desperation.
Newton still has a powerful arm and is capable of a couple difficult runs down to the end zone. However, how much genuine quarterbacking does he have left in him?
His completion rate of 23.8 percent versus Miami shows the answer is “not much.”
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
The Panthers’ Embarrassing Cam Newton Experiment Illustrates the Team’s Major Dysfunction
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