Panthers’ Offense Vastly Improved With Cam Newton Running Again

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Monday, October 13th, 2014 | 0

Cam Newton

Hobbled by ankle and rib injuries since the end of last season, Carolina Panthers star quarterback Cam Newton showed flashes of his old form during his team’s exciting yet strange tie with the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday (Sun., October 12, 2014).

Newton did his best to make up for Carolina’s lack of defense, throwing for 284 yards and two scores to lead the team to 37 total points. But the most encouraging sign of Newton’s performance was his ability to run the ball once again, evident by his 17 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown.

That’s a huge upgrade for Carolina’s offense, and likely the only chance they have to win with starting running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams still out with injuries.

Speaking to the media today, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera knows that the team’s success runs through Newton’s arm and legs. When asked how much better the Panthers’ offense is with Newton back to his mobile ways, Rivera responded with the following:

“A lot more. We rushed for 100 yards and we gave ourselves a chance to win. He made some plays.”

Rivera also took a moment to dissect Newton’s aerial game, noting that the fourth-year player made only one major mistake against a tough defense in their home:

“The unfortunate one was that one that sailed on him for the interception. … That was really the only (mistake) he really made all day. He did some really nice things, made some good decisions, made some throws.”

The coach has high praise for the quarterback, who’s the only player holding Carolina together. Their defense is a shell of the dominant unit from 2013, and Newton is obviously their best running threat.

He left yesterday’s game briefly with an injury to his throwing arm, and if he were to miss any significant amount of time, the team would be in serious trouble.

Backup Derek Anderson filled in admirably for Newton in the team’s Week 1 win over Tampa Bay, but we’ve since come to realize that the Bucs’ defense may in fact be the worst in the NFL.

Carolina needs Newton, and they need him healthy. Can he hold up to the rigors of a long and arduous season without a serious setback?

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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