Cam Newton Is Still A Fantasy Star, But Has Been Regressing In Reality
However, now that the 2012 season has rolled around and the Panthers are 1-4, you have to wonder if Carolina fans are starting to get nervous.
As for us, we should reevaluate: Is Cam Newton as good as we thought or did we let his record-breaking rookie year allow us to place him on a pedestal that he didn’t deserve to be on?
Before the season started, it seemed like we all thought of him as a top five quarterback in the NFL. Fantasy football might have had something to do with that, as many seemed to draft Cam Newton as soon as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford were off the board due to the Panthers QB’s ability to run the ball.
However, fantasy aside, in terms of total quarterback rating, Cam Newton has been below average to start the year, earning the 18th best QBR ranking at 57.9. Ironically, Newton is No. 5 in terms of fantasy point production in standard ESPN scoring leagues, but it is not fantasy or quarterback ratings that matter.
What matters is winning. The best quarterbacks always win. No matter what.
Obviously, it would be unfair to compare Cam Newton to the best quarterbacks of all time in the NFL, but when you see Peyton Manning on the sidelines, he is looking at playbooks, talking to coaches and getting on the same page with his wide receivers.
He would never be caught sulking, especially by one of his wideouts, but that is exactly what happened when Steve Smith saw Cam Newton sitting “on the bench with a towel over his head” when the Panthers were getting blown out by the New York Giants in Week 3.
What’s been clear about Peyton since the day he entered the NFL is that he always wants to get better. In his rookie year, his team went 3-13, but the next year, the Colts went 13-3.
The difference was clearly him when you look at the stats. In both seasons, Manning passed for 26 touchdowns, but in 1998, he threw 28 interceptions, and in 1999, he threw 15.
Now, this isn’t to say that the Panthers should be 5-0 or 4-1. A quarterback can’t always do everything. Drew Brees in New Orleans this season is the most obvious example. His team’s defense is worst in the league in terms of yards given up per game, so he has to put at least 30 points on the scoreboard each game for his team to even have a chance of winning. In fact, the Saints are 10th in the league in scoring despite being winless, so it’s hard to blame Brees.