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Cam Newton proved a lot of people wrong with his performance last year—and he proved some people very, very right.
As a rookie with a thin college resume faced with the NFL lockout, Newton burst onto the biggest and brightest scene with incredible numbers. We all know the stats by now, but there’s no harm in revisiting them.
He completed 310-of-517 passes (60 percent) for 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also rushed for 706 yards and 14 touchdowns on 126 attempts (5.6 average).
After such an amazing rookie year, the whispers of seeing Newton’s numbers drop in 2012 didn’t sound crazy. Teams were expected to be better prepared for him, and quite frankly, those 2011 numbers are amazing—for a rookie or otherwise.
Naturally, the term “sophomore slump” started buzzing.
Many felt Newton would be immune to the drop in production because of his rare athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability. But through three games this year, his performance has been rather pedestrian.
He looked terrible against the Giants last week, tossing three interceptions and finishing with a QBR of 15.6, per ESPN. However, Carolina’s game plan felt altogether off, as the Panthers toyed with some option looks that never quite worked and stalled the rhythm.
The second-year quarterback received some criticism from teammates for his “sideline sulking” (per the Charlotte Observer). In addition, Rotoworld reported this interesting tidbit about Newton:
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on Sunday Countdown that the Panthers are "privately concerned" about the mental makeup of Cam Newton.
Newton is just 23 years old and has already proven he can compete in this league. While he may be going through some struggles right now, he should be able to bounce back and see his numbers rise the rest of the year. He just has to with that kind of talent, right?