While Cam Newton has struggled mightily in his second NFL season, he will redeem himself with a spectacular performance on Monday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles and make people remember why he was the Rookie of the Year last season.
Up to this point in the season, Newton's performance has been nothing short of disastrous, and even more tragic has been his poor attitude: he's pouted and even told reporters he would bring out a suggestion box (via The Washington Post) on how to fix the offense's problems.
The Panthers are an abysmal 2-8 this season a year after going 6-10. Many expected Newton to lead Carolina to the playoffs in 2012, but his play has been subpar by not just his standards, but any NFL quarterback's standards.
The perfect remedy for this calamity?
Play the punchless Philadelphia Eagles in prime time. The Eagles sit in the cellar of the NFC East at 3-7 and are losers of six straight. Michael Vick has underperformed and still isn't ready to return from a concussion. Andy Reid's voice no longer resonates with the locker room, and he is on his way out. Most importantly for Newton's cause, since Philly defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was fired in mid-October, the defense has actually gotten worse.
For the season, Newton is completing 57 percent of his passes for 2,395 yards, nine touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a 79.0 quarterback rating while carrying 74 times for 394 yards and four touchdowns.
While Newton has struggled both at home and on the road, he actually has a higher completion percentage on the road (59.7) and averages more yards per attempt (8.68).
Being on the road in a not-so-hostile environment against a struggling Eagles team that is allowing 25.2 PPG and has only 10 takeaways on the year should give Newton a boost in confidence. Additionally, he will be facing off against rookie Nick Foles, who struggled in the 31-6 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 11.
This game seems to be the perfect storm for a big stat line for Newton, similar to the one he point up in Atlanta in late September (215 passing yards, two touchdowns, 86 rushing yards and a touchdown).
Both teams are essentially playing for nothing, but Newton has something to prove after such a stellar rookie campaign, which many expected to be the standard for Newton. Those numbers were a lofty goal for this year, but this year he has regressed beyond just the numbers.
Look for Carolina to get Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams involved early, taking the pressure off Newton. The Panthers can win this game, but it will take a great effort from their second-year QB to do so.
Game Prediction: Panthers 24, Eagles 17
Cam Newton Stat Line: 19-of-28, 235 yards, two touchdowns passing, seven carries, 53 yards, one touchdown running (no turnovers)