Cam Newton will win a Super Bowl.
It just won’t be this year.
Carolina will be much improved this year with Cam, but they won’t make the playoffs.
Déjà vu? Yes, because I said it before the Panthers drafted him.
Newton is the real deal and his debut was all you needed to know. He silenced critics and believers, because nobody could have predicted his afternoon.
Everyone will look at the stats. I mean, how could you not?
They’re eye-popping, jaw-dropping and Earth-shattering. They’re basically every shock-related “-ing” ending phrase you could possibly think of.
The man went on the road and dissected a solid Arizona Cardinals defense. He destroyed the Week 1 rookie passing record by going 24-for-37 for 422 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
He also did that little thing he does with his legs—score a touchdown.
As incredible as his numbers were, it was his reaction after his hookup with Mike Goodson fell one yard short of the first down marker with the game on the line that impressed me most.
My Cam Newton Super Bowl visions were confirmed as soon as I saw him sit down on the sidelines with a scowl on his face after the failed conversion. As he scowled with a towel over his head, I was sitting there with a smile.
You could feel the fire burning inside him. You could see the steam coming out from his head. This man was heated—and I’m not the only one that loved it.
“Cam is very disappointed. I’m encouraged by that,” wide receiver Steve Smith said according to NBC’s Michael David Smith.
How could anybody not be encouraged by it? This is the competitive nature everybody wants to see. He wasn’t crying or laughing it off. He was legitimately pissed off.
“The last time I lost a game was Navarro Junior College," Newton said. "What do you want me to say, it feels great? It is not a comfortable feeling for me,” he said according to Smith.
I love it. That’s the type of man he is. He’s a winner and that’s exactly what he’s going to do.
He simply has “it,” which makes me believe that a Super Bowl championship is in his destiny.
He answered question after question in his first start.
They said he wasn’t accurate enough. He was throwing darts all over the field.
They said he couldn’t read the field. He exploited Arizona’s talented secondary.
They said he would just run the ball whenever the pocket broke down. I don’t think so. He only rushed eight times for 18 yards.
Some will question why he didn’t run the ball on the 4th-and-5 play to end the game, but I have no problem with him sitting in the pocket and trying to find the open man.
They questioned if Newton could control a professional huddle. They were seven-point underdogs and were in position to win this game the entire way because of him.
The offense was poised throughout the contest. He hit eight different receivers, including Smith, who had his best game in years with eight receptions for 178 yards and two scores.
Does Cam still have work to do? Of course. Everybody does. This was his first regular season start and he was beyond impressive.
One could argue the loss will accelerate his progression in the NFL even more than a win would have.
I said it when he was drafted—as long as he’s on the field, his team will always be in position to win.
Newton is a spectacular playmaker. He’s a winner. His competitive nature is rivaled by only a select few men.
He put together one of the most magical collegiate seasons ever last year by taking the Auburn Tigers from the cellar to a BCS National Championship. He won the Heisman and was the No. 1 overall selection. Who does that!?
I said when they drafted him that he wasn’t just going to sell jerseys for the Carolina Panthers. He was going to sell hope to his coaching staff, teammates and fans. He is everything and more this franchise could have ever hoped for.
He’s not the next Ryan Leaf, he’s the next great NFL megastar. He is mature beyond his years and he proved that before, during and after that failed fourth-down conversion.
Newton is a fairytale come true. He’ll complete his storybook career with a Super Bowl championship with the Carolina Panthers.