You know when you first see that girl from across the party? Ya know the one that at first glance isn't that good looking. Luckily, your friend introduces you anyway. Turns out she's not so bad after all. Congratulations Cam Newton, you are that girl.
These are the facts:
I thought he was a waste of a draft pick. I did not believe he would do much more than Jamarcus Russell, was ready to set the Panthers franchise back 5 years, and waste the last couple of Steve Smith's career. So, the question is posed.
Is Cam Newton real?
It took a little research, and swallowing a little pride. But he's as real as Derek Anderson. 2007 Derek Anderson that is.
Same offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinski, and is directing the offense in the same way.
Let's compare two games. Week 11 Cleveland vs Baltimore circa 2007 and Cam's week one performance vs the Cardinals. I'm not saying that the Cardinals Defense is as good as the Ravens in 2007, but the games are semi-comparable, and the Ravens were not their usual goodness that year.
Starting with week 11, 2007. Cleveland (6-4) vs Baltimore (4-6).
I chose this week as Baltimore is a respected defense, even in their "bad years."
Derek Anderson's line 24-38, 274 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
It's nothing special, but its where those completions go that matter. Only five of them went to RBs. Anderson's top targets were Braylon Edwards (his best year), and Kellen Winslow (Miami product that Chud coached in college). The other catches were by WR#2 (Joe Jurevicious), one catch by WR3 (Tim Carter), one catch by TE#2 (Steve Heiden).
Cam Newton's performance on Sunday 24-37, 422 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
again, only five went to Rbs. WR1 got eight catches (just like Braylon in '07). WR2 got four catches (just like Jurevicious in '07), and the TEs had better days (seven catches to six).
Now. It gets better. Argue with this.
Steve Smith>Braylon Edwards
Brandon LaFell> 2007 Joe Jurevicous
Greg Olson=Kellen Winslow
Jeremy Shockey>Steve Heiden
Legedu Naanee> any other WR the browns had in 2007
Wait for it....
DeAngelo Williams/Jonathon Stewart >2007 Jamaal Lewis, and Jason Wright.
Same offense+better weapons+better QB=Better numbers
Carolina's defense has to be similar to Cleveland's that year (21st points allowed, 19th in takeaway differential).
So, if Derek Anderson's '07 line was 298 for 527, 3,787 yards, 29 td, 19 int, & 32 rushes for 70 yards and 3 TD, with those numbers in mind Newton should hit 4,000 yards and 30tds, with 20ish INTs.
I also think that he'll have more than 70 yards rushing and three rushing tourchdowns