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Cam Newton's Big Stats Overhyped: Needs to Win NFL Game First

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18:  Clay Matthews #52 against Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIISeptember 21, 2011

Anywhere one looks, another analyst is gushing about how Cam Newton has translated his physical tools to great success on the NFL field.

They're not entirely wrong—Newton has done a great deal of good for the Carolina Panthers in his first few games.

Filling up the stat sheet in both the running and passing columns has come to define this quarterback, be it in his National Championship campaign last year or his first two pro games.

To preface my article, I actually wasn't one of Newton's doubters when it was draft time—if you look back at my articles, I said that Newton would be the No. 1 pick and rightfully so.

I believe that Cam Newton has the best skill set of any quarterback from the 2011 draft class and I did say that I thought he had a bright future in the league.

However, I'm also going to be the one to attempt to halt this hype train from going a bit too far.

Certainly, Newton is a gifted quarterback and has lived up to his self-proclamation of being an "entertainer".

With 854 yards passing in his first two games, Newton is on pace to shatter rookie records for passers and put himself in the same category as Peyton Manning and Drew Bledsoe.

What worries me, though, is that Newton has thrown four interceptions already and only has a 1.25:1 TD:INT ratio (should you factor in his two rushing touchdowns)

Don't forget, either, that Newton has yet to win an NFL game.

We see the same problem with gifted quarterbacks who just rack up a lot of yards and then can't win, like Matt Schaub, Kyle Orton and now, possibly, Newton.

Now, of course, I get it.

It's not exactly the easiest thing in the world to beat the Green Bay Packers, but what I'm saying is that we need to temper our excitement with Newton and wait until we start seeing wins before we hail him a savior.

None of what Newton has done so far has changed the Panthers from being the league's worst team, as they are technically still on the track to getting the No. 1 pick...again.

Either way, there's no denying that Newton has put his team in position to win.

I just want to see more of a killer instinct in the later phase of the game where Newton can put the other team away.

Certainly, Newton is near the top of the list for total touchdowns, yards thrown, etc.

Don't forget, though, that the Auburn product is still winless through his first two games.

In the NFL, winning is all that matters.

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