A few months ago, the Carolina Panthers' season was expected to be a long and drawn-out one. A 5-9 record didn't seem out of the question, but if you were told that Cam Newton would break one of Peyton Manning's records, would you ever believe it?
Well, Newton is set to do exactly that today when Carolina takes on the Buccaneers at home. The Bucs are on an eight-game losing streak and have one of the weakest secondaries in football. Three weeks ago, the Panthers' quarterback led the team to a 38-19 win and a 106.1 passer rating on the road in Tampa Bay.
Newton will need only 18 yards today to break Peyton Manning's rookie record of 3,739 passing yards. The young quarterback will also have a chance to pass the 4,000-yard mark on the season; he needs only 278 yards over his final two games to do so.
The record serves as a reminder to all that no player should ever be written off and told what his limits are. We've seen Tim Tebow play a huge role in turning the Denver Broncos around and Cam Newton has the Panthers in position to make a playoff run next season.
Nearly every analyst defined Newton as a pure scrambling quarterback who would never succeed as a passer in the NFL. Well, don't look now, but he's about to become the most prolific rookie passer in NFL history—not bad for an "overhyped, high-risk" first-round pick with "a glaring bust factor."
Good luck to Mr. Newton today and here's to allowing players to play before stating how poorly they will play at the next level.