Cam Newton Says 'All Fingers Can Point Back to Me' After Panthers' Loss to Bucs

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2019

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks off the field following the Panthers 20-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is willing to take responsibility for his team's 20-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.

"A lack of execution offensively," Newton said of what contributed to the loss, per ESPN's David Newton. "All fingers can point back to me specifically."

Newton's numbers on the night look respectable on the surface, as he completed 25 of 51 for 333 yards and did not throw an interception. However, the three-time Pro Bowler did not lead the Panthers into the end zone at any point over the course of the 60 minutes.

That included on the final possession, in which Carolina took control of the ball with 2:26 to play needing six points to tie the game. While Newton helped the Panthers go 73 yards in 64 seconds, he was unable to finish the job. 

And with the game on the line, Carolina coach Ron Rivera didn't give the 2015 NFL MVP a chance to be the hero on 4th-and-1 at the 2-yard line with less than 90 seconds to play:

That was the story of the night for the Panthers. 

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Carolina had 13 drives against Tampa Bay. The Panthers scored on four of those drives, but they had to settle for field goals each time. Meanwhile, they also had a number of missed opportunities, as they turned the ball over on downs in Buccaneers territory three times.

"It's extremely frustrating to know we're getting opportunities and not putting the ball in the end zone," Newton said after the game, per ESPN's Ed Werder. "That's what we have to figure out. That's what I have to figure out."

Newton has yet to throw a touchdown pass through two weeks this season and has not done so in any of his last four appearances. More troubling for Rivera and Co., Newton has lost eight consecutive starts dating back to Week 10 of last season.

"Sometimes you find yourself in a blender and the only one that can get you out is yourself," he said, according to Newton.

The ninth-year veteran added, per Werder: "I'm extremely, brutally honest with people and I'm extremely, brutally honest with myself. It's time for me to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching."

Newton has dealt with shoulder and foot injuries this year, but he did not blame injuries for his performance thus far. He noted he "feel[s] OK."

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