Cam Newton was at it again this week in Carolina’s 38 to 0 shellacking of the Atlanta Falcons. Newton threw for 265 yards on 15/21, with three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a performance that is starting to feel like deja vu.
The Panthers are now a head scratching 13-0. With one more win they will lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Carolina is second in the NFL in both points scored and points allowed. It seems like they are dropping 30 points on everyone they face. And they are doing all of this with the likes of Tedd Ginn Jr., Jonathon Stewart and Devin Funchess in supporting roles.
The Carolina Panthers are the NFL’s version of grit and grind. Their offense relies on a heavy dose of running the ball, and a few big plays coming off of play action. Cam Netwon’s statistics don’t jump off the page, he doesn’t lead the league in passing or passing touch downs, but Superman is capable of making all of the throws as he showed off against the Falcons.
He has also mastered the forgotten art of the read option. There have been a slew of QB’s who have fallen in and out of stardom over the past few years trying to bring the read option over from the college ranks – RIP Collin Kaepernick and RG III – but Newtons ability to make accurate deep throws and take a beating have made him the perfect prototype for a read option QB in the NFL.
The constant threat of Netwon and Jonathon Stewart ripping off big runs, has made it possible for second and third rate receivers like Ginn Jr. and Jericho Cotchery to find openings down field. Ginn Jr. had touchdown catches of 74 and 46 yards in todays win.
A lot of the credit for the Panthers dominance this year has to go to their defense. They are currently second in the NFL in defensive DOA. They are stifling against the run and relish the opportunity to get to the QB. In today’s game they got to Matt Ryan five times, caused two turnovers off of fumbles and had two picks.
When you pair a great defense with an efficient offense good things can happen in the NFL. This years Carolina Panthers has the same kind of look that the 49ers/Seahawks have had as the best teams in the NFC over the past five seasons. It’s yet to be seen whether or not the Panthers have enough talent to make a championship run, but they have the right quarterback to make this team great.
Superman is the league’s MVP.