Coming off a 28-10 beating to rival New Orleans, the Panthers’ season is in serious jeopardy. They need to pull out all the stops and win against easy opponents, or their season could easily be washed away. The Panthers now have to rely on a “Three strikes, you’re out” system if they can pull out a winning record. A loss counts as a strike, and if the Panthers lose three more, they’ll be finishing (at minimum) 7-8-1.
The main reason for the Panthers’ muddled offense is Cam Newton, who has regressed as a passer. Against the Saints, Newton recorded career lows in both rating and completion %: 39.4 and 35.7 in those respects. Since the tie against Cincinnati, Newton has gone backwards in terms of statistics. His receivers aren’t helping, and his running backs are breaking down, but for Newton to be a truly elite passer, he needs to step up and lead the team to a win if that’s happening. His completion percentages have gone down, and he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Green Bay. He’s had 54.8, 54.5, and 35.7 completion percentages. His yards have gone down, going from 284 to 205, then 171 and now 151. He’s also thrown an interception in all of his past four games, to three touchdowns. Newton is going to have to step up and guide his team back to their NFC South champion form, if he doesn’t, the Panthers could be on the brink of a sub .500 season.