“The past couple of games have been the same script, by the same director,” Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said following Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “It’s kind of getting boring.”
There are plenty of words I could think to describe the Panthers in recent weeks. Frustrating, nerve-racking or upsetting come to mind but “boring” is not one of them. Newton may find losing to be boring but perhaps he should realize that he had a chance to guide the Panthers to win in each of the teams last two games.
With under four minutes to play the Panthers trailed the Cowboys by two points. Instead of putting together a drive with the two time outs they had the Panthers conducted a four-and-out. The most recent failure by Newton and the Panthers has put any hopes of the playoffs all but mathematically out of picture.
It has been a common trend in professional sports with star rookie players struggling in their second season. Newton still has many of the skills that convinced people he was the future of the Panthers. What is lacking right now from Newton is his focus. Newton has been emotional, temperamental and tough to deal with. All traits that were worrisome before the team drafted him.
“This taste, this vibe — I’m not buying it, man. And I don’t know what it is, but something’s going to have to change. Something’s going to have to change real fast.” Newton said after the game.
Mixed in Newton’s press conference were a few lines that you would want o hear moving forward.
“It feels like we’ve been finding a way to lose the game rather than win it, offensively, defensively, on special teams,” he said. “But everybody has to do better, including myself. Just take accountability.”
It is time for Newton to take the bulk of this accountability. The Panthers offense has been a liability this season. Averaging a mere 17.7 points per game they rank 28th in scoring with 335.5 total yards per game. Last season those were numbers which Newton seemed to provide by himself.
The Panthers fell to 1-5 and the schedule will not get easier with back-to-back road games against Chicago and Washington before hosting Denver.