The Panthers are on their way to the Super Bowl, and critics are saying that Cam Newton is the secret to their success. One NFL Media columnist is even calling Newton "the best player in the NFL." Thanks to his MVP performance on Sunday, Newton effectively led his team to the Super Bowl, which will play a week from Sunday on February 7.
Newton is undoubtedly talented and confident almost to a fault.
After the smashing victory on Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals with a score of 49-15 in the NFC Championship Game, Newton told the press, "So much of what I do, I've thought of this moment way before this moment. You are put in a big-game situation like this, you've played it out so many times in your mind. It's like that dream now becomes a reality."
Newton also told reporters that he never gets nervous before a game. He goes in with total command of himself and his teammates, which is why he's such a good leader.
That statement seems to be true based on his performance. He did throw one interception, but the rest of the game was top-notch. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing and stayed in command of the game the whole time with two touchdown passes, two more runs that led to two more touchdowns, and 19 complete passes out of the 28 thrown to accumulate 335 yards.
His teammates agree that Newton led the game Sunday night.
"He's awesome," said cornerback Josh Norman, who was recently involved in a widely publicized tussle with Odell Beckham Jr.
Linebacker Kwann Short also said, "He's having an amazing time, man, you see it. This is what he lives for."
Another reporter on Bleacher Report hailed Cam Newton as "the breath of fresh air the Super Bowl and the NFL need." The writer points out Newton's calm and confident demeanor clearly sets him apart from other players on the field.
Regarding the night's performance, Newton used a metaphor to describe what went on.
"Like I said, it wasn't going to be instant grits, quick grits," he said. "It was going to be a process like long-cooked collard greens. I think those collard greens are brewing right now. You can smell them from a mile away." Cool as a cucumber.
One of the most impressive events of the night was when Newton threw a pass to wide receiver Corey Brown, who ran it into the end zone, making it an 86-yard touchdown pass. It was a little unexpected because of the distance, but it's definitely a pass to go down in the books.
NFL.com tweeted the incredible pass on their page, saying, "If you don't tackle Corey Brown, he will take off for an 86-yard touchdown. #KeepPounding."ESPN also tweeted that the pass was legendary, calling it the "longest pass in a conference championship since Brett Favre, 2007 (90 to Donald Driver vs Giants) This has been an incredible season for the Carolina Panters, and it wouldn't be surprising in the least if the Panthers took home the Super Bowl Champion title. Throughout the entire season, they have only lost a single game to the Atlanta Falcons. This loss came after an 18-game winning streak. After this loss, there was some concern from fans that the Panthers wouldn't be able to make it to the Super Bowl.
However, after Cam Newton's performance that led the Panthers straight to the Championship victory and the Super Bowl, it's safe to say that the winning fire has been restored to the team.
[Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images]