It’s the Carolina Panthers vs. Miami Dolphins on Monday night’s NFL game, and it’s going to be a challenge for the Dolphins to defend against Panther’s Cam Newton. The Panthers quarterback is a dual threat as he does not just utilize his arms for the defense but also his legs to help the offense.
Before Kiko Alonso was asked by the reporters, he shared the challenges for the Dolphins’ defense. He said that Newton is a big athlete and players would have to worry about him scrambling, via the Sun Sentinel. The Panthers also have built-in runs for the quarterback. Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke added that it is both a mental and physical challenge to contain Newton because he’s a unique athlete. It is also tough to get the 6-feet-5 and 245 pounds QB down when they make contact.
“Every play you have to be on point with who has the dive? Who has the quarterback? What are we showing them? All our calls have to be able to match up with all the elements of the run game,” Burke said.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons said Cam Newton is a primetime quarterback, and they have to be fast, purse him well, and shadow him.
Cam Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, has led the Panthers in rushing yards for four consecutive games. He holds the NFL career record for QBs with 52 rushing touchdowns in his seven seasons. He has rushed at least 500 yards in five out of his six NFL seasons. This season, he has a pedestrian 78.4 passer rating because of his 11 interceptions in eight games. He led the Carolina to the Super Bowl in 2015, which is the year he was named as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald predicts that Monday’s game between the Dolphins and the Panthers would be a close one. Digging deeper into the statistics, Salguero said that the Dolphins’ defense is not a mess. The team’s quarterback, Jay Cutler, has the second best mark of 36 qualifying QBs in the league at 16.7 yards per completion. He is also good in the red zone, having thrown nine TDs on 23 pass attempts in the red zone this season. Meanwhile, Newton is much better than Cutler under pressure, said Salguero. Cutler has difficulties with his teammates at certain pressure situations while Newton is surrounded by very talented people.
Newton feels positive for the Panthers this season, saying that he thinks they “can’t do no wrong.” He said, via the News Observer, “I just like the way that this team is forming together, especially what’s been happening in recent weeks of whatever. This team has not been disconnected. We came together. Still striving, knowing that we haven’t played our best brand of football yet.”
[Featured Image by Bob Leverone/AP Images]