Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers have been a serious contender throughout the course of the 2017 NFL season. Heading into Week 10, the Panthers have a 6-3 record. That has them in the playoff picture at this point, even though they are not leading the NFC South division.
It has been an up-and-down season, to say the least, for the Panthers. Despite some of the question marks that have surrounded them, they have been able to come together and focus on winning football games. Unfortunately, at this point in the season, the New Orleans Saints are playing strong football and lead the division with a 6-2 record.
While the Saints currently hold the division lead, there are quite a few reasons to believe that the Panthers can come back and win the division. New Orleans is a good football team, but have played a bit above their potential so far this year.
Newton, much like the Panthers, has received harsh criticism over the past couple of years as well. He has seen his name dragged through the mud and has seen many in the media try to strip away the “superstar” tag that he has had throughout much of his career. Despite the criticism, Newton is hoping to lead a Super Bowl run this season.
Throughout the course of the 2017 season thus far, Newton has completed 62.4 percent of his pass attempts for 1,978 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He has also rushed for 341 yards and four touchdowns on the year.
Those numbers show why the media has turned against Newton this season. He has had turnover issues and has not lived up to the hype that has surrounded him.
That being said, Newton is still more than capable of leading the Panthers through the NFC playoffs and into the Super Bowl.
How can Newton accomplish that even with the struggles that he has been having? Quite simply, Newton is better than the problems that he has had this season and will rise above them moving forward.
Carolina has one of the top defenses in the NFL. They are ranked No. 5 in total defense while being ranked No. 13 against the pass and No. 4 against the run. In addition to those impressive rankings, Carolina has earned those rankings without being a top playmaking defense, ranked just No. 26 in total turnovers forced.
Outside of the defense and Newton, the Panthers have put together a good running back duo. Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey compliment each other very well. They have been able to jumpstart the Panthers’ offense and will continue helping to take pressure off of Newton.
Back to Newton, there is no denying the struggles that the Panthers’ quarterback has had. He has owned the struggles and as always has been working hard to fix the problems.
Newton may not be able to single-handedly power the Panthers to the Super Bowl, but he is the type of quarterback who can get his team to the big game with help. No one will accuse Newton of being a “game manager,” but he is a playmaker who is capable of having a huge game at any moment.
Getting past the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys will not be easy for anyone in the NFC. Seattle appears to be a contender as well. Despite the talent that those three teams have, the Panthers have the all-around roster to compete with them.
Expect to see Newton begin turning his season around over the next few weeks. He is too talented to continue struggling the way he has been. Carolina is still more than confident in their quarterback, and the Panthers are certainly a team to watch as a Super Bowl contender with Newton leading the way.
Do you think Cam Newton can lead the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl? If not, who do you think will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl?
[Featured Image by Bob Leverone/AP Images]