words // Brandon Richard
All the criticism about Cam Newton’s natural talent and athletic ability not translating well on the NFL level is now a distant memory. Not only is Newton comfortable taking snaps as a pro, but he’s doing so at a record-setting pace. Cam isn’t a traditional quarterback by any means, but his ability to make teams pay through the air and on the ground may eventually surpass what we’ve seen from players with similar skill sets like Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick. In one of his best performances to date, Cam put the Carolina Panthers on his back and found the endzone four times in a 38-19 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With his performance, Newton takes home Eastbay Player of the Week honors.
On the day, Newton completed 12 of his 21 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown pass to wide receiver Legedu Naanee. He was even better running the ball, carrying 14 times for 54 yards and 3 touchdowns, a new NFL single-season record for TDs rushing by a quarterback. Newton even nearly scored on a 27-yard reception after throwing backward to Naanee on the far side of the field and taking a throw-back to the left.
The debate for Rookie of the Year between Newton and Andy Dalton may have taken a big turn in Cam’s favor this past weekend. Passing stats are arguable and team wins are an advantage to Dalton, but Cam’s 500+ rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns may be the difference maker. Does Cam have your vote?
Cam Newton takes flight in his CompFit Highlight Under Armour football cleats.
images via ESPN