On any given Sunday, Monday or Thursday, the variables and factors governing who wins or loses in the NFL form along an unpredictable trajectory. Preparedness, talent and a lot of luck are involved in insuring victory from week to week in the National Football League.
Right now, the Carolina Panthers are flying high after absolutely destroying the Miami Dolphins last night to the morbid tune of 45-21.
Cam Newton is the 1st QB in Monday Night Football history to throw 2+ TD in each of his 1st 6 games on Monday night (via @EliasSports).
Indeed, Cam Newton hasn’t had the best PR year, with sexist comments, as well as other landmines and tripwires that have maimed his image in the public eye. The leadership qualities we once believed had been polished and shined since his pouty postgame presser following a resounding defeat to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 have been called into question on numerous occasions.
Let’s face it, Cam doesn’t possess the eloquence of a Sidney Poitier, nor the sophisticated social graces of a Barack Obama, nor the emotional maturity of Harry Belafonte, and certainly not the sage wisdom of a Denzel Washington. However, he is a pretty damn good football player.
That’s certainly being born out right now as the Carolina Panthers sit at the top of the ultra-competitive NFC South with a 7-3 record.
But it didn’t start off like that. Remember?
Last year, as head coach Ron Rivera and company began taking precautions to protect Cam from himself, such as fewer designed running plays from the quarterback position, offensive productivity overall plummeted. And the media was super keen on crowing the team's performance, and Cam's maturity, each and every time they got the chance, obsessively so in some instances.
Indeed, just one season after going to the big game, Carolina faltered to a 6-8 record, and Cam had career lows in pass completion percentage (52.9), touchdown percentage (3.7) and QBR (53.1).
After Carolina lost a close one against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 6, and a laughable flop of a performance against the moribund Chicago Bears the following week, so-called insiders with axes to grind came for the Panthers.
Now, the Panthers would do themselves a favor not to look past the New York Jets in longing for their week 13 inter-divisional showdown with the New Orleans Saints.
Cam Newton had a return to MVP form on Monday Night Football.
Meanwhile, through all of the chaos, Cam is averaging a career high 62 percent on completed passes, while leading his team in rushing.
People like to talk about the Carolina Panthers defense as if it, and not Cam, is the reason they’ve won seven out of ten games played this season. But the numbers show that Cam has had the game on lock like the cobra clutch.
Now, if he could stop putting his own foot in his mouth…