Cam Newton made history, regained his swagger against Patriots’ awful defense
Cam Newton didn’t have a good 2016. His 2017 wasn’t going much better — until he faced the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Newton carved up the Patriots defense in Week 4, throwing for 316 yards and leading a Panthers offense that had scored 45 total points through three games to a 33-point explosion and an upset victory. The difference between Newton’s start to the season and his performance Sunday is stark — and it paints a grim picture for Bill Belichick’s team.
More importantly, he came up big when his team needed him the most. The Patriots rebounded from a ~3% win probability to battle back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit. That put the ball in Newton’s hands with 3:09 left to play in a 30-30 tie.
Newton calmly and methodically marched downfield, using his legs to create space and converting a huge third-and-3 pass to Devin Funchess to put his team on the brink of field goal range — and more importantly, prevent a punt that would have given Brady a chance to lead another comeback drive. After three running plaays, Graham Gano hit a 48-yard field goal as time expired to give the Panthers their biggest win of the season.