Patriots vs Panthers

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.

Cam Newton’s 2017 — and How Much Better He Was vs. NE

Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Y/A
SFO W 23-3 14 25 56 171 2 1 87.2 0 0 6.84
BUF W 9-3 20 32 62.5 228 0 0 83.9 6 50 7.13
NOR L 13-34 17 26 65.38 167 0 3 43.7 4 28 6.42
NWE W 30-23 22 29 75.86% 316 3 1 130.8 2 12 10.90

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.

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