Cam Newton is one of the most popular players in the NFL. He’s also one of the most polarizing, if not the most polarizing.
“Well, that’s a loaded question,” NFL Network analyst Steve Wyche said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show, chuckling. “I’m sure there’s some people who have issues with Cam being so flamboyant. I think there’s a lot of people who have issues with Cam and all his dancing and stuff. People don’t like the showboating, but it’s how he plays. He plays well. But he’s a great player. He’s the MVP. All these people who might not like him would probably like him to be their team’s quarterback – unless their team’s quarterback is Aaron Rodgers. Because what Cam Newton is doing is absolutely insane.”
Newton finished the regular season with 45 touchdowns (35 pass, 10 rush) to only 10 interceptions and led the Panthers to a 15-1 record. He has five touchdowns (three pass, two rush) to one interception in playoff wins over two of the best teams in football, Seattle and Arizona.
The Panthers led the Seahawks 31-0 in the divisional round and led the Cardinals 17-0 and 34-7 in the NFC Championship. That, pure and simple, is domination – and Newton was a big reason why.
“He’s a polarizing figure just like Tom Brady is a polarizing figure just like Peyton Manning is a polarizing figure or Russell Wilson,” Wyche said. “It seems like people love those guys, people hate those guys. But I think the most common denominator is they’re damn good and that’s why you probably have feelings on both ends of the spectrum.”
Love him or hate him, Newton’s accomplishments this season have been nothing short of spectacular. Not much was expected of Carolina this year, especially after Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL in the preseason. People wondered who Newton would throw to, especially with a leaky offensive line.
Well, he’s thrown to Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn Jr., Jerricho Cotchery, Devin Funchess and Corey Brown, among others.
“Cam basically decided on his own, he’s going to hanging the pocket a second longer, take the hit if he had to, but make sure to give his guys a chance to catch the ball,” Wyche said. “He just really decided to have faith in his receivers that he didn’t have to do everything. Remember, coming into the season, we thought this team wasn’t going to be very good. They supposedly didn’t have any receivers. We can’t say that anymore. These guys are really, really good. Granted, he doesn’t have that great No. 1, so to speak. But for what they do, those guys have really stepped up, in large part, because Cam showed some faith in them.”