Just like the Jedi, Cam Newton is going to return to the Super Bowl. He can pull off a Mace Windu impression along the way if he wants, but mark my words, Cam Newton will be back in the Super Bowl.
I won’t say when, but I will say that it’s going to happen and the sooner the better because Cam Newton is approaching Tony Romo level when it comes to unjust criticism by the critics, by the biased media, and by the American public. A great deal of whom make a person ashamed to be a fellow human after reading some of the baseless insults attributed to Cam Newton.
Not only will it be a delight to see him come back, it’ll be a delight for those people to shut up after they see him win. They should be worried about him if they truly hate him the way they come across.
Let’s put this into perspective. The reigning MVP got this far with middle of the pack linemen, a good running game, and his top wide receiver on the shelf with a torn ACL. He did have a great defense, but a quarterback controls what happens on the offense and Newton displayed amazing command over inferior parts and won an MVP in the process.
Newton will be 27 in May. There is no reason to think that he won’t become smarter, make better decisions, or pass the ball better with better weapons (hint hint Panthers front office). Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have officially been challenged and beaten for the status of the best young quarterback in the league (not sorry folks; he’s the MVP).
Newton said in pre-Super Bowl press conferences that there wasn’t anyone in the history of the game who he could compare to. Well, there isn’t an exact comparison athletically because there aren’t any 6’6, 260lb quarterbacks that have run for double-digit touchdowns, but there are comparisons in terms of what he did this season historically.
There was a 6’3 215lb big armed quarterback in the late 80s who went to not one, not two, but three Super Bowls, lost all three, and still manage to retire a two-time champion in the 90s. He’s the President of the team that just beat Newton’s Panthers (John Elway).
Elway in 1987 had a similar year to Newton’s 2015. Both had no-name weapons for the most part and did not lead the league in any basic passing statistic, but they were the MVPs because the voters knew that their athletic ability and presence changed how games were played and that statistics can be fudged by garbage time/coaching decision/other game changing factors.
Newton played with the Panthers in 2015 like he did with Auburn in 2010. He carried the offense on his back and made all the other pieces more dangerous because defenses were so concerned about him. Like a human magnet, he attracts attention away from his cast members and that leads to defenses being taken advantage of by those said cast members. Special quarterbacks do that. That hasn’t changed for Newton. He’s going to be great and even better if the offense improves.
Plus there is that great defense Newton has supporting him. Wait, not great; that’s an understatement. It is a fantastic defense that’s worthy of comparison to Denver’s. Let’s put this defense into perspective.
1. Carolina’s defense was not the reason the Panthers lost the Super Bowl. One of the things that Peyton Manning did quite well in that game was limiting turnovers (two in Panther territory) and 18 of the 24 points scored by Denver revolved around Newton’s turnovers and a 61-yard punt return. The Broncos total offensive yardage was under 250 yards at the end of the day.
2. MLB Luke Kuechly has been the only other Defensive Player of the Award in the last four years beyond JJ Watt.
3. CB Josh Norman is expect to re-sign, and other free agent SS Roman Harper could stick around. CBs Charles Tillman and Cortland Finnegan may stay too though Tillman will probably consider retirement.
4. The rest of the guys are still under contract, many on cap-friendly deals.
Beyond contracts, there is the locker room that the Panthers have to or rather don’t have to worry about.
The locker room after the Super Bowl beyond Cam Newton was upbeat despite losing according to reports. Newton understandably was upset especially having committed three turnovers and not surgically disecting the Broncos. But many Panthers spoke to the media about how they are disappointed, but they believe they will be back.
But I think the Panthers defeat the Patriots and the Panther crush the Steelers/Bengals/Chiefs. This Broncos defense is the best defense we’ve seen in a Super Bowl since the 2000 Ravens. There is no reason to think the Panthers will just melt away.
Granted as a Cowboys fan, I’d be ok with that as I hope the team I’m rooting for can put together a run at the trophy. But I fully expect the biggest roadblock to that will be the Carolina Panthers.
The NFC South is far from a tight race. Drew Brees in New Orleans is only going downhill, the Saints needs to reboot after having a season with a historically bad defense. The Falcons started hot then melted down. The Buccaneers have promise around Jameis Winston at quarterback, but he’ll have to have a sophomore surge over a slump if he wants to challenge Newton for king of the hill there. The Panthers with some small improvements should secure the NFC South next year without too much difficulty.
So while Newton has gone home to his newborn son and stews in this one failure, know that that failure can make a man only try even harder the next time and with these athletes, that’s often the result. A bitter monster is in the works to be unleashed and he’s already the reigning MVP. What else can he do?
Well for one, he can get back to the Super Bowl and I think he will.