Cam Newton didn’t throw for over 400 yards on Sunday in Carolina’s win over the Redskins. He didn’t need to.
While the numbers didn’t leap off the page, Newton put together his most impressive performance yet.
He completed 18-of-23 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown. That was his second highest yards-per-attempt average and his highest completion percentage of the year. Newton rushed for 59 yards, including a 25-yard run and a 16-yard touchdown. He held the ball for 14 seconds on the long run. He didn’t have a turnover.
Newton did it all against the best defense he’s seen this year. Jim Haslett’s Redskins threw a lot of blitzes at him, and four got home for sacks in the first half. A few were huge hits. Newton and the offensive line adjusted in the second half.
The development of Newton is something to behold. He stands in the pocket looking downfield like a veteran when bodies are flying at him. He is starting to take the check down pass more often.
“The kid is a pretty Ferrari,” Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall said via the Charlotte Observer. “He can run. He can throw. He’s got the total package.”
While the country debates whether Tim Tebow could someday be a great NFL player, it’s worth remembering that Cam Newton has arrived there far faster than anyone expected.