Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s second NFL season hasn’t been the rousing success that his rookie season was, but his play in Week 12 was something closer to what we saw in 2011.
The performance against the Eagles brought Newton an honor he also claimed during his rookie year. Newton has been named the NFC offensive player of the week, a prize he also took home in December last year. Newton completed 18-of-28 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns during Monday night’s 30-22 victory over the Eagles. He also ran 14 times for 52 yards and two more touchdowns in one of his best performances of the season.
Newton’s played well in three of the last four games and continuing along those lines could lead to more victories in the final five weeks. With the Panthers coaching staff on notice after General Manager Marty Hurney was dismissed, the results of those games will likely go a long way toward determining how long Ron Rivera remains in charge of the team.
That’s fitting. Newton’s play during the team’s 1-6 start did a lot to help make Rivera’s seat hot in the first place, so it makes sense that his closing statement would wind up impacting the head coach as well.