The Carolina Panthers have led at halftime of all four games this season and yet are just 1-3 at the quarter pole of their season.
Last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, the Panthers led 6-3 at halftime but were unable to score during the second half as Arizona earned a 22-6 victory.
Cam Newton threw three interceptions in the game, including two in the fourth quarter. According to Steve Reed of the Associated Press, Newton understands he has to be better in critical situations late in the game if the Panthers want to win more games.
“If we are going to make this next step I’m going to have to step up my game in the second half,” Newton said.
Newton has completed just 20 of 40 passes for 210 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the second half of the their three losses to the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals. In their win over the New York Giants, Newton was 5 of 5 for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
He’s not sure why exactly the Panthers have faltered late in games, but he knows the way they’ve played so far this season isn’t good enough.
“I’m not sure,” Newton said. “I think it’s more on my behalf that I have to focus in and hone in on my skills and say ‘Look, let me focus more in the second half and get the job done.”
Over the next four weeks, the Panthers play teams with just four combined victories in the Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons. If Newton and the Panthers can become more consistent offensively, they still have a solid opportunity to get back into the playoff conversation.