Cam Newton had a special season in 2015, winning the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award and emerging as a run-pass threat the likes of which we’ve never seen in the history of football. And yet quarterbacks are remembered for what they do in the Super Bowl, and Newton’s Super Bowl is going to be remembered for one terrible play above all.
When Newton fumbled in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, he oddly appeared to pull back, rather than fall on the football into the middle of a scrum.
Why didn’t he fight harder for the ball? He didn’t answer that question after the game, hastily rushing out of his post-game press conference without saying much of anything.
Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware joined PFT Live this morning and suggested that Newton might simply not have known where the ball was.
“I tried to dive on it, I seen his feet in front of me but I don’t know why he didn’t dive on it. Maybe he didn’t see it,” Ware said.
The reaction from fans toward Newton’s play has been brutal, with many saying he just isn’t tough enough. But that seems hard to believe: Newton is the most physical runner of any quarterback in the NFL, and he has played through injuries many times. He’s been a tough player throughout his career. Why would he lose that toughness in the Super Bowl?
Newton is a great player who had a rough game against a great defense, and neither his season nor his Super Bowl should be defined by that one play. But in a quarterback’s career, we remember a few big moments above all others. And that was a very bad moment for Newton.