The Panthers have been able to play the Seahawks close lately, but close won’t count Saturday night.
At least not to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Newton said he wasn’t dwelling on their near-miss past with the Seahawks, which includes three losses the last three seasons by a combined 13 points..
“I don’t mean to be blunt, but the last three years don’t matter to me,” Newton said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “They were a different team, and we were a different team six games ago.
“They may run the same scheme, they may have some different clues that we can go off of, but this game Saturday is not going to be based on what’s happened in the past. It’s going to be about the team who seizes the moment and makes the most of each and every opportunity they get.”
Newton has every reason to claim amnesia against the Seahawks. He’s averaged just 145.7 passing yards a game against them, with just one touchdown in three games.
Of course, Newton’s a different player lately as well.
With stability up front, the return of fullback Mike Tolbert and the re-emergence of running back Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers have won five straight. Newton’s thrown just two interceptions over that span, and he’s only taken three sacks.
“I can’t make it personal because this game is not about that,” Newton said. “It’s not about me. It’s bigger than me. It’s about going into a hostile environment and not only proving to people, but proving to ourselves that we belong here.”
That’s the other factor. The Panthers have played the Seahawks close, but the recent games have all been in Charlotte. Saturday night, they’ll get a chance to see if things are really different.