Last year, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton broke many records (including that guy named Peyton Manning) and he carried his team to a 6-10 record. Newton could do no wrong. He was the King of Charlotte. And when Newton stepped out on the field, you knew it was going to be a Superman kind of day, whether the Panthers won or not.
One year later, there’s a new quarterback in the league, Washington Redskins quarterback RG3. And this year, he’s getting his fair share of exposure and a taste of winning. He is Washington’s darling and being hailed as one of the best quarters to come out of college since that guy named Cam Newton.
Funny how the times shift. People that once believed in Newton, doubt him. And it’s not so much for his failure to win. I mean, it’s not the Panthers are getting blown out. It’s that Newton has lost his leadership, his vision, and most of all, his A-game. Simply put, Newton isn’t a closure and by no means a leader. As for his vision, well, I guess that’s kind of hard to see when you’re always wearing a towel over your head.
RG3, on the other hand, has turned out to be a leader and a cheerleader. With every mistake, he takes responsibility. And when his teammates make great plays, he’s over on the sidelines congratulating them. On the field, RG3 is smooth under pressure. He will pass it, run it, you name it and he’ll do it if it will bring his team one step closer to victory. But, what I really like about him is that he’s that guy—doesn’t do too much and doesn’t do too little. RG3 puts in just enough of the mix to shake things up on the field. And although they’ve lost two games back to back. RG3 still shows a desire to win and keep his team in the running.
So, aside from the similarities of having a breakout freshman season, what is there to compare about Newton and RG3? Well, they’re both Heisman-trophy winners and, like the iPhone, everyone always want to see the newer version.
I think this game can possibly go in the win category for the Panthers. Besides the fact that Newton desperately needs a confidence booster, the Panthers absolutely need a win after dropping five straight games. Not only that, Newton's averaging more passing yards per game than Griffin -- 243 to 222 -- and he's averaging slightly higher yards per attempt -- 8.03 to 7.97. But Griffin has been more accurate and is on pace to rush for 954 yards. Newton has 706 yards on the ground in his rookie season and is on pace for 699 this year.
Injuries will also play a key role. Panthers defensive end Frank Alexander hasn’t practiced this week with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards has been out all week with an ankle problem. Guard Geoff Handgartner is nursing a knee injury, and receiver Brandon LaFell has missed practice with a head injury. For the Redskins, Pierre Garcon has missed practice with a foot injury, and safety Brandon Meriweather has been limited with a knee problem.
Granted, The Panthers defense has stepped up big time and have forced some great 4th quarter comebacks from other teams (Falcons, Bears), it’s the offense that hasn’t been able to get it done. The Redskins are favored by three points. But I’m going to give the Panthers a 6 point advantage.
Beverly Vereen: Social Media Editor. Feature Writer. SportsAnalyst. Photographer. Publicist. And a Jack Daniels connoisseur. She graduated from the University of NorthCarolina and is a native of North Carolina. She currently resides in Charlotte. Follow her on twitter @iwritergirl. just click on button.