The undefeated Carolina Panthers are without a doubt the surprise package of the season in the NFL, in my view at least. The Panthers are the last team to remain unbeaten and Cam Newton is playing MVP football. But are they really being respected by the league? Are they really that good or will they just fall at the first hurdle in the play-offs?
Let’s have a little look – and there’s only one place to start and that’s with ‘Superman’ Cam (going by his old celebration where he use to pull at his shirt like Clark Kent). Newton was one of the quarterbacks who you thought could be special. Now he is showing that he is special. Newton was number one pick in the draft back in 2011 and his potential is shining through now.
The Carolina QB has caused quite a stir this year – without a doubt he has talent – but is he too arrogant for some to handle? His new ‘dabbing’ end-zone dance/celebration has infuriated defences this season. ‘Dabbing’ is a popular dance which originates from Atlanta – Newton’s home town. Some defensive linesmen have lost their cool with the QB for over-celebrating or celebrating for too long.
Newton even caused a Tennessee mother to write into the Charlotte Observer newspaper to complain. She attended a game with her 9 year-old daughter who did not enjoy Cam’s ‘arrogant’ behaviour close up and said he needs to remember that he is a role model. You get the feeling that he’s loving it though and so are the Panthers fans. As part of his celebration he gives the football to a young fan whenever he makes a touchdown – so see, deep down, he is a nice guy.
Newton has simply said, ‘if you don’t like me dancing, keep me out of the end-zone’. Nobody seems like they can. He’s racked up 20 touchdowns so far this season and I have been thoroughly impressed. He reminds me a little of Colin Kaepernick, you remember that guy at the 49ers who used to be really good? However, Cam is better and making a real name for himself this year and is definitely in pole position for the MVP award.
Can the Panthers stay unbeaten and are they getting the credit they deserve? Their defence has been great all season and are nicely ranked in the top five. Also, at the other end, their rushing attack is also in the top five of the league. With Newton also being able to run and throw, he’s a duel treat. The likes of Jonathan Stewart (running back) & Greg Olsen (tight end) are sparkling this year so they may go all the way.
For me, I enjoy his behaviour on the field; surely the public is meant to be entertained? He may be a little cocky but he does it all with a smile on his face, but you know someone somewhere will be itching to wipe that smile away. He has the talent to go a long way this year but the Panthers will need a bit of luck.
With all the glitz and glam of being a quarterback, the next most talked about position is probably the guys who catch the ball, the wide receivers and tight ends. So who exactly is the best? Odell Beckham Jnr (yes the one who made ‘that’ one handed catch)? Is it the ever reliable Julio Jones? How about the flashy styles of Antonio Brown or AJ Green? Or are we overlooking the main man Dez Bryant himself? Look out for my next feature to find out.
Let me know what you think of Cam this year and who the best receiver in the NFL is.
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