Wednesday July 4, 2012 : NFL Betting – Will Cam Newton Take the Panthers to the Playoffs in 2012?
It is easy for the fans in Carolina to get excited about the Panthers, primarily because of second-year quarterback Cam Newton. When Newton arrived in the league as a rookie, he instantly started putting up record-breaking rookie passing numbers. It took weeks for NFL defenses to figure him out. But the USA sports book experts were still not giving the Panthers any improved odds of winning. No matter what Newton did, he could not push the Panthers to win football games.
A culture of losing is a hard thing to break. It has been years since the Panthers have been contenders and the team has wallowed in the basement of the NFC for the last few years. The world wondered if Cam Newton would be able to repeat his college magic in the pros. Newton was working his magic, but the rest of the Panthers were still stuck in a losing mindset. Newton would pass for 400 yards and three touchdowns and the Panthers would still lose by 20 points.
As the season moved forward, Newton could see that defenses were figuring him out. One thing that Cam Newton never gets enough credit for is how smart he is on and off the field. He handled the draft hype extremely well and he was smart enough to see that NFL defenses were not going to put up with his shenanigans in the pocket much longer. So Cam Newton started to use his legs to score points, but he refused to turn into another Michael Vick. Early in his career, Michael Vick would pull the football down and run 80 percent of the time. Defenses could not catch him, but they did find ways of preventing him from scoring.
Cam Newton was smart enough to see that if he ran the ball too much, he would be cornered and the Panthers would not score points. Cam Newton developed a hybrid style of playing quarterback that made his running lethal and his passing arm a weapon. By the time the 2011 season was over, Cam Newton was not just one of the best rookie quarterbacks to ever play the game. He became one of the best quarterbacks in general to ever play the game. The problem was that Newton did not have many good parts around him.
Cam Newton needs wide receiver Steve Smith and Smith has signed on for a few more years in Carolina because of the presence of Cam Newton. But Newton and Smith need an offensive line, a running game and a defense before they can start counting up winning seasons. The world watched the Carolina Panthers very closely in the 2012 draft to see what kinds of players the Panthers would take.
Three of the first five picks that the Panthers made in the draft were defensive players that will start in the NFL. Carolina took inside linebacker Kuechly Luke as the ninth overall pick in the draft. The Panthers showed that it realizes the need to have a defense that can hold on to the leads that Cam Newton puts up on the board. The Detroit Lions built its defense through the draft, but it also added key free agents as well. The Panthers have yet to make a dent in the free agency market.
Can Cam Newton win with the Carolina Panthers in 2012? He can probably push the team closer to an 8-8 record based on his exploits alone. But if the Panthers want to give Newton the chance to be a Super Bowl winning quarterback, then Carolina is going to have to get serious about surrounding Newton with championship caliber players.
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