Bye Week Blues: Can the Cam-olina Panthers Get Back on Track?

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIOctober 10, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 07:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

At this point, the Cam Newton third-person episodes are basically a preview to a future reality TV show. 

It's clear that there is one focus of the superstar quarterback: Cameron Newton. 

After seeing that Magic Johnson-esque smile while wearing a tuxedo at the Preakness Stakes last year, we were all exposed to his incredible marketability outside of his talent.  

One question still remains: Can this one-of-a-kind quarterback lead the Carolina Panthers to the promised land

A truly great NFL quarterback silently moves the culture along, specifically though on-field play.

There is a sound argument to be made that Colts legend Johnny Unitas helped produce Joe Montana, and that Montana helped produce future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

No matter the sport, we all have our favorite players we want to emulate on the field. If Joe Cool can learn and evolve from Johnny U, and the same can be said in regards to Brady idolizing Joe Montana, then what lies in the future for today's youth? There are few quarterbacks with as lovable talent as Newton, but would you be proud of your child for acting the same way on the field? 

Take a look at what Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers had to deal with this season, then ask the Panthers front office if they'd be comfortable with Cam Newton being the face of the franchise in either situation. 

The reality in Carolina is that Cam can't even handle a Thursday night loss (to the reigning Super Bowl Champions, no less) like a professional. 

In the third quarter of said Thursday night game, Cam rushed in his first touchdown to shrink the Panther deficit to 23-7 and did his usual "Superman" celebration. 

How do you react if you're a Panther in that situation? Your star teammate is asking for attention in a pure blowout, then returns to the field to throw two more interceptions—ultimately leading to a 36-7 mopping on prime-time national television. 

What do you do if you're a Cam Newton fan in Pop Warner? Do you show up for high school freshman tryouts and start celebrating after every productive play like Cam does? 

It's time for Mr. Newton to take responsibility for his actions and start trusting his coaches and teammates—that's why they get paid millions and millions of dollars. 

As a starting quarterback, Cam has recorded just seven wins in his 21 NFL games—meaning it's time to ditch the "Superman" routine as your hometown newspaper once suggested.  

In Cam's defense, this is a team sport and Carolina does not exactly have a loaded roster like his Dirty South counterparts with Julio Jones and Roddy White. 

The Panthers have 11 games remaining in 2012 and after this bye week, it will be interesting to see how Cam & Co. respond to their horrendous 1-4 start. 





Looking Ahead

Week Opponent
7 vs. Dallas
8 at Chicago
9 at Washington
10 vs. Denver
11 vs. Tampa Bay
12 at Philadelphia
13 at Kansas City
14 vs. Atlanta
15 at San Diego
16 vs. Oakland
17 at New Orleans


Looking at their remaining schedule, there are probably five to six games where Carolina will be favored. They have five games left at home and six on the road, meaning their 0-2 road record will have to improve if they want a spot in the 2012 Playoffs. 

Six of these games are against teams with a losing record, including the two games against their atrocious NFC South opponents in New Orleans and Tampa Bay. 

Panthers fans clearly want to see this year's squad make a playoff run come January; however, a long and treacherous maturation process is still in store for team captain Cam Newton. 


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