Despite the Panthers’ three-game losing skid, quarterback Cam Newton is confident about the work he’s doing under center — and the numbers prove it.
Newton is boasting the best passer rating of his career (103.7), and is on track for a career-high 69.6 completion percentage and passing yards (3,925.8).
“Honestly, I feel like I’m playing the best football of my career,” he said Wednesday, via the Charlotte Observer. “Straight-up. I just feel in control. There’s no question marks. My assuredness of every single play, I know exactly what I’m supposed to do. … It’s just, I don’t want to sound like that, but I know my worth. I know who I am. … That’s all personal. And that comes with preparation.
“I feel like, when somebody is at their best and facing me, and I’m at my best, we win. You know what I’m saying?”
Newton, who was named MVP in 2015 and took Carolina to the Super Bowl that season, has a helpful cast of players in Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel that help the eighth-year play-caller get the ball out efficiently and effectively. But, one problem remains: the explosive plays from Newton and company haven’t translated into wins.
The Panthers’ losing streak started with a whopping 52-21 loss to the Steelers on Nov. 8, a narrow one-point loss to the Lions the next week and Carolina most recently fell to Seattle at Bank of America Stadium, 30-27, on Sunday.
“(In the past when I was playing my best), I was rewarded with victories,” Newton said. “Now, it’s tougher that we’re not winning. … The selfish me would have been like, ‘Oh, I’m good. We ain’t losing because of me. But that’s not where I am right now in my career.”
The Panthers are currently projected as eighth in the NFC playoff picture, according to NFL.com, and will need wins against the Buccaneers, Browns and Falcons — not to mention the formidable Saints, which they will face twice in the next five weeks.
But, first is a trip to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
The Panthers hosted the Buccaneers on Nov. 4, and were led to a 42-28 victory behind Newton’s 247-yard, two-touchdown day. It was Carolina’s last win.