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What can you really say about this game? Watching it live, I see Derek Anderson starting, and I’m shocked like everyone else including the announce team. I’m wondering if this was a planned first play to confuse Seattle and stun the 12th Man? Carolina proceeds to run a rollout play with the slowest QB in the league and have him try to toss a short pass on the run to the suddenly as bloated a body type as a nose tackle Mike Tolbert (4-21-0, 1 target)…and whaddya know? It clanks off the Michelin Man’s hands and turns into an interception.
And then Cam is back in the game the next series.
‘Punished’ for one play.
The announcers are confused and speculating, and they talk about some dress code violation after they get some incomplete news. One play? Wow, that’s harsh. From there, Cam Newton, the giant baby of a man that he is, mailed it in with a pout on his face as his team was humiliated in prime time.
I’ll come back to what really happened with Cam if you don’t know the full story…and it’s worse than the headline explanation we were given by the mainstream/cover-up unit.
Seattle rolled over a team with a pouting QB playing at 75% speed and missing its best player (Kuechly) and its best safety (Coleman) and a top pass-rusher (Addison). It was ugly quick. 23–7 at the half, eventually 40–7 with Seattle benching starters most of the fourth quarter. Humiliating for Carolina.
Seattle’s going to win at least three of its final four games and likely win up as a #2 seed in the NFC…counting down to an eventual showdown with Dallas for another trip to the Super Bowl.
— OK, Cam Newton (14-32 for 182 yards, 1 TD/0 INT)…
First off, this is why I never liked Cam Newton as a quarterback. I totally respect that as an athlete he is the most unique weapon to maybe ever play the game at QB. I also know he’s a poor passer and leader of men, and is, for lack of a better word, a spoiled brat. I don’t blame him. He’s from the era of #1 picks getting $25–30+ million guaranteed before playing their first snap, and then he had a great season to push a huge $100M+ contract extension. He has all the money he’ll ever need in life and then some. I don’t think he cares that much about football, and he’ll probably play two or three more seasons at best and then retire early and concentrate on all his other business ventures. That’s what I would do too. For fantasy, I have to judge him how he is today – not fully committed, pampered, incredible athlete, who doesn’t have to do anything anyone with team authority says. I wish I had that money and power.
That’s a lead into what happened with his ‘grounding’ for one play. You heard he was ‘suspended’ for the first series/not starting because of a dress code violation. It runs deeper than that. Here’s my recollection from listening to Peter Schrager, football ‘insider’, discussing what he heard/knew about the situation with Colin Cowherd on 12/7…
Ron Rivera went over the dress code with the team heading to the game the night before (road game, national TV), and told everyone on the team to wear a tie with no exceptions. It was understood. It was standard operating procedure. It’s a big deal for old school Ron Rivera. Knowing that, Cam boarded the bus the next day with no tie. A conscious decision to defy the coach.
I went back and watched all the plays in this game from Cam’s perspective. No real ‘life’ or bounce in his movement. Just going through the motions and then going and sitting on the bench not talking to many people. No real expression on his face. I think Carolina has huge problems ahead with Cam going rogue. He’s going to prove to Ron Rivera who runs the Panthers – and it’s Cam Newton. Not so much a power struggle as much as Cam doesn’t care about all this football stuff that much and he’s going to do and act how he wants while he finishes out a few more seasons of collecting paychecks. He is more important than Ron Rivera in the grand scheme of things, and we’d all love that upper hand in life.
We can have fun with this topic from a Carolina Panthers team management perspective, but there’s a big fantasy story emerging – you don’t want ‘Unhappy Cam’ on your fantasy team. ‘Unhappy Cam’ throws passes off his back foot deep downfield on third down to either get a big play or get off the field…thus his 40–50% completion rate in games of late. Most critically, ‘Unhappy Cam’ isn’t going to run the ball as much. Why take the risk? For what? He’s outta here in two to three years. This team isn’t going to the playoffs? Protect his asset…himself. Now, he’ll still steal some short TDs so he can do a pose and get the glory, but no more running as a weapon between the 20s. Also, throw the ball quicker, even if a bad decision, so as not to take a big hit. Protect #1. Not racking up rushing yards/points version of Cam is not a good fantasy Cam.
I think this ‘Unhappy Cam’ is here to stay, and that’s going to give his current fantasy owners fits the rest of this season, and problems long term. Cam is not a long-term player for ‘love of the game’. He has big bucks coming his way 2017–2020. As soon as discussions come about of cutting him (in two to three years) because it’s cheaper to pay out the remaining guaranteed money versus paying the whole annual salary – that’s when Cam is done with football. 2018 may be his last year, but 2019 for sure. By the end of 2018 Cam Newton will have made $110 million dollars in eight years playing football plus whatever millions in endorsements (plus whatever he made at Auburn). Why stay around on a reduced contract at age 30? For what? Once he loses his legs, he won’t be a coveted QB anyway…plus all the headaches he brings (and that headache side of things is just getting warmed up…Diva Cam is coming/here!).
Cam’s numbers over his last six games:
15.8 FF PPG (4pts per pass TD) on 219.7 passing yards, 1.0 TD/0.33 INT, 23.0 rushing yards and 0.33 rushing TDs.
In his last three games, 9.3 yards rushing per game.
It’s over, but it’s going to be three years of mediocrity and ugliness to the finish.
— In this blowout, it was nice to see Tyler Lockett (5-63-0/6 targets, 1-75-1) showing off his skills. By far, his best game of the year. He’s a wasted #3 WR on Seattle’s piss-poor passing game plan. If Lockett were on the Colts (and healthy all season), he might be leading the league in receiving right now.
— We discussed how the Ted Ginn (5-80-1/6 targets) numbers were growing for several weeks leading into this game, and how he was a hot sleeper for last week. The thing is, with Cam quitting in his mind, he’s throwing more deep shots ‘just because’…and that’s Ginn’s bread and butter. There will be weeks that are a fantasy dud with Ginn, but more weeks like this have been happening than not lately.
The opposite of which is Kelvin Benjamin (2-18-0/9 targets). He’s been terrible since about Week 3 this season. Not him, just Cam hardly looking at him or giving him catchable passes. This whole Carolina thing is flushing down the toilet.
Greg Olsen (3-30-0/7 targets) has been sucked down the hole with it as well. He’s scored 1 TD the past eight games. He has 3 TDs this season.
— James Bradberry (8 tackles, 1 PD, 1 TFL) has been terrific for IDP since returning from injury. The rookie CB is averaging 7.3 tackles and 0.8 TFLs his last four games.