Cam Newton’s ‘best football’ isn’t working right now

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton might be having his best statistical season yet, but the Carolina Panthers have lost three straight and are currently out of the playoff picture.

Nobody has ever questioned Cam Newton’s ability to get it done on the football field. He won a national championship at Auburn, as well as a Heisman Trophy, and has been a three-time Pro Bowler in the NFL.

But Newton believes that he has been at his absolute best here in 2018. From a statistical standpoint, it’s hard to argue that. He’s on pace for career-highs in both completion percentage and passing yards.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m playing the best football of my career,” Newton said, 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?”

It’s certainly great to feel that way, but over Carolina’s last three games, it hasn’t exactly been true. The Panthers kicked off a three-game losing streak in Pittsburgh, getting routed 52-21 on Thursday Night Football in Week 10. They have since followed that up with losses to the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks, two teams that were either at .500 or below when they faced Newton’s Panthers.

The stats might be there for Newton, who has had a 100-plus passer rating in his last six games, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio through 11 games is currently at a career-best at 22-to-7.

The only problem is, Newton’s ‘best football’ is no longer translating into wins. A few weeks ago, the Panthers were at 6-2 and looked like a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Now they’re only 6-5 and have put themselves outside the NFC playoff picture. They seemingly have no chance at catching the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South. They aren’t out of the wild card race, but there are a handful of teams competing with them for one of those two coveted spots.

Next: Which wide receiver tandem is the NFL’s best?

Nobody will argue against the numbers Newton has put up this season. But Panthers fans will take wins over quarterback stats every single time, and right now the wins just aren’t coming.

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