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MIAMI – Cam Newton’s history book, which began on his second stay with the Panthers, stalled on Sunday when he was benched in the fourth quarter by Carolina’s 33-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Newton was replaced by PJ Walker with just over 10 minutes left and the Panthers behind with 20.
Coach Matt Rhule said he told Newton the switch was made because the Panthers (5-7) were in speed mode and Walker had a better understanding of the two-minute offense.
Rhule said he does not expect a quarterback shift after Carolina returns from his farewell.
“At the end of the day, we did not protect the quarterback at all,” he said. “It would not be fair to keep Cam in there and keep getting him hit.”
Also, Carolina runner Christian McCaffrey suffered a left ankle injury in the second quarter and played only a snap in the second half. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that McCaffrey was wearing a walking boot when he left the stadium. Rhule said he did not immediately know the extent of the injury to McCaffrey, who missed 13 games last season with injuries and five games this season with a hamstring injury.
McCaffrey saw his series of catches at least one pass in 57 consecutive games in which he has played snapped. This streak was tied the longest by a back since Theo Reddick had 57 from 2014 to 2018, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
The Panthers gave up five sacks, but only one of them was on Newton. However, the 32-year-old quarterback was hit countless other times and had several passes tipped over the line.
Newton refused to blame his performance – he completed 5 of 21 passes in 92 yards with two interceptions for a pass rating of 5.8 – on his protection.
I understood why the change was made.
“I was fine with that,” he said. . ”
The Panthers are 0-2 with Newton as the starter, but until Sunday his performance had been solid. Newton’s 23.8 completion rate was the worst of a player with more than 20 attempts since 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Detroit’s Joey Harrington scored 22.7% against Green Bay that year.
That was the worst completion rate of a former NFL MVP with a minimum of 20 passing attempts ever, according to data from the Elias Sports Bureau. Peyton Manning (25.0, 2015) previously held the record, followed by Brett Favre (30.4, 1999) and Roman Gabriel (30.4, 1975).
“This is the NFL,” Newton said. “Nothing is promised. Just because Cam Newton is on your list does not mean you’re going to win. Just because it’s a feel-good story does not mean that you’re going to win. “
Newton’s poor performance came less than three weeks after he was signed to a one-year deal that could pay him up to $ 10 million for the rest of the season if he faces incentives. He scored the first two times he touched the ball in relief for Walker in a win in Arizona four days after joining the team that made him the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
He had two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in last week’s 27-21 loss to Washington.
It all fell apart on Sunday after Newton scored on a 1-yard run that made it 7-7.
Rhule called it a bad day ‘all around.’ ‘Newton said he plans to use the upcoming farewell week to dive deeper into the offense so that what happened on Sunday does not happen again.
“Today it was really revealed because of the situation, without having a full grip,” Newton said. “It’s not someone to blame, more so the situation I got into. Having this week to scout a bit myself and dive into what the root of this insult is all about, that’s what I plan to do.”