By: Jason “Big J” Allen
      Last Sunday, Cam Newton sat upon the podium and told “Sweetie” he would put up a suggestion box. “Because I sure don’t know. I really don’t.” So I decided to be Sweetie (no one call me that), and make a suggestion box in hopes of answering the important question for Panthers fans: what ails Cam Newton?     I mentioned on a  podcast this was the first time Cam Newton had people doubting his GAME. Typically it has always been his character that people questioned, and he silenced everyone with amazing play. So I decided to look at some of Cam’s stats and see if he is right about the team struggles. I discovered a lot.
      Suggestion One – Cam, you need to refine your mechanics:     Here is an ESPN scouting report on Cam: “He needs some work on refining his mechanics when he does not have time to set his feet under him, but he has enough of an arm to make all the throws without getting set.” This means that Cam has a flaw: Cam drops back on his heel, but he needs to be on his toes. Not only that, but he also has high elbow release. That’s the reason you will sometimes see balls either float on him or fall to the dirt. Of course I came packing proof, and here are numbers to support that:

Type of Throw Completion Percentage
Middle 41%
Right sideline 56%
Right Side 59%
Left Side 71%
Left Sideline 60%

The numbers show that when Cam throws down the middle or to his right, he tries to use arm strength to throw the ball and lets the fundamentals slip. Also, being right handed means that Cam will rollout to his right more often, and throwing on the run typically lowers completions. However, whenever he throws to the left he has to open up, point his feet and shoulders to the target, and deliver. Whenever he throws left, he is forced to be more sound in his technique and he probably practices throwing left more.

Suggestion Two – Cam, you need to get better in the clutch:

     When the game gets tight and you need your leader to perform, Superman is very Clark Kent. Cam is just not clutch in the NFL. This is painful to say and its an odd fact, because he was amazing in Auburn in final moments. To be successful in the clutch you need to be accurate, have good decision making skills, and be able to stand in the pocket to deliver the ball. Here is where Cam stands in some vital clutch stats:

Quarters 1-3 avg. 4thQuarter -/+ 7 Trailing by 1-8pts
Completion Percentage 60% 53% 55%
Passing TD 6.6 3 9
Interception 4.5 2 10
Rushing TD 4.6 0 3

These numbers show that in pressure situations and at the end of tight games, Cam is just not successful. Throwing under 60% in those situations will not get it done, so there goes the accuracy. Having a high interception rate is a good example of poor decision making skills. Cam has to do better. You need your best player to lead here, not be the rear.

Suggestion Three – Cam is right that Carolina Coaching needs to step up:

     Looking at Cam’s games and numbers, its easy to see that he has come out the gates hot. However, when the opposing teams adjusts after halftime the Panthers falter.

1stHalf 2ndHalf
Completion % 60% 58%
Passing TD 17 9
Interceptions 8 15
Rushing TD 0 12

Once again, what do the numbers tell you? The team is just not prepared for the 2nd half. The glaring stat for that is the 12 rushing touchdowns. That tells us that the play broke down and Cam has to improvise on the fly. I also looked at how the running game plays into Cam’s success. The funny thing is the running game doesn’t have to be successful for Cam to win, it just has to be balanced.

The consistent formula for Cam and the Panthers’ success is when you keep Cam at 20-25 passes. His record in those games is 4-1. Why? Because you keep teams honest with balance and you allow Cam to maximize his talent. In those games his completion is 68% with 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and 4 rushing touchdowns. Then add in his natural talent to make plays, and the Panthers become a tough team to beat offensively.

There you have it Cam. Sweetie (I mean Big J) has given you suggestions to help fix your Panthers offense. My last suggestion for you Cam? Get out there, play, leave the media alone, and when you get to 25 passes come out the game.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen