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Can Packers’ Defense Stop Cam Newton… on the Ground?

Now in his seventh season, quarterback Cam Newton has started almost every Carolina Panthers game in that time. His lifetime passing stats are not terribly impressive, in fact neither are his stats for 2015 – when he was named the NFL’s MVP.

For his career, Cam has a completion rate of 58.6, average yardage per attempt of 7.36, 153 TDs and 90 interceptions, and a passer rating of 85.6. Decent, but far from great. In his MVP year, those numbers were up, but not by a great deal: 59.8 completion percentage, 7.75 average yardage, 35 TDs, 10 interceptions, and a rating of 99.4 – the latter being his best ever.

This year, Cam’s passing stats are down from his career averages, including only 6.77 yards per attempt, 17 TDs versus 12 interceptions, and a rating of 81.9 – the latter number ranks him just 26th among QBs to date for this season.

Green Bay shouldn’t be too concerned about Newton’s passing ability. It’s his running talent that’s worrisome. He’s a constant threat to take off running, on either planned or unplanned plays. As a rusher, his career average is 593 yards per season. In 2015, he was up to 636, and he was over 700 yards in each of his first two years.

Newton the top-ranked rushing quarterback in the league again this year, ranking behind 24 running backs – the next ranking QB is Russell Wilson, who is over 100 yards behind him. Wilson ranks 33rd, Tyrod Taylor is 47th and Alex Smith is 49th. Cam has had five runs of 20 or more yards, including one of 69 yards. He’s run for 35 first downs. His rushing average is 5.9 yards per carry. He’s also fumbled three times.

As the season has unfolded, Cam has become more run-oriented than ever. His top performance had once been in week 6 against the Eagles: 11 carries for 71 yards. Then in week 9, he reeled off 86 yards in nine carries against the Falcons. He topped that the following week, with 95 yards in just five carries against the Dolphins. Against Minnesota on Sunday, Newton had another strong outing: 11 carries for 70 yards.

With 3,566 rushing yards in less than seven years, Cam already ranks seventh all-time among QBs. He’ll almost certainly top leader Randall Cunningham – whose total is 4,928 yards – within the next three years. Between these two are: Steve Young, Michael Vick, Fran Tarkenton, and Steve McNair – who Newton trails by just 24 yards.

Believe it or not, Cam’s passer rating for the most recent eight games has been below 67 five times, and only exceeded 100 twice. That averages out to 74.2 – over that same stretch Brett Hundley is at 78.

If the Packers’ defense can limit Cam’s rushing yardage, they’ll stand a good chance of winning on Sunday.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. PF4L December 14, 2017

    The Packer defense could have something to say about the outcome of this game, but i doubt anyone would listen.

    This game is about Rodgers and Co. against the Panthers defense.

    1. Kato December 14, 2017


  2. Ferris December 14, 2017

    The line went from Carolina by 6 to Caroline by 3 and now as low as 2.5. How do you feel if you took Carolina to cover early in the week? Oops. Vegas should sent Rodgers a cut if GB covers.

    1. Kato December 14, 2017

      If people were smart they would have waited till they knew Rodgers status for sure before placing bets.

    2. Adam December 14, 2017

      You can withdraw your bet up until kickoff. No big deal.

      1. Kato December 14, 2017

        Didn’t know that. I am not a gambling person and have never bet on anything. Good to know

  3. PF4L December 14, 2017

    I think Cam Newton is a joke. I want this game over with just so i don’t have to see him, or read about him. Not many people make me feel ill towards them, but i seriously can’t stand this guy.

    As a NFL QB, some think, or thought this guy was the new prototype QB in the NFL. I think he’s nothing but a pretender.

    Forget how he acts for a second, what has he done on the field? A NFL MVP. are you kidding me, his stats that season was Rodgers on a below average season.

    Where does his success come from? Throwing td passes? Nope, Being a leader on the field? Oh hell to the NO! It comes from…..running. He’s a beast, 6’5″ 245lbs. His calling card is running the ball. That doesn’t make you a NFL QB, that makes you RG3, Kaepernick, Tim Tebow.

    So then how does he win? He only wins when he has a strong defense, plain and simple. When he, or better yet, the team wins, he’s first to start dancing around the field, handing balls to kids, showboating, and basic being a self absorbed dickhead.

    What happens when he loses? Lets see, he falls on the ground wailing his arms and legs like a spoiled child, sits by himself with a towel over his head. Then he pouts, then pouts some more.

    A true leader on the field of battle?…Hmmmm…. Lets say, at a Super Bowl game down by 6 points. What does this self proclaimed Super Man do when he fumbles the football? Well of course he decides to do nothing but stand there “watching” other MEN go for the football. Asked after the game why he didn’t go for the ball, he said he didn’t want to get injured. LMAO…This is the Super Bowl with 4 minutes left and your down by 6 points. This guy isn’t fit for battle. Matter of fact, if i was a player on that team, i’d go to the team’s General Manager, and i’d tell him to find a QB who wants to win. The guy is 6’5″ 245lbs of muscle, and he doesn’t want to recover his own fumble in the biggest game of his, and his teammates lives.

    This guy is a pampered spoiled child, and acts like one openly. This team should never win shit while he’s on it.

    NFL QB?….. Hardly. Except for his running ability, he’s Jay Cutler on a good day, according to his stats.

    1. Kato December 14, 2017

      You racist! Lol, that is actually a pretty accurate description. I think a little more of him as a football player than you do, but still think he is overrated. And quite possibly the worst pouter in football. He belongs on the Seacocks. Him and Pete Carroll would get along well.

      1. PF4L December 14, 2017

        Ok Kato….that’s it!

        No one calls me a racist.

        Once i meet you, on the totalpackers bus ride to watch our Packers in the Super Bowl, you and i are gonna have a go.

        1. Kato December 15, 2017

          Pound a few beers with Howard first.

          1. PF4L December 15, 2017

            Howard’s currently enjoying life through sobriety. I’m not saying i’m the hero that saved him, but i’m not saying i’m not.

            In the words of my favorite commenter on this site….

            Stop deflecting!!

    2. Cheese December 14, 2017

      Oh look, another “exciting hybrid QB” with mediocre passing skills here for his 15 minutes of fame.

    3. Mitch Anthony December 14, 2017

      Don’t forget the pimp outfits. You can’t forget looking like a pimp for a post game presser.

    4. MJ December 14, 2017

      At least Tebow had God on his side.