The end of the first half of Monday Night Football summed up all that’s exciting and frustrating about Cam Newton.
The Carolina Panthers had a perfect opportunity to extend their early 7-6 lead on the New Orleans Saints Monday, set up late in the second quarter in the red-zone after a James Bradberry interception of Drew Brees.
Big opportunity for Panthers
After the Panthers advanced the ball from the New Orleans 42-yard-line to the 25-yard-line, Newton took a snap on second-and-four with 40 seconds left in the half.
He faced immediate pressure as the Saints defense collapsed around him, but in typical Cam fashion, Newton escaped what looked like a sure sack to pick up five yards and a first down.
In the aftermath, Newton strutted back through the Saints defense, sharing a few choice words as time ticked off the clock.
Cam Newton makes an incredible play to get the first then follows it by trash talking the defense instead of calling a time out.
He followed that up by throwing a bad pick in the end zone.
The full Cam Newton experience. pic.twitter.com/qRuB7oBCyo
— The Rush (@therushyahoo) December 18, 2018
Two plays later, Newton looked to wide receiver Devin Funchess in the end zone on a fade down the sideline. But he didn’t find Funchess.
Newton’s underthrown ball instead fell into the hands of Saints cornerback Eli Apple, who had tight coverage on Funchess and put an end to the Panthers’ scoring hopes.
Instead of extending their lead to 14-6 or even 10-6 with what would have been a chip-shot field goal attempt without the turnover, the Panthers went into halftime with a one-point lead against one of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses.
It was a maddening turnover that blew a golden Carolina opportunity in a must-win game.
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