This is what panic looks like.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton found himself in a rough spot early in Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Starting a drive at the Panthers 12-yard line, Newton dropped back for a play-action pass on first-and-10.
How was T.J. Watt left unblocked?
The play fake didn’t fool Steelers pass-rusher T.J. Watt, who made a beeline for Newton after inexplicably crossing the line of scrimmage unblocked.
By the time Newton realized what was happening, he was standing in the end zone under intense pressure from Watt and faced with a very quick decision.
Newton not so cool under pressure
He made the wrong one. Facing a sack for a safety, Newton just heaved the ball over the middle of the field. The ball was close enough to running back Christian McCaffrey to rule out grounding.
But no matter. It was closer to Steelers linebacker Vince Williams, who picked off the errant pass and returned it for a touchdown and a 14-7 Steelers lead.
Fox Sports’ Troy Aikman pointed out that it was Newton’s first interception after three games without one. Newton’s in the midst of an excellent season that has him on pace for his fourth career Pro Bowl.
But he’d probably like to have that one back.
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