Carolina Panthers great Cam Newton doesn’t even have to play a snap of football to trend worldwide. All it takes is another guy to just kinda play like him.
That happened last night, when Josh Allen led his Buffalo Bills to a 31-10 victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Rams. The fifth-year quarterback completed 26 of his 31 throws for 297 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for another 56 yards and a score in a do-it-all, Newton-esque performance
So, former wide receiver and an old teammate of Cam’s, Torrey Smith, caught wind of the comparisons on Twitter and had an intriguing take on Newton’s career.
I see Cam Newton is trending. If he didn’t have that fluke shoulder injury in Pittsburgh (2018) he would still be playing like MVP Cam. He was looking like it before that injury. Btw, the injury had nothing to do with with his playing style. He was in the pocket 🤷🏿♂️
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) September 9, 2022
The “fluke shoulder injury” Smith is referring to happened in Week 10 of that 2018 season, when Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt soared into Newton’s arm as he was releasing a pass.
Newton was playing at an MVP level up to that very point—as he had thrown for 2,086 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions and rushed for 352 yards and four more scores over the first nine games of that campaign. After the hit, he’d go on to toss seven touchdowns to seven picks and miss the final two games of the year with that shoulder injury.
There’s no doubt things were never the same for Newton and the Panthers following that fateful night. And sadly, a lot of “what-ifs” have remained.