One of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ division rivals in the NFC South, the Carolina Panthers, made headlines around the NFL when they decided to bring back Cam Newton to play quarterback. Fortunately, the Buccaneers have nothing to worry about.
Newton had an absolutely legendary start to his career when he was drafted in 2011, and a season for the ages when he was named MVP, and lead the Panthers to a 15-1 regular season record and Super Bowl berth in 2015.
It is now 2021.
The last time we saw Newton on a football field he was an absolute shell of himself, looking noticeably slower running the ball, and being seemingly incapable of throwing the ball downfield. He was also most recently beat out by rookie Mac Jones in New England Patriots training camp.
The last time we saw Newton play the Buccaneers on a biannual basis, Lavonte David and the crew were wearing the monstrosities pictured above for this article.
In a nutshell, both Newton, and the Buccaneers are in COMPLETELY different spots than they were during the dual-threat quarterback’s first stint in Carolina. Granted, the Panthers roster is nothing to sneeze at. Their defense is solid, giving up the third-fewest passing yards (but 19th most rushing) in the NFL, and have talent on the offense, especially with the return of Christian McCaffery. That said, a broken-down Cam Newton is not the final piece to a Super Bowl puzzle. Sure, he’s a threat on the goal line, but he needs to get the team there first.
On the flip side, we have the Bucs. They are among the best of the best in 2021’s absolutely bananas NFL season, and despite a recent loss, are still favorites to win not just the NFC South, but the Super Bowl. Why? Well, that lil’ ballplayer by the name of Tom Brady helps. The Buccaneers still have far and away the best quarterback in the division, who also happens to be an MVP favorite.
So at the end of the day, yes, the Panthers bringing back Newton is great for headlines, even if it was overshadowed a bit by Odell Beckham Jr. However, this reunion is no threat to the Buccaneers in the NFC South. If you still need convincing, we’ll leave you with this nugget.
We mentioned the Panthers’ stats against the run. Well, the Buccaneers have given up the second-fewest rushing yards in the NFL to this point, and rushing is the only aspect of Newton’s game where he’s remotely threatening. Do with that what you will.