2016 Passing Statistics
Cam Newton struggled last year after a stellar 2015 season that landed him his first MVP award. His numbers regressed in every passing category. Despite playing in one fewer game in 2016, Newton had more passing attempts than in 2015, yet fewer completions.
It should be noted that in 2016, the offensive line play for the Panthers significantly regressed from the previous year. Cam Newton was sacked 36 times through 15 games in 2016, slightly more than his 33 through 16 games in 2015. He endured way too many big hits from defenders after being forced out of the pocket due to pressure. Injuries played a part in the regression of the offensive line, but across the board there was a noticeable difference from Newton’s protection in 2015 versus 2016.
Gettleman gave Cam Newton some new offensive weapons in rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. McCaffrey, a running back, and Samuel, a receiver, both have the versatility and big play threat to allow offensive coordinator Mike Shula to get creative. These additions should all lead to more time in the pocket for Newton, reducing the number of hits he takes.
Look for Newton to have a rebound season in 2017.
53-Man Roster Projection: Quarterback (3)
No changes at the quarterback position for the Panthers. Derek Anderson remains the backup, with Joe Webb serving as the third quarterback. Webb is the most versatile quarterback in the league, lining up at quarterback, receiver, running back, and even returning kicks on special teams. This is the easiest position on the roster to predict. Garrett Gilbert is merely a training camp body, who is battling for a spot on the practice squad.