Cam Newton’s efficiency numbers are on the rise, and he has been consistently deadly for teams as a runner. On Sunday night, in the New England Patriots‘ 23-17 upset win over the Baltimore Ravens, Newton added to his professional resume by setting a record for the first half of an NFL season.
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Cam Newton’s 9th Rushing TD in 8 Games
Newton’s ability to run has always been a valuable aspect of his game, and that’s as much the case this season as it has ever been throughout his career. So far in 2020, despite missing a game with COVID-19, Newton has run for nine TDs in just eight contests.
That’s the most during the Super Bowl era in NFL history. It proves there are several metrics by which to judge a quarterback’s effectiveness.
Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports wrote:
Newton could challenge 20 scores too. He missed one game this season but still has plenty of touchdowns because the Patriots have relied on him heavily near the goal line. Newton has only three touchdown passes — two more than receiver Jakobi Meyers, who got his first one Sunday — but has been dynamic as usual as a runner. The Patriots will keep playing to that strength.
The Passing Accuracy is Coming Along as Well
Harping on Newton’s success as a runner isn’t meant to discredit what he’s done with his arm. It’s true, Newton will rarely sling the ball all over the yard and registered a ton of 350-yard passing games. However, he has proven to be accurate and efficient as a passer this season.
On Sunday night in the Patriots big victory over the Ravens, Newton completed 13 of 17 passes for a TD and no picks.
CLNS’ Evan Lazar expounded on Newton’s throwing efficiency:
Newton leads all quarterbacks in completion percentage over expected (CPOE) in his last two games and is fifth in EPA per play, making him one of the NFL’s most efficient passers of late. After a long layoff due to COVID-19, the former MVP’s throwing mechanics and decision making are rounding into form once again.
TD Passes Are Still Down
With all this said, Newton would likely love to have more than three passing TDs this season. He left one on the board on Sunday when he had Meyers wide open in the back of the end zone. Unfortunately, Newton threw short and the team had to settle for a field goal.
Obviously, everything worked out but it’s the kind of play that will stick out as a missed opportunity. Newton is seemingly getting better in the Patriots’ offense every week. He will have a chance to show the next level of his game on Sunday when the Patriots travel to the Lonestar state to take on Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans.
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