The New England Patriots‘ Cam Newton has more than his share of highlights in his career, but there is one particular low light that he probably wishes he could have back. That’s not exactly possible, but on Sunday, he was faced with a similar situation, and his actions proved how much he’s grown as a professional and a competitor.
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Same Opponent, Different Result…Sort Of
Back in February 2016 when Newton led the 15-1 Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl, Newton had one of the lowest moments of his career. As his team was in the process of losing to the Denver Broncos 24-10, Newton was stripped of the ball. As the pigskin rolled away, a seemingly dejected and shellshock Newton simply watched the ball bounce without showing a sense of urgency to dive on the rock.
By now, we’ve all seen this play a million times, but here it is once again for the sake of reference.
On Sunday, also against the Broncos, Newton again was stripped, but this time, he went into the pile to get the loose ball.
Take a look:
While the effort was obviously appreciated and noticed, as you’ll see in a second, it didn’t change the outcome. Newton and the Patriots fell to the Broncos 18-12.
The loss marked the fourth time he’s lost to Denver in as many tries during his career–including the Super Bowl defeat. The Broncos’ social media account wouldn’t let him forget about it.
Twitter Reacts to Newton’s Do-Over
Social media doesn’t miss anything. If you were wondering if we were the only ones who noticed the similarities in the situation and how Newton reacted differently, you’ll see below it struck a chord with several people.
It’s a bit unfair that Newton has had to endure so much grief for one play. It appeared as though Newton was hesitant to dive into the pile, but to imply that had anything to do with his toughness is asinine and ignorant.
Newton’s game is predicated on toughness. He rode that quality to the NFL MVP award that year, and it has played a significant role in the rehab of his injuries and resurgence with the Patriots. He struggled on Sunday mostly because he hadn’t practiced in nearly two weeks and the rust showed.
However, the growth and maturity were more impressive and it keeps reasonable fans optimistic about the remainder of the season with Newton.