I flagged this yesterday in the hopes there’d be some larger context to use it today, but after the Saints’ 31-26 win over the Panthers, there’s really not. Which is fine! It’s fine to look at a cool throw for its own sake. This is a cannon.
Newton’s got the strongest arm in the league, even when he’s off-balance like this and makes the throw almost entirely with his upper body. It’s a hell of a thing to see, and combined with his running abilities (largely held in check yesterday), he’s the most fun quarterback to watch in the NFL.
But since his 2015 MVP season, Newton has posted the two lowest passer ratings of his career. Having a receiving corps made up of Greg Olsen and a selection of dog turds certainly hasn’t helped. He’ll turn 29 this offseason; his prime isn’t going to last forever, certainly not with the sort of hits he regularly takes. Newton’s career has been a strange one—I genuinely have no sense of what his ceiling is, or if we saw it when he went to the Super Bowl and got blown out. But it’s getting to the point where it’s a legitimate question—that’s already being asked—if the Panthers are wasting him. Or already have.