We were thisclose from Bill Belichick having to play against his last two quarterbacks in the same season.
After a missed field goal that was inches away from the Patriots defeating Tom Brady and the Bucs in Week 4, New England had no issues dismantling the Panthers 24-6 last Sunday in Charlotte. But, would their Week 9 victory, which featured three interceptions from Sam Darnold, have been as easy if Cam Newton were there?
Social media got wasted on Thursday because Newton signed with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011.
Carolina was in desperate need of an upgrade at quarterback after Darnold was placed on injured reserve for four-to-six weeks after hurting his shoulder in that game against New England. And since Carolina’s new quarterback can’t play right now, the team decided to get their old one back.
But, why did it take so long?
When the Patriots released Newton in September, all signs pointed to it being because he was unvaccinated — despite what he’d said. There was no reason to feel sorry for him, as his original stance on the vaccine being a “personal reason” wound up being a personnel decision after he was “subject to a five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility” — something that only unvaccinated players have to adhere to — after a “misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities.”
Newton expressed his desire to return to football after he finally decided to stop being stupid and got the vaccine last month. And while it’s easy to understand why the Panthers signed him this week given their predicament, that doesn’t take away from the fact that this could have been done sooner – especially since former P.J. Walker was behind Darnold on the depth chart.
(This is the part where everybody Googles P.J. Walker. Yes, he led the now defunct XFL 2.0 in passing last year.)
Nevertheless, Cam Newton is back in Carolina, and Panthers fans have their former MVP back. Only time will tell if the sequel can live up to the original. But, what time won’t be able to inform us of is how things would have turned out if this happened four days earlier giving us a matchup in which Newton and Bill Belichick would have been equipped with inside information on how to beat the other.