Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton: 'I've got to be better'

Cam Newton had another dreadful outing Monday night, throwing three interceptions, losing a fumble and getting pounded for nine sacks in the Panthers' 45-21 loss to the Eagles.

"I pride myself on protecting the football, but that's just not happening right now," Newton said, per the team's official website. "I have to protect the football better. I can't put the ball up for grabs. I have to understand the difference between giving our guys an opportunity and risking the football. And in the pocket, I've got to be better."

Newton certainly wasn't good. His offensive line was worse. There were times when the quarterback could barely get to the third step in his drop before defenders were draped on him.

The demolition of Newton was so thorough the Philadelphia Inquirer went all sorts of pun-mode on us:

One thing seemed obvious as Newton took a beating: The franchise quarterback isn't 100 percent healthy. He couldn't escape the pocket with his normal ease and appeared to labor in some of his throws.

It was a shock that coach Ron Rivera left Newton in for the entirety of the laugher.

"He's got to continue to work and develop, and he's got to get into a rhythm," Rivera said, explaining his reasoning for leaving Newton in a blowout. "I'm looking at the long haul. If he's going to be our quarterback, he's got to work his way through these things. That's what I'm looking for. I thought he did a nice job. I thought he hung in there and made some plays."

Sure, Newton made a couple plays when the Eagles stopped playing defense, but that only helps fantasy football fans. To subject a franchise quarterback already laboring through injuries to more punishment in a futile cause is the definition of asinine. If Tom Brady can be benched in a blowout, so too can Cam.

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