Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton in line to win first ring

8 2016 Gatorade POY may not be a football betting website, but if NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt’s predictions are to be credited, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton tops the list of quarterbacks who could win their first NFL championship ring in 2016, surpassing the likes of Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Alex Smith and Teddy Bridgewater. Newton may have retired the ‘Dab’ and sport a new look with a blonde goatee and straw hat, but if he keeps up his gridiron performance from last season, he may very well be set to disrupt the dominance of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and the Manning brothers – who have won 10 of the past 15 Super Bowls.

Football betting website odds might just favor Newton like never before. Not only has the elder Manning retired, but Brady will miss the first four games of the regular season. Newton started all 16 Panthers 2015 regular season games, completing 296 of 495 attempted passes (59.8%) for 3,837 yards and 35 TDs. He added 636 rushing yards to those numbers, which earned him NFL MVP honors, as well as being rated as the #1 best player in the NFL by his peers on the NFL Top 100 player list. And in the postseason, Newton completed 53 of 91 passes (58.2%) for 761 yards and 3 touchdowns in three games, including 18 completed passes of 41 for 265 yards in the Super Bowl game.

Nevertheless, Newton lost two fumbles, threw an interception and did not a produce a TD for the only time in the entire season. Understandably, the QB was despondent and crestfallen following the game. That disappointment may have football betting website users thinking that the Panthers’ 15-1 season last year – almost singlehandedly engineered by Newton – was nothing but a fluke. But at 27 years of age and with five pro seasons under his belt, Newton’s real breakthrough might not occur until 2016, especially now that he has an improved receiving unit, including a recovered Kelvin Benjamin.

Of course, Newton has to work on throwing quick slants and checkdowns to complete more passes. Most of all, though, he needs to work on his mental game, in particular during a big one like the Super Bowl. Not to take anything away from champions the Denver Broncos, but it’s safe to say that championship game Cam Newton was not quite regular season Cam Newton – or even the Cam Newton of the first two playoff games, for that matter. On the other hand, the QB won’t have to do everything this new season. The returning Benjamin will not just provide Newton with a target he lacked for the entirety of last year but will also create openings for Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn, Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart. All of which means that the Carolina Panthers QB will have a pretty deep arsenal this 2016, as opposed to his limited weaponry of 2015. All things considered, Cam Newton might just be joining the NFL championship bling-ring this season.