Panthers quarterback Cam Newton once again took responsibility for his team’s poor play after Carolina’s 45-21 loss to the Eagles.
Newton went 25-of-40 for 306 yards with two touchdowns, but he was also threw three interceptions, including one that was taken back 34 yards by cornerback Bradley Fletcher that gave Philadelphia a 31-7 halftime lead.
Newton also lost a fumble, was sacked nine times in the game and said his play put a lot of stress on the defense when he should have thrown the ball away when plays break down.
"I pride myself on protecting the football, but that's just not happening right now," Newton said, according to the team's 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 virtually said the same thing after the Panthers lost 28-10 the New Orleans Saints in Week 9, saying “I knew I missed a lot of throws, and I’m not blaming anybody but myself.”
The quarterback is dealing with a right foot injury in addition to his surgically-repaired ankle, according to a report from Fox Sports. The right foot issue could be a result of compensating for soreness in the left ankle, according to the report.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera trying to explain why he left his franchise quarterback in when the score got out of hand.
"He's got to continue to work and develop, and he's got to get into a rhythm," Rivera said. ”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.”
Rivera also denied that Newton is injured.
"I'm not sure where all that came from, but he's not injured," Rivera said.
Newton has been sacked 30 times this season (second-most in the NFL) and ranks in the bottom third of the league in completion percentage and quarterback rating. He has 2,100 yards passing with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. He also has 263 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Despite four losses in a row, Carolina (3-6-1) remains in second-place in the NFC South behind the New Orleans Saints. They play the Atlanta Falcons (3-6) on Sunday.
- Scooby Axson