The Panthers have lost three straight games, but Cam Newton still believes he's playing the best football of his career, according to the Charlotte Observer.
"Honestly, I feel like I’m playing the best football of my career,” Newton said. “Straight-up. I just feel in control. There’s no question marks. My assuredness of every single play, I know exactly what I’m supposed to do. ... It’s just, I don’t want to sound ‘like that’, but I know my worth. I know who I am. ... That’s all personal. And that comes with preparation."
Newton's statistics on the season back up his claim, at least as a passer. The 2015 MVP is averaging career-highs in completion percentage and passing yards per game, and he's throwing an interception on a career-low 1.9% of pass attempts. Newton is on pace to throw 30 touchdowns for the first time since 2015.
Carolina looked well on its way to a playoff berth after a 6–2 start, but the team is currently behind Washington and Minnesota in the NFC wild card race at 6–5. The Saints lead the NFC South at 10–1.
Newtown says he's handled the recent losing streak better than he would earlier in his career.
"The selfish me would have been like, ‘Oh, I’m good. We ain’t losing because of me,'" Newton said. "But that’s not where I am right now in my career.”
The Panthers will look to enter the win column for the first time since Nov. 4 on Sunday when they face the Buccaneers. Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay is slated for 1 p.m. ET.