No Cam reunion: Jones, not Newton leads Pats vs. Panthers

CHARLOTTE (N.C.) -- This was supposed be the Cam Newton game.

No Cam reunion: Jones, not Newton leads Pats vs. Panthers

CHARLOTTE (N.C.) -- This was supposed be the Cam Newton game.

It was Newton's homecoming and an opportunity for the Carolina Panthers 2011 No. After releasing Newton before the 2020 season, they released him and gave him 1 draft pick.

Instead, Mac Jones, a rookie quarterback, leads the Patriots against Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina. This matchup is between 4-4 teams after Newton was eliminated before the regular season opener.

Jones was the No. 1 pick in training camp, beating Newton. The 15th overall selection from Alabama has been a pleasant surprise so far . He leads all rookie QBs with completions (192) and completion rate (68.1), passing yard (1,997), TD passes (91) and rating (90.1).

Adrian Phillips, Patriots safety, said Jones isn’t a “rah-rah guy,” but exudes confidence.

Phillips stated that Cam was also very confident. He exudes confidence. (Jones) Seeing Cam, I don’t think that has dimmed his light. Although he was a rookie, he realized that sometimes you have to follow before you can lead. He waited for the right time.

Carolina coach Matt Rhule was Jones' coach at the Senior Bowl, and he was impressed.

Jones was traded to the Panthers with the No. The Panthers took Jones with the No. 8 pick even though they were in need of a quarterback. Rhule felt that the team needed a cornerback more urgently, so Carolina selected Jaycee Horn, a South Carolina defensive player, as the first draft pick.

Horn injured his foot in Week 3. He is currently on injured reserve.

Rhule stated that Jones was going to be an "excellent player" and a long-time NFL player. Mac is a winner, I think. He is smart and tough. Jaycee Horn will be a dominant player, so we made that decision. He should be playing right now.

Despite Newton's departure, Carolina's quarterback situation remains unresolved. Newton was the league MVP in 2015, but he didn't play well or suffered from injuries during his last two seasons.

Carolina was the replacement for Teddy Bridgewater in 2017. However, he went 4-11 last year as a starter and was then traded to Denver. , who was acquired in a deal with the New York Jets. doesn't have much faith that he could be a franchise quarterback.

Although he's 4-4 as a starter he has struggled to make decisions and is now out of the game.

After Darnold's seven interceptions, the Panthers considered trading for Houston's Deshaun Watson. However, it didn't happen due to the Texans asking price and uncertainty about Watson's off-the field issues.


P.J. P.J.

Walker, a former XFL player who played for Rhule At Temple, won his last start against the Detroit Lions despite throwing only two red zone interceptions. Walker has five interceptions, one touchdown pass and two touchdown passes in his career.

He almost threw an intercept in the red zone against Atlanta last week and admitted that he needs to make better choices.

Walker stated that all of this mentality is not physical. "If I don’t see it, throw it away or run with it." Do not try to make plays.


Stephon Gilmore, Panthers cornerback, said this week this game is very important to him since the Patriots traded him earlier in the season. Gilmore was named the NFL Defensive Player-of-the Year in 2019 and won a Super Bowl.

Gilmore stated that he was not happy with the Patriots' handling of his quad injury earlier in the summer.

"A lot happened with that that was not my fault and now that it is here, I can do the things that need to get me back and prepare to go where I need," Gilmore said. Gilmore played 17 snaps and had an important interception in Carolina’s win last week, 19-13.

Expect him to play a larger role this week.


New England started the year looking for someone who can takeaways, with Gilmore not being a Patriots secondary player this season.

Phillips has been a good role model and helped to fill in the gaps. Phillips has three interceptions, a record for him, and is coming off two interceptions, including a pick-6 in last week's victory over the Chargers.

Phillips said, "I put in the effort for it." He led the team with 109 tackles for 2020. "It's an incredible feat to be able go out and make the most of the opportunities I was given, and to be named player of the week.


Christian McCaffrey was designated as to return from injured reserve this Week. This means that he can play Sunday after having missed five games due to a hamstring injury. McCaffrey missed 18 of the 24 team games due to injuries. Since McCaffrey's injury, Carolina is currently 1-4. The offense has also struggled.


The Panthers seem to have (finally!) stabilized their kicking position with Zane Gonzalez. He has made 13 of 15 field goals and 13 of 14 additional points. He was 4 of 4, including a career-long of 56 yards, to earn NFC Special Teams Player of Week honors.

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