The best that can be said about the Panthers’ record is that it shares numbers with the 15-1 mark the team posted in last year’s regular season. Alas, after Sunday’s 41-38 loss to the Saints, Carolina sits at 1-5 and in grave danger of missing the playoffs, let alone making a second straight appearance in the Super Bowl.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, Cam Newton left quite a poor impression in February with his sullen news conference following the Panthers’ loss to the Broncos. Well, with his team suffering its fifth loss in six games this season, the Carolina quarterback was in a similarly unhappy mood after Sunday’s game.
An irritated Cam Newton has a terse 90-second presser – 59 seconds shorter than the Super Bowl PC. pic.twitter.com/SkQJmSyOrB
— scott_fowler (@scott_fowler) October 16, 2016
Amid eye rolls, deep nasal intakes, sarcastic smiles and chuckles and downcast shakes of his head, the 2015 NFL MVP offered a podium performance that was a tense as it was terse. Newton answered eight questions — sort of. Here is how the news conference went.
- On not having many designed runs against the Saints: “Just doing what I’m asked to do.”
- On a pass to wide receiver Devin Funchess that was intercepted: “Just miscommunication. A lack there of execution. Just gotta be better.”
- On tight end Greg Olsen saying the 38 points the Panthers scored should have been more like 50: “That’s what Olsen said.”
- On how he feels physically [following a concussion two weeks ago that kept him out of last week’s game]: “I feel all right.”
- Any lingering effects?: “No sir.”
- On the emotion of the game: “We’ve just got to find ways to win the football game.”
- On his level of disappointment: “Next question.”
- On why he thinks his team has gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start: “We’ve just got to find ways to win the football game.”
- On the frustration of watching from the sideline as the Saints drove for a game-winning field goal: “Next question.”
- On … [Newton leaves].
That’s right, after saying, “Next question,” Newton walked out in the middle of the next question. He, of course, had reason to be frustrated, but it was far from his finest hour.
At least Newton looked dapper, as has become his postgame wont, and it’s not like he lost the game for his team, given that he completed 27 of 47 passes for 322 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while adding a rushing score. It is the Panthers’ defense that will be questioned for looking so much worse than it did last season, but that’s apparently of no consolation to the team’s star quarterback.
Or maybe, just maybe, Newton was distraught at having been viciously trolled during the game. After scoring his rushing touchdown, Newton sought out a boy in the stands who was wearing his jersey and handed the youngster the football, which is common practice for the quarterback. But after the kid secured his prize, he took off his Newton shirt and revealed that he was wearing a Saints jersey underneath it. Let’s face it, that would get anyone rattled.