There are about 15 minutes left until the Carolina Panthers get ready to take on the Houston Texans in Reliant Stadium. If you haven’t noticed yet, that was where the Panthers lost in their only Super Bowl appearance against the New England Patriots. The Panthers are hoping to play the Cinderella role against the Texans, but it goes much more beyond who wins and loses.
Cam Newton will most likely break the rookie passing record set by Peyton Manning in 1998, and Newton has already dished out 3,573 yards. Cam needs just 167 yards to break Peyton’s record of 3,739 yards.
However, Cam is also very close to an even more impressive record; he could become the only quarterback in NFL history to rush for over 500 yards and throw for over 4,000 yards. He needs 427 passing yards to hit the 4,000-yard threshold, as Newton has already ran for 554 yards this season. Although he probably won’t be able to do what he did at the beginning of the season and reel off over 400 passing yards, Cam will undoubtedly hit 4,000 yards by the end of the year.
These numbers illustrate just how special Newton is as a player, and it reminds us that, even through his faults as a pure passer and lapses in judgement, Newton is one heckuva quarterback and weapon in the passing game.
Standing in his way is a tough Texans defense that features cornerback Jonathan Joseph, inside linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing, defensive end Antonio Smith, and safety Danieal Manning. He won’t have the best of games against the Wade Phillips coached defense, but I still think he will have 200-225 passing yards in this game. The Texans give up the third lowest yards per passing play in the league (including sacks) with 4.7 Y/P. They do a solid job of limiting the deep ball and only give up 10.8 yards per completion, so Newton will definitely have to bring his best in this one. Adjusted yards per attempt takes into account touchdowns and interceptions, and the Houston Texans are tied with the Steelers for the lowest NY/A in the NFL this year with 5.0 net adjusted yards per attempt allowed.