The first thing that comes to mind after seeing Cam Netwon having the life sacked out of him as the Carolina Panthers lose to the Philadelphia Eagles? The Play60 kid and commercial, which took over most of the memes making fun of the loss.
Newton was sacked nine times. When the offensive line is so bad, it’s impossible to say whether or not Newton himself is playing badly. He did throw three interceptions, but he hardly had time to wait in the pocket and generate a decent pass until the game way already signed, sealed and delivered.
While Newton was the tragic figure of this game, Mark Sanchez was the heroic, redemptive one. A quarterback tossed by the Jets after years of starting for them, someone who seemed to regress with every passing year. Suddenly, with Foles’ injury, he was given a chance to start for a team on its way to the playoffs. He did better than anyone expected with the opportunity given to him.
Bad stories always do better than good ones. People want to dance and celebrate failure. Newton and the Panthers are the hot story coming out of this game. A team losing four games in a row, a franchise quarterback who doesn’t seem to improve. They still have a shot at making the playoffs because of how bad the NFC South is, but they don’t resemble the excellent team from last season one bit in 2014.