The Carolina Panthers entered the 2019 NFL season with something they had not in quite a while: a healthy Cam Newton, who was the winner of the 2015 NFL MVP.
Unfortunately for Panthers fans, Newton is out for the season with a Lisfranc injury, one that displaces multiple bones in a foot. That means that Kyle Allen, the second-year pro out of the University of Houston has been the Panthers’ starting quarterback this season.
Kyle Allen has enjoyed a decent season to date, throwing for 2,179 yards, 13 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He started out the season turnover-free, but struggled in the Panthers’ game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, October 27, which since, the Panthers have only won one game, a 30-20 home win against the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago. This is the second straight season in which the Panthers have struggled after a huge loss, as the Pittsburgh Steelers won 52-21.
As the Panthers go into Sunday’s home matchup against the Washington Redskins, who are coming off a 19-16 home win against the Detroit Lions, not only will they will look to get to .500, they will look to keep their outside playoff chances alive. The most important storyline surrounding this game is Kyle Allen himself. Depending on how Allen performs the rest of the season, the Panthers could either elect to go forward with him as the starter, or bring back Cam Newton for the final year of his contract in 2020.
Allen started out the season playing excellent football, but has struggled since the London victory on Sunday, October 13 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing at least one interception in every start besides last week’s divisional matchup in New Orleans. While Allen has proven himself to be a reliable fill-in for Newton and a decent NFL starter, he is no Cam Newton.
If you ask me, here is what the Carolina Panthers should do next season: keep Cam Newton, and let him play out the final season of his contract in Charlotte. If Newton plays like the 2015 NFL MVP he once was, extend him. Newton has even said that Charlotte is his home, and he wants to continue to be a Carolina Panther.
If Newton struggles in the first few weeks, however, start Allen and trade Newton to a team of a quarterback in need.
It remains to be seen what the Panthers do going forward. I know, however, that personnel will make the decision that is best for the future of the franchise.