Cam Newton is as Inaccurate as Steph Curry

DeAndre Jordan shot 71.4 percent from the field last season.

Steph Curry shot 46.8 percent from the field last season.

Not a single reasonable person would suggest that Jordan is a better shooter than Curry. Nobody would call Jordan more accurate because of the numbers. Wider NBA analysis has evolved to the point that the ability to create your own shot and knock down said shot from further afield is more valuable than simply being a dunker. That 25 percent gap between the players’ numbers is offset by the value of Curry hitting three pointers at an exceptionally high rate, three pointers that are often shot off the dribble when he has created his own opportunity, something Jordan rarely ever does.

In the NFL we are still lagging behind in the evolution department. The wider analysis of the NFL focuses on completion percentage and little else when discussing how accurate each player is. For Cam Newton, that’s a problem.

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Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell – Pre Snap Reads Favorite Plays of the 2013 NFL Season

Cam Newton isn’t just a freak athlete

2013 proved to be a big year for Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers.

He was once again a very productive, all-around player as he finished the season with just under 4,000 total yards, 30 total touchdowns that included his most ever passing touchdowns, 24, and just 14 total turnovers.

Recognizing Newton’s ability now and focusing less on the manufactured negatives about his character is a popular action. However, that is primarily because his Panthers made the playoffs and his Panthers made the playoffs because of a vastly improved defense.

The additions of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short along with unexpected improvements from vested veterans allowed the defense to become one of the best in the league. According to Football Outsiders DVOA metric, they were the third best unit in the NFL after being the 11th best in 2012.

It’s easy to point to the defensive side of the ball and suggest the Panthers are only good now because of a better defense and not because Newton is a good quarterback. That is the wrong angle to look at this young quarterback and his franchise.

The real question is why were the Panthers bad during Newton’s first two seasons. He has always produced statistically and been ahead of the curve in terms of his development. A limited supporting cast on offense and an underwhelming defense simply held the franchise back from team success.

Now that the team is good and the nonsensical P.R. attacks based on body language have been eradicated, we can really focus on what Newton is.

Newton is a developing quarterback who is quickly becoming one of the best in the NFL at his position. Last season, he affirmed that idea by becoming less of a risky playmaker and more of a refined quarterback.

Statistically, he may not have run for 14 rushing touchdowns like he did during his rookie season, but he did complete a higher percentage of his passes, average fewer yards per attempt, take more sacks and attempt fewer passes than he had in previous seasons.

Some of those things are technically negatives, but that’s only if you take them in a vacuum. Continue reading

Von the Creator: Analyzing Von Miller’s Sacks From the 2012 Denver Broncos’ Season

Von Miller is the first to get PSR’s sack analysis.

Series Introduction:

Twenty years from now, we may look back on the 2011 NFL draft and look at it as one of the greatest ever. Every draft has a certain level of talent to boast about and this class is still in the developmental process as a whole, but when it includes special players such as Richard Sherman, Justin Houston, Randall Cobb, Torrey Smith, Kyle Rudolph, Colin Kaepernick, Muhammad Wilkerson, Corey Liuget, Nate Solder, Cameron Jordan and Mike Pouncey it’s difficult to subdue the potential for hyperbole.

None of those players are what makes this class special though. Depth to a class is definitely a prerequisite for a great class, but having upper echelon talent is even more important.

The very top of this class featured names such as Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder, all quarterbacks and all underwhelming at best after two years of their professional careers. Instead of dragging down the reputation of the class, the limitations of the quarterback depth in this class actually highlight the quality of the positional players who were taken within the top 12 selections. Normally after two seasons, we would judge the class by how the quarterbacks had adjusted and performed on Sundays, but those players have been lost in the shadows of Pro Bowlers and All-Pros.

Cam Newton led the way, as a record-setting star at the quarterback position. He has had his issues in the league, but also immediately carried over his record-setting displays from college into the NFL. AJ Green was the second offensive player off the board, going to the Cincinnati Bengals with the fourth overall pick. Although Green has been a superstar receiver, arguably the second best in the league, the Buffalo Bills won’t feel too discouraged about passing up on him for Marcell Dareus. Dareus is a defensive tackle who doesn’t have great statistical representation, but his high quality play is indisputable. Continue reading