We've been talking all season about how the Kansas City Chiefs need to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall.
This week the Chiefs are playing a team that did just that in 2011. The Carolina Panthers picked Cam Newton No. 1 overall and after a helluva rookie season he's come back to earth this year, throwing for less yards and less touchdowns and completing a smaller percentage of his passes this year.
Since the Chiefs are likely soon entering the world of a first round quarterback, I picked the brain of Jack Finney, who runs out Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader. I asked Jack if, a year later, Panthers fans had any regrets about taking Cam Newton No. 1 overall.
"I don't have any regrets at this point and honestly I don't expect I will," Jack said. "This has been a tough season for Panther fans and very confusing as to what happened to the offense."
So, how does the Panthers offense go from 5th in points scored last year to 25th this year? Jack calls that a "big disappointment."
"We can't point to a single cause but I think we have narrowed the problem down. We figured out a couple weeks ago our offensive line has degenerated to the point of being terrible at times and average at best. I assume I don't need to detail the impact poor offensive line play can have on a QB and a game plan. Newton hasn't had quite the season he did last year but it's still been a respectable one stat-wise none the less.
More: Cam Newton, the x-factor
"The second key cause might have just been solved. Newton apparently has been granted more freedom recently to change plays at the line of scrimmage. I'm not sure why he already didn't have that freedom but I"m glad to see it make him play better. I'm thinking his MNF performance is a direct result of his use of the audible, something we have been tracking for a couple weeks now. Keep an eye on how much Newton changes plays at the line of scrimmage this weekend."
Interesting. So it's not a talent problem. Cam didn't all-of-a-sudden become a bad quarterback. It's just that sophomore slump now that everyone else has had a time to catch up.
For some context on the preseason expectations for Cam, check out this preview of the team before the season, which includes some Cam stats and tidbits.