The NFL in incredibly unpredictable in 2021 as evidenced by the Carolina Panthers win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10.
Analysts appear on television and radio every week telling us who the best teams are and what is likely to happen on game days.
A lot of times they are wrong simply because it is a crazy topsy-turvy year.
So many bizarre things happened in Week 10.
The Washington Football Team beat the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Winless Detroit fought hard to secure a tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cleveland Browns looked like high school players against Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots.
In this age of uncertainty, one great story emerged.
It made us feel like we were partying like it was 2015.
That story was quarterback Cam Newton‘s return to Carolina.
Source: The #Panthers are giving QB Cam Newton a 1-year deal worth up to $10M for the rest of year…includes $4.5M fully guaranteed and $1.5M roster bonus.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 11, 2021
Newton signed with the Panthers last week; it was a bit low key because Odell Beckham Jr. seemed to own the headlines.
How He Played
Newton was signed after Sam Darnold went out with an injury.
The Panthers also have P.J. Walker.
Newton gave the Panthers a spark that they haven’t had since his glory days in Carolina.
He completed three out of four passes for eight yards and a touchdown.
Newton also had three rushes for 14 yards and one touchdown.
He scored on his first two snaps taken in the game.
In essence, Newton looked like he had not missed a beat since being out of the game for the first nine weeks of the season.
"I'm just happy to be back, happy to be a contributor to a team that's already good, we're just trying to get over the hump… Keep pounding."@CameronNewton joined @Sara_Walsh after scoring two touchdowns in his return to the @panthers! 💪 pic.twitter.com/OV47bVg3oB
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 15, 2021
It’s hard to argue with those results.
Fans loved his touchdown celebration where he shouted “I’m Back!”
CAM NEWTON SCORES IN HIS RETURN 🔥
— ESPN (@espn) November 14, 2021
What Matt Rhule Said
Matt Rhule toed the line on who the Panthers starting quarterback will be next week.
Former XFL player Walker also had a good game.
However, it is hard to ignore the Newton magic that showed up yesterday.
Rhule’s exact words about Newton’s status for next week were as follows:
“We brought Cam here to play.”
Matt Rhule would not say Cam Newton will start next week vs Washington, makes sure to praise P.J. Walker’s play today.
But Rhule adds: “We brought Cam here to play.”
— Joe Person (@josephperson) November 15, 2021
What Matt Rhule Might Be Thinking
Newton is getting his first action of the season in Week 10.
Thus, Rhule could be thinking about using Newton in a Taysom Hill type of role.
That means limited snaps with designed plays that maximize the chances for success.
The hometown crowd will welcome Newton back with open arms next week as the Panthers host Washington in Week 11.
That should be fun to watch.