Cam Newton Has a Pro Bowl Game to Forget

HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 29: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocket during the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 29, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

I'm sure this game didn't go as Newton imagined it would when preparing on Saturday. Newton threw three INTs and was harassed in the backfield constantly by a AFC defensive line that wasn't supposed to be pass rushing. His perform led to some bloggers saying things like this:

Steve Smith was raving about Cam Newton before the game, and he showed why in the third quarter, catching a 55-yard pass from Newton, which traveled all 55 yards in the air. Sometimes Newton makes it look so easy, putting it on the money halfway down the field with just a flick of the wrist.

The sometimes he looks like, well, a rookie. Despite what was probably a better roster of talent (completely subjective observation, of course) the NFC ran out of bullets once Rodgers and Drew Brees took to the bench. That led to a Newton vs. Dalton second half in which Newton showed his inexperience, misfiring on a number of throws, including three interceptions. He definitely heard it from the crowd, too.

In the end, Dalton outplayed his rookie counterpart, finishing seven of nine for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Newton finished nine of 27 for 186 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

What isn't mentioned here and I think is very key to what happened is the AFC got ticked off at the on-side kicks and the fake punt, things that also aren't supposed to be done in the Pro Bowl, though I don' think expressly written like other things. So though I'm not absolving Newton of his bad throws he certainly had more pressure to deal with than he two predecessors.

Let's just add this game to the wild ride of Cam Newton's rookie season. Besides, I still think the kid had a lot of fun though I bet he remembers the surfing longer than the final score.

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