Disclaimer: This week’s Reacts poll was conducted before the news broke that Cam Newton was returning to the Panthers on a 1-year, $4.5 million ($1.5 million guaranteed and up to $10 million with incentives) contract for the remainder of 2021.
The Panthers lost an ugly game to the Patriots last week, and because of that Panthers fans’ confidence in the team was the lowest it has been all season. Fan confidence moved up and down over the last few weeks thanks to a win over the Falcons in Week 8 that was sandwiched between two ugly losses, but last week’s loss to New England seemed to have fans believing the season was pretty much over. A quick glance at the chart below will show you just how far confidence has fallen over the last two weeks, and I encourage you to look at it so I’m not the only one who has to be sad.
It’s no surprise that fans lose confidence after their team loses a game the way the Panthers lost to the Patriots last week. We watched Sam Darnold play some of the worst football he’s ever played (and that’s saying A LOT, y’all), and to top it off we learned that we were probably going to have to watch P.J. Walker start for the next four to six weeks after Darnold was diagnosed with a broken scapula.
You can look over at the sidebar to see the actual numbers, but the short and sweet of it is that fan confidence has dropped from 85 percent in Week 6 all the way down to 15 percent after last week’s embarrassing loss to the Patriots. That’s a long way to fall, but there’s some good news to come out of this: Cam Newton is back, y’all, and he will be expected to start when the Panthers face Washington at home next week.
We don’t know how Newton’s return is going to go, but at the very least we’ll have something to be excited about (because it really can’t get much worse than it’s been since Week 4). Matt Rhule has already said that P.J. Walker will start this Sunday against the Cardinals, and it’s highly unlikely that Cam will be active since he was just signed yesterday, so the party probably doesn’t actually start until next week. However, I’ll be interested to see the results of our next poll now that fans know Cam is back in the building. The Panthers are currently big underdogs against the Cardinals this week, but I’m willing to bet that fan confidence will rise significantly regardless of how Sunday’s game turns out.
What do you think, Panthers fans? Do you have any confidence the Panthers can turn things around and start winning again now that Cam’s back? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us!
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