Carolina Panthers Jerseys Tiki Barber is a pundit who is paid to stir up discussion, I recognize that. I do not deny that from a statistical viewpoint Cousins clearly had the better season in 2016 in just about every category. Yet I still think Barber is not considering all of the factors that contributed to Newton’s statistical free fall:
“Jordan Rodgers is basically stating the obvious, but he said it in a way that actually makes a lot of sense,” Barber said Wednesday. “Kirk Cousins is actually the more viable option, because Kirk Cousins will sit in the pocket and find his guy and read a defense and know pre-snap where he’s going to go with the ball, and if something breaks down, then he finds his check down back. Those two guys who they had in Washington were fantastic in giving him support in that role, so yeah, of course you take Kirk Cousins over Cheap nfl Jerseys Cam Newton, even though Cam Newton was the MVP. With Cam Newton, you get an MVP season one year and then the next year you get what the hell we saw in 2016. And what do you want? I’m not sure I want that roller-coaster. I’ve seen that roller-coaster — not with one guy, but with multiple guys over the course of my career. … With Cam Newton, you’re getting year-to-year volatility. With Kirk Cousins, you haven’t had that. It’s been pretty consistent.”
Year to year volatility? Newton’s first two seasons under OC Rob Chudzinski were very similar in stats. His passing stats promptly took a dip when Mike Shula took the reins due to the different styles of offense. Yet Newton again put up very similar stats in Shula’s first two seasons, just not as much as the prior two.
Newton then had a phenomenal season in 2015 that he just couldn’t sustain in 2016. So Barber wants you to think 2015 was an anomaly mostly due to the league figuring out how to game plan for Newton’s athleticism. What Barber overlooks is the support he had around him, in particular on the edges. LT Jordan Gross’ retirement after the 2013 season caught the Panthers by surprise and left Newton’s blind side protected by a hope and a prayer (aka Byron Bell). Things didn’t get any better until the arrival of Michael Oher prior to the 2015 season who anchored the spot for all 16 games.
Oher was then lost for the season after only three games in 2016 and Newton’s performance also plummeted. What a coincidence! You think maybe poor pass protection can have an impact on a QBs’ passing performance and vice versa?
Now compare Newton’s performance to that of the Falcons QB Matt Ryan. They had essentially opposite seasons statistically. Ryan also has a very shaky line in front of him for the 2015 season but it was upgraded tremendously before 2016. Look at the result.
One last point and that being the offensive scheme. Newton’s first two seasons remain the highest passing yardage seasons in his career. The typical Shula game plan doesn’t call pass plays as much as a Chudzinski game plan.
Turning to Cousins who Barber claims is more consistent, Cousins has only played at a starter level for two seasons. His first three seasons he had a total of 9 starts. In these past two seasons Cousins had certainly had a better offensive line in front of him than Newton, a line that allows him time to go through his reads.
In summary I do not deny Cheap jersey wholesale Cousins had a much better season in 2016 but I also think there are factors that prevented Newton from playing at a high level too. Factors that can be mitigated in 2017. I also don’t agree that Newton’s performance year to year is a roller coaster while Cousins is more consistent simply based on a two year performance. It takes at least three data points to determine a trend. But it is the season of bluster and exaggeration so there you go.