Cam Newton has had an up-and-down sophomore campaign in the NFL after taking the league by storm last year as a rookie, following his Heisman Trophy season.
On Monday night against the hapless Philadelphia Eagles, Newton had a big peak in his season, showing what made him so great last year with a big-time all-around performance. Newton threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 52 yards and two more touchdowns. If you're in a league where rushing TDs count more than passing TDs, you loved that.
Sophomore slumps aren't uncommon in the NFL, especially in the fairly recent age of quarterbacks starting as rookies. Newton wouldn't surprise anyone if he was back to his rookie year standards by next season and if the Panthers can put some talent around him that could be a dangerous team.
On the other end of the spectrum, there's Aaron Rodgers. The former MVP and Super Bowl winner has been hamstrung at times this year by a bad offensive line and a severe lack of a running game. That's a bad problem to have when you're facing the New York Giants and their relentless pass rush. Sure, the Giants had a secondary ripe for the picking, but Rodgers didn't have to for the picking, and it showed.
He was sacked five times and threw for just 219 yards and a touchdown with an interception in the Packers' blowout loss to the Giants on Sunday night.