The Carolina Panthers suffered another loss on Sunday, marking the team’s fourth consecutive defeat. As the team continues to cycle through quarterbacks, head coach Matt Rhule has not been afraid to be vocally critical of his signal-callers. Well, after the 31-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Rhule didn’t hesitate to call out a costly mistake made by Cam Newton during the game, via Panthers beat writer Jonathan M. Alexander.
The pass by Cam Newton to Robby on fourth down was supposed to be a zone read Matt Rhule, said.
There was a bubble option. He said Newton should have handed it off.
— Jonathan M Alexander (@jonmalexander) December 19, 2021
On a crucial 4th and 1, Newton was supposed to run a zone read in order to pick up the final yard. Newton threw a pass to Robby Anderson, who was running a bubble option route on the play, and the team failed to pick up the first down. Clearly, Rhule isn’t crazy about Newton’s decision to forego the one-yard run and opt to pass the ball to Anderson, and he openly addressed it with the media after the loss.
Newton struggled in the Panthers’ loss to Buffalo. He completed 18-of-38 pass attempts for 158 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Additionally, the veteran QB rushed 15 times for 71 yards and one touchdown. Despite being responsible for both of Carolina’s touchdowns, Newton’s performance fell short of expectations and Rhule didn’t hesitate to make that clear.
The Panthers fall to 5-9 following the loss to the Bills, and things are souring quickly for Rhule in his second year at the helm. Now with a 10-20 record in his coaching tenure with the Panthers, Rhule is seeking more from his quarterback, and he wasn’t afraid to make Newton’s error public knowledge.