It’s a pretty safe assumption that New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will blitz Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton a lot Sunday.
Williams blitzes a lot against everyone, especially when he’s up against a rookie. That’s a very logical move. But Newton is showing signs he might be an exception to this rule. He’s handling pressure quite nicely.
Through four games, Newton has not thrown an interception when a defense has sent five or more pass rushers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In those situations, he’s completed 28 of 47 passes (59.6 percent) for 407 yards and one touchdown. Newton’s been sacked six times when opponents blitz.
Newton’s completion percentage against the blitz stacks up pretty well against the other NFC South quarterbacks. He’s ahead of Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman and only slightly behind New Orleans’ Drew Brees.
Freeman has completed 16 of 27 (59.3 percent) for 197 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one sack when he’s been blitzed. Brees has completed 39 of 64 attempts (60.9 percent) for 426 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and one sack.
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan leads the division in completion percentage (65.3) against the blitz. Ryan has completed 32 of 49 passes for 413 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s been sacked twice.