QB Watch: Panthers' Cam Newton

A weekly analysis of the Panthers' quarterback play.

Rewind: You can't criticize Cam Newton for not going deep in a 24-23 loss at Buffalo. You can criticize his accuracy. After throwing only three passes of more than 10 yards in Week 1, he threw more than a dozen against the Bills. He connected for two touchdowns. He also overshot his first four deep passes and had 11 incompletions. To be fair, two that could have gone for touchdowns went through the arms of the receiver. But his biggest problem was protection. The Bills had six sacks.

Fast-forward: Scary thought for Newton: his counterpart on Sunday, Eli Manning, leads the league in interceptions (7) and is more highly regarded. Way more. The good news is the Giants are struggling to get to the quarterback. They didn't have a sack on Sunday and have only five in their past seven games. The bad news is nobody has stepped forward to be a solid No. 2 receiver. Newton can't make a living on Steve Smith alone.

Missing in action: Or I should say inaction. Domenik Hixon probably is wondering why he left the Giants to come to Carolina to catch passes from Newton. He was inactive for one game and didn't have a catch in the other a year after starting three games and catching 39 passes.

Prediction: I was way off in predicting Newton would beat Buffalo with his legs. He rushed four times for 15 yards and couldn't avoid the Buffalo pass rush. This week, Newton WILL score a rushing touchdown and rush for at least 40 yards. That may not be enough, though.