ATLANTA (AP) — Not since Tim Tebow’s welcome-to-the-NFL moment six years ago has a quarterback paid as big a price as Cam Newton did for trying to trot into the end zone without bracing for a big hit.
The Carolina quarterback pulled up in front of Falcons linebacker Deion Jones while he was about to convert a 2-point conversion. It looked as if he ran into a plate glass window in what was surely the worst decision in the NFL’s fourth weekend.
Jones laid a clean hit on Newton near the goal line that staggered the league’s reigning MVP and sent him out of Carolina’s 48-33 loss with a concussion. It was reminiscent of Tebow’s ill-fated dart into the end zone on the final play of his NFL preseason debut in 2010 when two defenders rendered the rookie a human sandwich with bruised ribs.
The Panthers are the eighth Super Bowl participant since 1990 to start off 1-3 or worse.