Panthers Upset With Multiple Uncalled Helmet-to-Helmet Broncos Hits on Cam Newton

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Considering what happened after last season's Super Bowl, don't expect Cam Newton to complain to the press after a rough game.

But that doesn't mean his teammates won't stand up for him.

After the reigning MVP's Carolina Panthers fell once again to the Denver Broncos, this time by the score of 21-20 in the NFL's season opener on Thursday night, several of Newton's coworkers sounded off on what they perceived to be unfair officiating of the quarterback.

Newton suffered at least four helmet-to-helmet hits, but the Broncos were flagged just once for roughing the passer.

"I know he's the biggest guy on the field, but he's still the quarterback," said tight end Greg Olsen. "We'll see what some of those [helmet-to-helmet hits] look like. Obviously, we got one of them, but we didn't get many yards off of it."

On the play in which Denver was charged with a helmet-to-helmet hit, an intentional grounding call against Newton offset the penalty during the Panthers' failed final drive, which ended with a missed 50-yard field goal attempt by Graham Gano as time expired.

"Do you see them calling it?" asked Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. "Early in the game, a guy took two, three steps and hit him in the head and they didn't call a penalty.

"We've talked about it ad nauseam. It doesn't matter. They ain't going to change it."

Here are all the questionable hits in one graphic:

Imgur.

Yeah, if that had happened to a pre-DeflateGate Tom Brady half the Broncos would be locked up in Roger Goodell's basement by now.

Newton, though, didn't come close to criticizing officals.

"It's not my place to question the officials," Newton said. "I really like the officiating crew. It wasn't something I know they did intentionally, but it's not fun getting hit in the head.

"We didn't lose the game off that. I know that for a fact."

The QB was not checked for a concussion during the game. He received treatment afterward, and said he couldn't remember questions the staff asked him because there was "too much going through [his] head right now."

“We wanted to make sure it got to him, so every time he ran, we tried to put a helmet or shoulder pads on him,” said Broncos safety T.J. Ward. “If he’s not going to slide, then we’re really going to put something on you. We’ve seen him limp throughout the game. So, that run stuff—you can’t do that all game with your quarterback.”

 

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