When the Carolina Panthers placed quarterback Cam Newton on Injured Reserve in early November, there was a dominating storyline about how the team would be trading him at the end of the season and forging ahead with backup Kyle Allen. Weeks later, this appears to be less certain. The Panthers fans are even hoping that the team keeps Newton in town, and they are pleading for this to happen.
Sunday afternoon, the Panthers lost a battle with the woebegone Washington Redskins, dropping them to 5-7 on the season. This further solidified their fate as a team that would be missing the playoffs and actually put extra pressure on head coach Ron Rivera, as well as his staff.
What truly drew the ire of the Panthers fans is how Allen was unable to lead a comeback during the game. He was given the opportunity after the Panthers recovered an onside kick, but he fumbled after missing an open receiver.
Facing a fourth-and-goal, Allen dropped back and looked for an open receiver. However, he didn't see any options and instead retreated backward with Washington defenders in pursuit. He was ultimately sacked, fumbling the ball. This play sealed the loss and also angered the fans given that wide receiver, Jarius Wright was wide open in the end zone, but Allen didn't see him.
In the eyes of the fans, Newton would have made this play. In fact, he would have put up enough points early in the game that there wouldn't be a risk of losing to a two-win franchise.
Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DONT TRADE CAM— Doug Dimmadome (@Pantherr344) December 1, 2019
Trade Newton or keep him in town? This is a discussion that will be taking place throughout the remainder of the season and heading toward the league year. For the fans, they hope that the Panthers opt to keep the former first overall pick in the building instead of trusting Kyle Allen in 2020.
To prove this point, many fans voiced their frustrations with Allen's play on Sunday. Others simply pleaded with the Panthers to make the best decision and keep Newton as the starting quarterback.
Is Kyle Allen the future in Charlotte? The fans certainly are not convinced of this fact, despite hearing many analysts explain why the backup is better than Newton in previous weeks. In their opinion, there is no discussion.
Allen has certainly made some impressive plays during this season, but he has also missed what should have been easy completions. For the Panthers fans, this fourth-down fumble was just the latest example.
The Kyle Allen experience summed up in one play pic.twitter.com/9MLCSRtlFk— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) December 1, 2019
Following Sunday's loss to the Washington Redskins, there were plenty of discussions taking place about the talent gap between Newton and Allen. Some believe that the backup still is the best option for this Panthers team heading into the future. Others, however, simply look at some plays and shake their heads.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Allen dropped back on third down. He needed to gain 16 yards but was unable to find the best possible option. Running back Christian McCaffrey was open early, but Allen didn't see him. The play ended with him heaving the ball downfield into double coverage.
“Kyle Allen on 4th Down to try and tie the game drops back to pass...” pic.twitter.com/Tusk7WT4Eu— The Dawgzilla (@TheDawgzilla) December 1, 2019
After 12 games, the Carolina Panthers are essentially out of playoff contention and are facing an uncertain future at the quarterback position. Keeping Newton for the final year of his deal is one option, as is forging ahead with Allen as the starter. The fans have made it clear that they don't want the latter to happen.
Following the game, Twitter was full of fans calling for Newton to return to the Panthers in 2020. There were also plenty of animated GIFs being posted in reference to Allen's quarterback play.
Oh... on the 1 yard line and you need to score a touchdown? Wonder who would be excellent in this situation... here’s a hint, not Kyle Allen. pic.twitter.com/AtrxFzMy8k— Mardin T (@trinhsetta) December 1, 2019
In the opinion of many Carolina Panthers fans, there is no debate or quarterback controversy. They believe that Newton is clearly the better option now and for the future. Trying to convince the fanbase otherwise is just a lost cause.
There have been many instances in the past in which the Carolina Panthers have needed a touchdown or a fourth-down conversion with only one yard to go. In order to achieve this, they simply put the ball in Newton's hands, and he took care of business. They don't have faith that Allen can reliably repeat this feat.
screw this get all new players on defense except luke. They have been the main reason for the losing for 2 years. Get Cam newton healthy and get rid of that clown kyle allen. The panthers have a great running back and some good receivers get supercam back— Mark Thomas (@Urbanlegends74) December 1, 2019
There have been reports in recent weeks that Kyle Allen will be the future of the Carolina Panthers, but the fans aren't convinced. They haven't seen anything that gives them confidence heading into the 2020 season. The NFC South is stacked with competitive teams, including the Saints, and the Panthers want someone that can lead them to division crowns.
In the eyes of many Panthers fans, the best option at this point is to focus on rebuilding this roster around Newton. They still believe that he will be the one to lead them to the Promised Land.
Cam Newton at the crib watching Carolina BURN!!!!! pic.twitter.com/m0PkhMYkpP— Slim (@Humble_Slim) December 1, 2019
With the constant discussions about Newton and Allen taking place on social media, there is no end to the opinions provided. Some believe that the former first overall pick is the unquestioned best option heading into 2020 while others think that Allen will be far more productive next season.
Interestingly enough, precious few are discussing whether or not Newton wants to return to the Panthers. It's very likely that he has heard all of the rumors pertaining to his future, so how does he feel? In the eyes of many, Newton is enjoying this losing streak.