Newton says a little more effort could make difference for slumping Panthers

Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) watches the action from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, like so many others, has a 24-hour rule for both wins and losses. He gives himself about a day to “celebrate or sulk or sob” before moving on.

Lately, there’s been more sulking than anything else. The Panthers are in the midst of a three-game losing streak. It began with a 52-21 blowout loss in Pittsburgh. The two losses since, though, were by slim margins. They lost 20-19 in Detroit before the Seahawks ended their undefeated run in Bank of America Stadium last week, 30-27.

“So, my thing is we gotta strain just a little bit more,” Newton said. “No matter if it’s the first play or the last play. I’d hate for it to be the last play, but (if) it comes down to the last play, we’ve gotta strain just a little bit more.”

It’s been a theme for the Panthers all season long. Every loss outside the Steelers game has been a one-possession game.

“I’m not going to sit up here and dwell on things that I can’t change,” Newton said. “I’m just going to focus on the things that I can.”

Newton explained that means being his best self, “whether that’s (being) conditionally, physically, and mentally prepared to take this team to the next level.”

Carolina will need Newton to be his best come Sunday. The Panthers play the same Tampa Bay team they beat, 42-28, for their last win. Newton threw two touchdowns in that game. Christian McCaffrey also ran for two, and Curtis Samuel scored a third on the ground.

Carolina’s defense excelled in notching a pair of interceptions. Donte Jackson and Eric Reid each picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick.

That said, Sunday presents a different challenge in that Carolina is 1-4 on the road this season. Kick off is 1 p.m. from Tampa Bay.

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