Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton: Every week is a must-win now

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says he plays his best football when he’s reacting instead of overthinking.

In the past two games, he says, he’s been overthinking.

Newton said Wednesday he and the rest of the offense need to “trust the system” set forth by the coaching staff if they want to put a better product on the field Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“If you ask anybody, when you’re playing great ball it’s not about thinking so much so as reacting,” Newton said. “When I say trusting the system, you have to think as a quarterback. That’s the one thing that has to happen. There’s a lot that goes with it, from the defensive line, offensive line, running backs, receivers, defensive backs. Just trusting coaching, trusting the things that you went over this past week and letting it fly.”

In 2012, Newton had a streak of 176 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. Last season he put together a stretch of three wins with zero interceptions and six passing touchdowns while completing 77.3 percent of his passes.

Newton said those were products of him reacting rather than thinking, and that’s what he says he needs to get back to this week.

In the past two games, against Seattle and New Orleans, Newton has combined to throw 22 completions in 50 attempts for 322 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

“It’s not more so shouldering the load of ‘wow, we’re losing’ on myself,” Newton said. “We know we’re not playing great team ball, and I mean great team ball when the offense is putting up points, the defense isn’t holding their own. When the defense gives us unbelievable field position, the offense somehow stalls out.

“I think we’re at that point right now that everybody understands what’s at stake. Every week is a must-win for us and we’re looking to go out there on Monday night and compete, execute the game plan and have fun.”