by Michael Lowrey
No, not because of Cam Newton, who actually is doing about as well as last year. Rather it’s about Josh Norman and company. As Neil Paine of fivethirtyeight.com explains:
Generally speaking, to win more games in the NFL, you need to throw the ball more effectively.
That is, unless you improve your pass defense — which is exactly what the Panthers have done this year. Using the EPA grades I introduced last week, which rate teams on a scale in which 100 is average and one standard deviation is 15 points, only four defenses have improved more against the pass than Carolina’s has this season.