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 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.