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Breaking: The Panthers Benched Cam Newton On Sunday

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 28: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks on from the sideline during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Earlier: After a promising start, the reunion between Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers has quickly fallen apart.

Newton was benched in the second quarter of today's game against the Atlanta Falcons after starting 6-for-11 for 88 yards and a pick-6. Newton did run for the first touchdown of the game, but Atlanta has since scored 17 unanswered and leads 17-7.

This is the second-straight game Newton hasn't finished. He was benched in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago. Newton finished 5-for-21 passing for 92 yards and two interceptions in that game.

Coming off a bye, he didn't fare much better today. Once again, it was backup P.J. Walker coming on in relief of Newton for the Panthers.

Back in Week 10, in his first game back with the team that drafted him, Newton scored two short-yardage touchdowns, one rushing and one passing, in a blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals. The following week, Carolina lost to the Washington Football Team, but Newton completed 21-of-27 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns and added another score on the ground. It still looked like the Panthers' decision to sign the onetime No. 1 overall pick as a free agent in midseason was a wise one. After the last six quarters, we're not so sure. New: Cam is back in to start the second half.

Maybe this wasn't a "benching" but Matt Rhule was just looking for a momentary spark.