Cam Newton explains why he didn’t dive on fumble
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been criticized for failing to fall on his fourth-quarter fumble in Super Bowl 50, and as Panthers players cleaned out their lockers on Tuesday, Newton said his decision was based on injury risk.
"I didn’t get the fumble. We can play tit for tat,” Newton said to reporters Tuesday. “I’ve seen numerous quarterbacks throw interceptions and their efforts afterwards…they don’t go. I don’t dive on one fumble because the way my leg was, it could have been (contorted) in a way.
"I fumbled. That’s fine. But we didn’t lose that game because of that fumble. I can tell you that."
Newton certainly has a point. Although his second lost fumble came at a critical moment, it was not the only reason the Panthers lost. However, in addition to the two lost fumbles, Newton completed just 18 of 41 his passes for 264 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. The Panthers also converted just 3 of 15 third downs. These factors played a much bigger role in the loss.
Newton’s decision to not dive for the fumble has also sparked a reaction from several defensive players on the Denver Broncos, including Von Miller, Derek Wolfe and T.J. Ward.
"I don't think he wanted to hurt DeMarcus' (Ware) arm." Von Miller on Cam not immediately going for fumble.
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) February 9, 2016
"I kept running by it too because I thought it was going to kick out of there." – Derek Wolfe on Cam not diving for fumble
— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) February 9, 2016
Ward, who eventually recovered the fumble, came the closest to deciphering what actually happened — according to Newton.
“If he would have touched that ball, I was going to hit him right in his face, and I wasn’t the only one,” Ward told Mike Silver of NFL.com. “We were hungry for that one. We saw that ball and it was like hyenas on an antelope. And I don’t know — maybe he needed to stay healthy for next year."