NFL refs call shockingly few roughing-the-passer penalties on teams facing Cam Newton

We are only one game into the season and the NFL is already under fire for how Cam Newton was battered in the Carolina Panthers’ loss to the Denver Broncos.

There were several incidents during the game in which a Broncos defender hit Newton helmet-to-helmet and only one roughing-the-passer penalty was called (that penalty that was actually waved off because it was offset by a Panthers penalty). This led to speculation that officials allow more dangerous hits on Newton, whether it is consciously or subconsciously.

Well, it turns out that it is so rare to call an opposing team for roughing the passer against Newton that last night’s penalty was the first since 2014. That’s right, during the entire 2015 season, the Panthers did not benefit from a single roughing-the-passer call.

That is a shockingly low number for any quarterback. That’s especially shocking for a quarterback like Newton who is not only a star in a league that goes out of its way to protect stars, but he is also a quarterback that defences know they they have to hit a little harder than your typical signal caller.

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