Quarterback Cam Newton returns to action for the Patriots today, after a three-week break. He gets a chance to beat a team to which he’s lost in each of three prior tries.
As noted by Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Newton has a record of 0-3 against the Broncos.
The first loss came in Newton’s second season with the Panthers, and Peyton Manning’s first in Denver. After Carolina took a 7-0 lead, the Broncos outscored the Panthers 36-7 the rest of the way.
Newton threw two interceptions, fumbled once, and absorbed seven sacks — one of which resulted in a safety.
The next meeting came in the biggest game of Newton’s career: Super Bowl 50. Favored to win over a broken-down Manning and an overachieving Broncos team, Newton’s Panthers lost again. The game included Newton arguably making a business decision not to dive for a key fumble late in the contest, and Newton making an abrupt exit from his post-game press conference.
The two teams started the next season with a rematch, once in which the Broncos Defense repeatedly battered Newton without the officials throwing nearly enough flags for it. Despite that, Newton put the Panthers in position to win at the buzzer; kicker Graham Gano pushed a potential 50-yard game winner to the left.
Now, a lesser Broncos team comes to Foxborough, facing Newton for the first time with the Patriots. New England is favored to win. If they do, Newton’s list of teams he’s never beaten, as pointed out by Reiss, will consist of three: Chiefs, Steelers, and Panthers.