Cam Newton did not start under center for the Panthers on Sunday night. Instead, with Newton standing on the sidelines, the Panthers sent out Derek Anderson for their opening series against the Seahawks.
The reason? NBC's Michelle Tafoya reported during the telecast that the reigning MVP was benched for a dress code violation. Apparently, he didn't wear a tie.
Cam Newton violated the team dress code by not wearing a tie, per source. #CARvsSEA— Ashley Stroehlein (@ashstro) December 5, 2016
The result of Newton's absence was a catastrophic beginning for the Panthers. In a game that they can't afford to make mistakes in, the Panthers called for Anderson to throw the ball on their first play from scrimmage.
He ended up getting picked off by Mike Morgan.
The Seahawks cashed in with a field goal, taking an early 3-0 lead.
Newton's punishment ended after that series, though, as he joined his offense on the field for their second series of the game, which ended in a punt.
So, Newton is not off to a great start in a game against a team that has repeatedly called him out. In the lead up to the game, Richard Sherman said the Panthers' disappointing season was "karma" after Newton chucked a Seahawks flag when the Panthers eliminated them in the playoffs last year.
The weirdest part of this is that Anderson will officially "earn" the win or the loss, providing yet another example of why #QBwinz remains a flawed statistic.