Analytics: Cam Newton rated as 23rd quarterback in the NFL

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who had offseason shoulder surgery, is not having a strong season.

“Cam Newton, the best player in our league,” Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel said. “There is not anything he can’t do.”

However, the Panthers are 5-3 because of a strong defense that hasn’t allowed an offensive touchdown in four games.

Newton, who was the league's MVP after the 2015 season, ranks in the bottom-half of starting quarterbacks in the NFL, according to analytics website Football Outsiders.

They evaluate quarterbacks according to a defense-adjusted yards-above-replacement (DYAR) measure, and Newton’s minus-79.1 rating ranks 23rd in the league. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is ranked one spot ahead of Newton and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton is ranked on spot behind the College Park native who played at Westlake High, Florida and Auburn and won a national title and the Heisman Trophy.

They also rank the quarterbacks according to the defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA), and Newton’s minus-15.1 rating ranks 23rd.

Newton has completed 166 of 283 passes for 1,841 yards, 10 touchdown and 11 interceptions. He’s been sacked 22 times and has a passer rating of 79.1.

Newton has rushed 60 times for 255 yards and three touchdowns. He has five fumbles.

“There are a couple of things that are different,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “Most mobile quarterbacks, the third-down plays that can be extended, that’s common. What isn’t as common is that there are some designed runs just for the quarterback.

“When you are defending the run game, not only is it the running backs, but also the quarterback. That part, to me, is different.”

Newton is a load running the ball.

“You better have good tackling plans based on his size,” Quinn said. “You have to make sure that you can get to his legs.”