It was a pretty cool story while it lasted. Cam Newton’s storybook beginning to his second stint with the Carolina Panthers came to a crashing halt Sunday when he was benched in the fourth quarter of Carolina’s 33-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The former MVP struggled mightily in his third appearance since rejoining the Panthers in early November. Newton completed just 5 of 21 passes with a touchdown and interception before being substituted for P.J. Walker. Cam’s departure came with just over 10 minutes remaining and the Panthers trailing by 20. Newton’s 23.8 completion percentage was the worst by a player with 20-plus attempts since 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Cam Newton

The setback lowered Carolina’s record to 5-7. Playoff aspirations are still in the air primarily due to the weakness of the NFC. The team has a bye this week but it is hard to fathom this team making a playoff run without production from the quarterback position and from the runningback position.

Yes, Christian McCaffrey is injured again and was placed on the IR list with a left ankle injury.

Newton’s performance came less than three weeks after he was signed to a one-year deal that could pay him up to $10 million for the rest of the season if he meets incentives.

Kemba’s Future

Kembra Walker

Another sports hero who made his name in Charlotte, Kemba Walker, continues to struggle since he left the city.

Walker, who left the Hornets to join the Boston Celtics a few years back, struggled with his new team. He was supposed to be the final piece of a championship puzzle for the Celtics. It did not work for Boston or for Walker which led to the New York City native being signed by the New York Knicks.

Now, the perfect story of Walker’s return to Madison Square Garden is having an imperfect ending. Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau announced that Walker will be out of the rotation going forward. Stats point out that the Knicks are awful defensively when he’s on the court and those stretches have lost the team games.

It was not long ago when Walker and Cam Newton were franchise players in Charlotte for their respective teams. The fall since leaving the city was quick.