Posted September 19, 2011 - 12:13 pm 25 comments
He was vintage wine. …
Opened the game by completing 6 of 7 passes for 90 yards and guiding his crew to the end zone and a quick, 7-0 lead.
Except this wasn’t the Green Bay Packers’ reigning Super Bowl MVP, Aaron Rodgers.
This was a rookie, for crying out loud, a man with just one NFL regular-season start under his belt. It was Cam Newton, a quarterback who struggled mightily in the preseason but emerged in Game 1 of the regular season a seasoned veteran, or so it seemed.
Falling behind early was not the script for the world champions.
But after a fumble on the ensuing kickoff by another rookie, Randall Cobb, there was Newton, once again leading his charges on a short field to … a field goal and 10-0 lead that left all the Cheeseheads in attendance–and there were plenty–at Bank of America Stadium clueless as to what was happening to their juggernaut.
Cam Newton may be just a rookie but don’t tell that to Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews, who was shook out of his cleats by Newton on a crucial third-and-9 scramble that kept the Panthers’ momentum alive.
“He was everything we saw on film,” Matthews said afterward. “He made all the throws that he needed to down the field and really all over the field. We gave him a little too much. … He’s going to be a good quarterback in this league.
“Obviously he can make plays with his feet, as well. That’s two solid games for him.”