Cam Newton’s 422 yards not quite enough in debut

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It’s not often that the starting quarterback for the losing team is the biggest story in a game.  But Cam Newton authored a debut unlike any the NFL has seen before.

The Panthers lost 28-21 in Arizona Sunday when Newton’s magic ran out.  He completed a pass that came one yard short of a first down near the goal line with under two minutes left. Before that setback, Newton racked up 422 passing yards with two touchdowns and an interception.  He also leaped for a running score near the goal line.

The passing yards set an all-time record for a rookie quarterback debut, besting Peyton Manning’s former mark.  Newton showed that he can make any throw.  His aggressiveness largely paid off, he handled the blitz surprisingly well, and he didn’t look to run too quickly.  He also knew where to throw the ball: Steve Smith caught eight passes for 178 yards and two scores.

Newton wasn’t the only quarterback or rookie in the game with an impressive debut. Kevin Kolb was more efficient than Newton, completing 18-of-27 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns.  While Cardinals rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson got beaten by Steve Smith a few times, Peterson also made the decisive play in the game.

Peterson’s 89-yard punt return was the difference .  Not a bad debut for him either.

This was perhaps the game of the day, one that we recommend watching when the NFL Network inevitably replays it later in the week.

It was the type of game that should inspire plenty of optimism in Arizona, but we suspect Panthers fans will be just as excited.  They have found their quarterback.

90 responses to “Cam Newton’s 422 yards not quite enough in debut

  1. “Bust” right? I love how people plaster labels before even seeing a player play… Same goes for Tebow. At least give the kid a chance to screw up before throwing him out.

  2. He’s good. I’m usually a hater about most things (☺lolz☺) but he’s good.

  3. “Not a bad debut for him either.”

    yeah, if he was drafted as a punt returner. but i’m pretty sure that the cardinals didn’t for see Peterson getting scorched by receivers each week and hoping he makes up for it in special teams play.

  4. If this kid can keep his head out of his butt, he is going to have one heck of a career.

    Nice to see Kolb is returning the investment Arizona made.

  5. Can we now stop with the JaMarcuss Russell comparisons? 400+ yards with only 5 weeks training! Cam Russell was the number 1 pick because HE WAS THE BEST PLAYER.

  6. Talk about a bad day for Manning.

    First he can’t play and his team gets blown out, and second a rookie most people thought wouldn’t succeed at the NFL level breaks his mark.

  7. I don’t even care that we lost, I’m just overjoyed that I have a fun team to watch again. The worst part of the last few years in Carolina have definitely been how boring the games were – Fox’s run, run, pass, punt scheme was unbearable

  8. As a Panther fan I came away really impressed with Cam, he showed me a lot. He was accurate, needs to work on his footwork, but it gives us Panther fans hope. Great game today

  9. 425 yards would have meant a win. 🙁

    So glad to see Newton not fall into the JaMarcus Russell and Matt Leinart pitfall… “I got paid, so I can go have fun.”

  10. The most worthless stat in Pro Football: yards passing in a losing effort.

    But Cam is headed for the HOF…

    If he plays the Cards’ “D” every week.

    Why don’t we see how he does agains the Jets, Ravens, Pats or Steelers D before we declare this guy the second coming?

    Everyone was ready to make Josh Freeman an elite QB, but he stepped in against a solid D today and pulled a near disappearing act.

  11. It is very funny, all Cam haters are not giving credit where its due. Calling him “bust” and talking trash when he said he wanted to be a entertainer, talking trash in preseason. For a ROOKIE who just started his FIRST GAME I say he looked damn good. Oh well, the “bust” talkers will be out the MINUTE he struggles.. pathetic lol If you cant give him credit when he plays well, or any player for that matter, then just shut up.

  12. pnut87 – lets send him to canton right now! for his first win of the season and his career! wow! crazy! wait whats that you say? oh. they lost. right. good effort though, cam….

  13. Kid looked good no doubt. Congrats to him on a great debut. But please slow the accolades just yet. The comments that he’s the truth and he’s arrived are waaaay too premature. That being said any comparisons to JaMarcus Russell were out of control. That dude is/wasTHE WORST.

  14. look people dont jump the gun…IT WAS AGAINST A HORRIBLE CARDS DEFENSE…i mean really…wait till the next month or 2..when they play green bay…the jags…the bears..saints..falcons..redskins..and vikings..if he is still puttin up 300-400 yards per game with only a pick per game and 2 or 3 tds..then alright they may have something..but against the cards..come on…

  15. As a fan since the birth of the franchise, this is a day I won’t soon forget.

    We finally have a QB.

    I’ve always wondered what Smitty could do with a real QB. It’s time to find out.

  16. I think Cam’s expression at the end of the game sums him up pretty well. The kid wants to win and I’m proud he is leading my team!

  17. But he’s not gonna be able to compete against the QBs in the almighty NFC south. This kid made all of them look like they belong in the Bikini Football League today. I know it’s only one game but I think he’ll be ok. Hes a good kid.

  18. I was there and I’m a Cards fan. Can looked impressive, 3rd was rough, we seemed to sack him in key situations. And he should have had 2 picks, there were 2 questionable roughing calls and a miss call on an in the grasp. Buy over all Newton was good.

  19. I love how when there was articles on newton in preseason they got tons of comments…..mostly negative.

    Now after he does work….nobody to be found

  20. I’ll hate. It was the Cards D. Big deal. I want to see him try that against pure Steel.

  21. WOW, I believe Cam will be a good QB but i didnt see him putting up those kind of numbers so soon, even against a less than medicore DEF, but that underrated Def brought pressure that nobody really ever seen them do (CARDS) they have a new DC? but still Jimmy had 3 TD’s in ten games last year, Cam had 3 in one game, and we played that same ARZ def last year….. also STEVE SMITH only had two TD and 47 receptions for 554 yds last year, he already has two TDs and 178 yards with 8 rec, if my math is correct that is 1/6th of the rec he had last year in one game!!!!! Now yall see why Steve wants to retire a panther!!!!

  22. It’s true that we can put the Cam Newton/JaMarcus Russell comparison to bed but let’s not get carried away and read into this as positive news for Tim Tebow. Based on Cam’s performance today he’s light years ahead of Tebow on the field. Better passer, stronger arm, faster, and composed in the pocket.

  23. hahahahahahahahahahaha

    That is directed at all the Cam naysayers. Only the first “real” game but wow. And this in the face of heavy Cards blitzing. You HAVE to be impressed with that start to what I HOPE will be an impressive and amazing career.

    BTW – Anyone want a pickle for a quarterback? We (Panthers) will gladly take your DT.

  24. and close to 1/3rd of his 2010 rec yards, IN 1 GAME!!!! I know it is only one game and we lost, but give the man thumbs up for his QB, play, especially with only 5 weeks to prepare with the coaches after being locked out, no OTA’s, or real mini camps with all new coaching staff, and with one of the youngest rosters in the league!!!

  25. $cam Newton throws a int and they call a roughing passer call which was nto so take 50 yards away, Steve Smith wide open for an 80 yd td which anyone coudl catch, take that away so that was 130 which he did not have and his tight end was open all day! When he falls flat on his face next week vs Packers kets see what media and unknowlegable fan says then!

  26. Cam, I’ll admit that I doubted you, and you played well today…

    But let’s see you do this against Dom Capers and the Packers defense.

  27. So if he only did this bc its the cardinals…does that mean we can expect every qb who faces the cards to have better numbers than that all season? Doubt it.

  28. stairwayto7, that is quite possibly the most ignorant post I have ever seen on this site. And that says a lot. As long as Cam plays better than you spell I think he’ll be ok. Unknowlegable? Whats an “unknowlegable”? hahahahah

  29. Granted he needs more work, but the guy set an NFL passing record in his first game. Did you guys watch the Panthers last year. I did every damn game – and it was painful. More painful to watch than to hear it in some article the next day from halfway around the country. I am proud of Cam and I am freakin ecstatic that he is our QB. There are rough days ahead for sure – but not today dangit!!!!

  30. alchopwn says:Sep 11, 2011 8:04 PM

    If this kid can keep his head out of his butt, he is going to have one heck of a career.

    Nice to see Kolb is returning the investment Arizona made.
    wow…why would u think he would be putting his head in his butt? Man, I know see why it was so easy for the elite talking heads in the sports media to label this kid to no ends…They know the clear bias that still exists in our society.
    stairwayto7 says:Sep 11, 2011 8:53 PM

    $cam Newton throws a int and they call a roughing passer call which was nto so take 50 yards away, Steve Smith wide open for an 80 yd td which anyone coudl catch, take that away so that was 130 which he did not have and his tight end was open all day! When he falls flat on his face next week vs Packers kets see what media and unknowlegable fan says then!
    “scam newton.” Wow it must really make u loser feel good to know that tear apart a kid’s image to appease ur bruised ego.

  31. Let’s not annoint this guy just yet…

    Arizona is hardly known for good defense. Plus Steve Smith was absolutely abusing a rookie CB so bad that he got so wide open on every play that even Tavaris Jackson could have completed those passes.

    Let’s see how the golden boy fairs against a real defense next week when he faces a team from the Black and Blue NFC North… Green Bay.

  32. As a Cam NONbeliever, I can’t wait until next week when he plays a real defense in Greenbay. Also when defensive coordinators know what they’re up against, and game plan for it. He was good today albeit with an INT and of course the LOSS.
    He won’t keep it up, but yeah…. yeah he’s better than I thought…. for now. Live it up Carolina fans!

  33. So haters want to see defending super bowl champs def make cam look bad to fuel your fire, what haters, even if cam does bad, most good qb will struggle vs packers def, so to say we will see how he looks vs a solid def is hilarious, we play a lot of great def this year, bears, packs, saints, and then some good def, lions, buc, jags, tenn, falcons, so I guess we will see, also cards front 7, is underrated, their secondary is suspect…..

  34. Everyone saying wait till they play a D like the Steelers….did you watch the Steelers today, that D looked very old.

    As far as Cards D being awful…allowed 7 points in 2nd half and had some bad breaks to keep this game cose. Missed FG, fumbell inside 10, int called back by awful call.

    IMO, Newton is for real ans Steve Smith should be estatic to finally have a QB that can get him the ball. The TD pass of Peterson was amazing.

  35. stellaboycarl says: Sep 11, 2011 8:02 PM

    Cam Newton Rookie of the Week…. just saying
    Try player of the week – period!

  36. i see where some clowns keep sayin lets see how he does against the steelers D…i was watchin that game and they got waxed by baltimore… better fix ur old broke down Steel Curtain before flappin those gums.

  37. stairwayto7 s, you forgot to mention the bomb to Steve Smith that took instant replay to rule Smith out of bounds or the game-tying pass Newton’s running back dropped with less than 2 minutes to go. Your lame-game goes both ways, so get up off the Stairs and quit being such a light-weight. Cam Newton made history today pure and simple.

  38. The guy balled please give credit where its due.. and he re-awoke Steve Smith the guy is still a beast. Of course last years injury and having scrubs throw to him, he is re-energized.

  39. Why are Steelers fans on here saying “it was against a bad Cardinals D, wait til Cam plays the Steelers”?

    Last time I checked today, the Ravens embarrassed you. After watching that game, you are right, I can’t wait til Cam plays y’all!

  40. 6the6ringedsteelerslolatyouremptylittletrophycase7 says:Sep 11, 2011 8:42 PM

    I’ll hate. It was the Cards D. Big deal. I want to see him try that against pure Steel.


    After what the Unibrow did you today, I can’t believe you haven’t pulled a David Carradine…

    That said, I am not convinced that I was wrong about Cam until he plays at least half the season…

    Congrats to Arizona who did what counted p THEY WON!

  41. Everybody saying “where are you cam newton haters”…. Here I am.. First of all you played the cardinals.. 2nd of all you played the cardinals.. 3rd of all HE LOST!!!!!! He lost right?? I’m sure he did. All this about him being a winner. So yes, newton haters are still here! Thank You 🙂

  42. Kevin Kolb’s performance is overshadowed, fairly or unfairly. Newton played well, but some rookie mistakes were made as expected. He’ll have to give an encore before I throw my panties on stage, but I’m expecting he will.

  43. not a cam fan or panthers fan, but he did show me he CAN be a good NFL QB, now the question is will he? I don’t think he has the same numbers again this year but with time hard work and maturing I think he’ll be good.

  44. i have so much to say too all the cam haters but with him throwin for 422 and making me care about a panther game for the first time since i lost 50 bucks when they beat the rams to go to the super bowl.. CAM IS A BAD MAN…

  45. By @stairwayto7’s logic, we can just take away the King and Doucet TDs, because those were both busted coverages. No one was within 20 yards of Doucet, and no one was within 40 yards of King.

    I am a huge Panthers fan, but I am still kind of shocked by the way Cam played today. I didn’t expect that. And it’s not the numbers. He was incredible. If you didn’t watch the game, there is no way you could understand. Also, there were at least four drops by the Panthers, so the numbers could have been even better. Props to the O-line and backs for mostly stellar protection.

    All of that being said, the Panthers lost, and “you play to win the game.” Next week they play at home against the World Champs. I think people are underestimating the Cards’ defense, but next week will be tougher, no doubt.

    All-in-all, I am pretty optimistic about my Panthers’ future.

  46. This story should be 50% about how Cam Newton can pass a deep ball, and 50% about how atrocious the Cardinals CBs are.

    Note: Patrick Peterson, you were great in college, but you weren’t even a starter for the Cardinals until this week, due to injury. Welcome to the NFL where you get repeatedly scorched by a 5’8″ wide receiver about 10 years older than you.

  47. He’s played one game. He was part of what went right today. Let’s not get too excited but give credit where it’s due. The man was impressive in his debut.

  48. Cards could have the worst secondary in the league after giving up the only good CB they have for an average QB.

    Cam played well, but the receivers were wide open he was hitting, sometimes 5 yards or more. That won’t happen vs. elite defenses.

    I will reserve my opinion of Cam till he has played against a secondary that actually has starting NFL talent on it.

  49. Somebody say something about a “Scam”? Today this “guaranteed bust” broke records by Peyton Manning AND Terry Bradshaw. Congrats to Cam, Co. Rivera, Steve Smith & Co.

  50. All the people saying that AZ defense is garbage are dumb! They have some decent players. D. Docket, P. Peterson, Adrian Wilson, Vonnie Holiday, Joey Porter. They also played some good coverage today, I though cam looked poised and did everything he could do try and win the game. I see a bright future for the panthers.

  51. The 422 yards and 3 combined touchdowns make him “an entertainer and icon”!!!!

    He needs wins, but you gotta be happy for him and what he did today!!! He went through a lot this offseason!!!

  52. goawayeverybody says:
    Sep 11, 2011 9:06 PM
    I’ve been saying all along that Newton is something special. He will win a Super Bowl within five years.

    You can write it down.

    So that must mean you think he is out of Carolina in two years or so?

  53. speaking of Terry Bradshaw… did yall hear that idiot during pre-game talk on Fox? He basically said Cam will be a bust and couldn’t believe the Panthers took him number 1… went on to say that Ponder, Gabbert, and Locker are better, NFL ready, qb’s…

    yo Terry, who started at qb for their team today and passed for 400?

    Eat that crow with your mouth closed please.

  54. As a Packer Fan, I’m hoping my team’s defense brings it’s A+ effort to work in week 2, cause this kid is LEGIT! …
    Cam ain’t a Dink and Dunk checkdown Rookie QB, this kid is a playmaker.
    Just sayin’.
    400 passing yards with the Panther’s no name recievers !?!?

  55. I was a bit wait and see with Cam. The wait is over and I’ve seen. Cams got a chance to be a good one.

  56. bobbyyyd says: Sep 12, 2011 12:08 AM

    All the people saying that AZ defense is garbage are dumb! They have some decent players. D. Docket, P. Peterson, Adrian Wilson, Vonnie Holiday, Joey Porter. They also played some good coverage today, I though cam looked poised and did everything he could do try and win the game. I see a bright future for the panthers.
    They got a new DC also who was under Dom Capers in Pittsburgh, they brought a lot of pressure, that most rookie QB’s would’ve broke under, even seasoned vets…. our pass blocking was good not great, but good enough to allow Cam to move around and get the ball down field,

  57. I am also a Cardinals fan that was at the game today and it was crazy to see this rookie carve us up in the passing game, but let’s break it down, we traded DRC and lost Greg Toler for the year to injury, so basically we are left with AJ Jefferson who was on our practice squad last year and Patrick Peterson who is a rookie, and Richard Marshall who wasn’t good enough to stay on the Panthers squad…any quarterback could carve up a secondary like that. Now look at our more established defensive playmakers holding the stewart and williams to pathetic rushing yards and sacking Cam Newton repetedly. I won’t say that this kid won’t be a good quarterback, but you have to look at the whole picture

  58. I apologise Mr Newton. I thought you couldn’t pass. I was very, very much mistaken.

    It’s a long season and he will have to face better defenses but at the very least he has demonstrated the potential to be a top-class passer in the NFL.

    Though one note of caution for Panthers fans. Leaping the pile at the goal-line is a recipe for a really short career. You better hope the coaching staff take that out of the playbook.

  59. Heads up, I’m a Cam hater:

    He DID throw for 400+ yards… against the Arizona Cardinals.

    They did score 21 points… but the Cardinals scored 28.

    It’s only the first week. Anyone can have a good game here or there.

    Next week: Green Bay. Two more weeks: Chicago. After that: New Orleans. Let’s see how he does against them before we christen him the next Joe Montana

    I’m not saying I wasn’t impressed, because I certainly was impressed. But I’d rather judge his performance over the course of a season rather than one game.

  60. “400 passing yards with the Panther’s no name recievers !?!?”

    Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, Brandon Lafell.

    I’m pretty sure football fans have heard of those guys.

  61. Not a Panthers fan but you’ve got to give Cam his due unless you’re a total loser. Not minicamps, no OTA’s and he didn’t look particularly great in the preseason. But he did yesterday when it counted.

    442 yards against an NFL defense is pretty good. You can’t move the bar now and say, “Well it was against the Cardinals” Some people are pretty small minded.

  62. Based on what I’ve read here, every veteran QB will surely ring up over 400 yards against he lowly Cardinals – right? On top of that they will win the game too. Nothing else will make any sense.

    Cam has turned your world upside down. You haters act confused. Like how can this be? If anyone can do it – let’s see it next week – every week.


  63. “Try player of the week – period”

    Next time, big mouth, wait until ALL the games have been played before making an asinine statement.

    Tom Brady had something to say about that, and oh yeah, he actually WON his game.

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