Reporting Marc James
After months of talk, hype, and criticism, the #1 Pick in the 2011 Draft Cameron Jerrell Newton made “The Most Spectacular Debut by a Rookie Quarterback in his first game in NFL History”. I don’t like to caught up in hyperbole, but for one game Mr. Newton has made fools out of Merril Hoge, Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, Terry Bradshaw, and most of all ME!
When Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney made him the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, I’ve wondered time and again did they draft the “GAME” or the “NAME”? In the pre-season, Newton completed barely 43% of his passes. Due to the horrendous play by his offensive line, he had to fight for everything he got.
If someone told me before Sunday, Cam Newton would break the NFL Record for Most Passing Yards by a Rookie in his first start, I would’ve bet MY LIFE on it. If someone told me that Cam Newton would’ve thrown for more yards in a game than any quarterback in NFL history including Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Dan Marino, I would’ve bet my life on it. And right now, I would be six feet under instead of 6 feet 5.
With all due respect to the team’s first ever signal caller Kerry Collins (whom led the Panthers to the 1995-96 NFC Championship Game) and Jake Delhomme (whom took the Panthers to Super Bowl 38), there has never been a quote “FRANCHISE” Quarterback to lead this organization.
Cam Newton’s numbers were absolutely mind-blowing: 24 of 37, 422 Passing Yards, 2 Passing Tds, 1 Rushing TD, & 1 Interception. As inspiring as those jaw-dropping statistics were, the most impressive individual statistic was 65% completion percentage. Tom Brady’s career completion percentage is 63.6; Peyton Mannings’: 64.5; Drew Brees’: 65.2; Aaron Rodgers’: 64.7. All four of those individuals were Super Bowl MVPs and first Ballot future Hall of Famers.
I know it’s only one game and it was against the Arizona Cardinals who finished 29th out of 32 teams in Total Defense last season. Panthers Nation hopes yesterday’s masterful performance will be the rule and not the exception. For one NFL Sunday, we can all hold our heads up High even in defeat knowing that OUR Quarterback might be “THE GUY” we’ve all been waiting for to take the Panthers to whole new level. For one NFL Sunday, Cam made us all forget that quarterback at Stanford. What’s his name? Andrew WHO? For one NFL Sunday, I am officially on the “CAM WAGON” (Term Copyright Trademark to ME)! Are You?