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article imageNFL: Newton loses debut to Cardinals despite big game

By Austin Tyler     Sep 12, 2011 in Sports
Glendale - Cam Newton has took a lot of stress for not being a accurate quarterback coming out of Auburn, but today he topped one of the most accurate quarterback’s passing yardage in a 28-21 thrilling loss to the Cardinals.
Cam Newton set a new NFL record today as he became the number one quarterback for yards thrown in their first game. Newton threw for 422 yards in his opening day debut as the Arizona Cardinals hosted the Carolina Panthers. Newton surpassed the likes of Peyton Manning, Sam Bradford and even beat out Matthew Stafford who held the record for most passing yards by a rookie in a game. The day belonged to Newton for his passing accomplishment, but game went to the Cardinals.
The Panthers opened the game with the ball, and did not do much as they only moved the ball 12-yards on 5 plays. They punted the ball away, and the Cardinals got the ball moving as they went down to score a touchdown. The Cardinals moved the ball 50-yards in 6 plays as they got big plays from Kevin Kolb (18/22, 309 yards, 2 TD’s) who hit Early Doucet (3 receptions, 105 yards, 1 TD) and Todd Heap (2 receptions, 40 yards) for big gains. Beanie Wells (18 carries, 90 yards, 1 TD) ran the ball in form 7-yards out for the Cardinals as they took a 7-0 lead.
Carolina took the field on the ensuing drive as they moved the ball 80-yards on 3 plays. DeAngelo Williams (12 carries, 30 yards) moved the ball 4-yards, and the rest was done on a pass. Newton (24/37, 422 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 Int) hit Steve Smith (8 receptions, 178 yards, 2 TD’s) on a 77-yard bomb that led to the Panther’s first touchdown, and Newton’s first touchdown of his young career. That touchdown tied the game up at 7-points apiece.
The Cardinals punted the ball on their next drive giving the ball back to the Panthers. Carolina could not do anything with their drive as they went three and out, and returned the punt back to the Cardinals. Both teams traded punts again as the second quarter opened up. Kolb took over for the Cardinals, but lost the ball when he fumbled and Thomas Davis recovered it for the Panthers.
The Panthers could not take advantage of the turnover as they went three and out giving the ball right back to the Cardinals. Arizona got their offense moving on a short field, but missed a scoring opportunity when Jay Feely missed a 36-yard field-goal for them. Newton (8 carries, 18 yards, 1 TD) scrambled a little for the Panthers but did most of his damage in the air. Newton hit Smith again, but this time it a 26-yard pitch and catch. Their second hook-up landed the Panthers with a 14-7 lead going into halftime.
Arizona took the ball to open the second half, but went three and out as they continued to struggle with the offense. They punted the ball away and Panthers took over with decent field position. Carolina moved the ball 69-yards, but the drive was cut short when Daryl Washington picked off a Newton pass and returned it 16-yards before being tackled.
On the next play Kolb backed up then flung up a crazy pass that was caught by former Panther Jeff King (2 receptions, 61 yards, 1 TD) who raced for 48-yards and a touchdown. The touchdown tied the game up at 14-points apiece.
The Panthers took the ensuing drive and moved it 80-yards in 8 plays for another touchdown. Newton made some good passes on this drive especially when he hit Greg Olsen (4 receptions, 78 yards) for a 43-yard reception to put them in scoring range. Newton capped off the drive with a Superman dive over the line to score his first rushing touchdown. Newton was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for going to his knee on the celebration. That touchdown gave them a 21-14 lead late in the third quarter.
Arizona could not do anything with their next drive as they were forced to punt after five plays. The Panthers punted also on their drive after going 10 plays for 32 yards. Kolb hit on two of his passes on this drive, but his third pass was big as he Doucet on a short pass that he broke for 70-yards and a touchdown. Doucet took off and raced to the endzone scoring the tying touchdown for the Cardinals.
The Panthers tried to answer with a drive of their own, but fail short as they could not get the ball moving. They punted the ball to the Cardinals, and new rookie Patrick Peterson made his presence felt as he took an 89-yard punt return to the house. Peterson got the punt and hit the sideline as he took off a scored the go ahead touchdown.
Carolina had a couple of drives to try and tie the game up, but just could not get over the hump. They moved the ball 16-yards on one drive before punting it away. On their next drive they moved the ball 76-yards, but failed to convert on fourth and five. The Cardinals ran the ball once to force Carolina to use a timeout and then Kolb took two knees to seal his first win a Cardinal quarterback.
The Cardinals will be visiting the Washington Redskins next week while the Panthers will be hosting the Green Bay Packers.
More about Cam newton, nfl record, panthers vs cardinals 2011, Carolina panthers, Arizona cardinals
 
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