Cam Newton does it again

Cam Newton had another 400-yard-plus passing day for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. (Reuters)

Cam Newton had another 400-yard-plus passing day for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. (Reuters)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Two weeks into his NFL career Cam Newton remains winless but looking very much like he belongs.

A 400-plus yard passing game against a young and unproven Arizona secondary is one thing. A second 400-yard game against a veteran Green Bay secondary, even if it was lacking one of its veteran cover men in the injured Tramon Williams, is quite another.

Newton legitimized his Week 1 performance with an equally compelling Week 2 display. Sure, Charles Woodson got him for a couple of picks but Newton, and more to the point, the Panthers hung in with Green Bay for the better part of the afternoon.

Without Newton it would not have been possible.

Perhaps we dismissed Bo Jackson’s pro-Cam rant on the Jim Rome show earlier this month a little too hastily.

To recap, this was Jackson’s take on Newton’s potential back then:

“He has the arm strength and power of Dan Marino and John Elway combined,” Jackson said. “He is quicker than Michael Vick, faster than Michael Vick. And he will run over you with the power of a Jerome Bettis, Bo Jackson, Earl Campbell. That is the type of guy that he is. There isn’t another quarterback in the NFL that has all of those tangibles.”

Well, through two weeks and now having done it against a proven defence, we have to honestly consider Jackson wasn’t completely off his rocker when he told the Jungle his Cam thoughts.

For the most part his is the same team that went a woeful 2-14 with Jimmy Clausen making 10 starts, Matt Moore making five and Brian St. Pierre getting the other.

The only quarterback to even surpass 300 yards in a game for this Panthers team a year ago was Moore who threw for 308 in a 23-20 win over San Francisco in week 7.

Newton threw for 422 a week ago and 432 this week. The three picks, two to Woodson, hurt his quarterback rating but no one in Carolina will be complaining about the position. Not when they consider they went the entire season a year ago without a single game that had 400 yards of offence in it.

Oh, and did we mention Newton has run for a touchdown in each of his first two games?

Newton is the kind of player who can single-handedly rejuvenate a franchise. People said that before he was drafted. Others said he would never be able to master an NFL playbook.

Two games in, the former group is looking quite a bit more knowledgeable.

Newton still doesn’t have an NFL win under his belt, but playing the way he is and with Jacksonville on the Panthers’ schedule next week it’s probably a good bet we won’t be able to say that about Newton for much longer either.

And for those still not impressed with the stats and what they have seen thus far, try ignoring the opinion of Aaron Rodgers, a guy who knows a thing or two about succeeding in the toughest position in all of sport and had a front-row seat on Sunday.

“I’m impressed, I’m real impressed with the way he has played,” Rodgers told The Sporting News after Sunday’s game. “He throws the ball real well and he moves well. He has been impressive for two weeks. I didn’t see him a whole lot last week but seeing him in person (Sunday), he has a chance to be a really, really, really good player.”

Rodgers then went one step further.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do that,” Rodgers said about Newton’s back-to-back 400-yard passing games in his first two NFL starts. “I really wouldn’t. For him to come in and play the way he has the first two weeks is incredible. It really is. You don’t expect it from a rookie. You don’t expect a guy to come in and be able to be efficient as he has been and make the plays that he has. I’m impressed.”

And if that guy is impressed, we’re impressed.


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