Cam Newton shatters record for rookie debut passing yards in Panthers loss (VIDEO)
Panthers No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton had the best debut of any rookie NFL quarterback ever on Sunday, throwing for 422 yards and 2 touchdowns in a losing effort, falling 28-21 to the Arizona Cardinals. Newton’s performance destroyed the previous modern-day yardage record held by Peyton Manning, who threw for 302 yards back in Week 1 of the 1998 season, and ties Matt Stafford‘s 2007 Week 10 performance for most yards ever thrown for by a rookie. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the all-time record for a first-game by a rookie was 346 by Otto Graham for the Cleveland Browns in 1950.
Newton’s first professional touchdown pass came on this 77-yard strike to WR Steve Smith:
In total, Newton went 24-for-37 for 422 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception, plus 18 yards and 1 score on the ground. Both passing scores went to Smith, who finished with 178 yards receiving, with Newton completing passes to eight different receivers and making all the throws you could ever hope to see from your new quarterback.
Watch complete game highlights of the league’s newest superstar after the jump, via BSO:
Unfortunately for Newton, the Panthers surrendered two 4th quarter touchdowns, including an 89-yard punt return by Cardinals rookie Patrick Peterson with 7:51 remaining that proved to be the difference in the game. But Panthers fans are understandably excited about their future prospects after today’s display.