The debut by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was glittering — and historically significant, even.
He passed for 422 yards, breaking the Week 1 record set by Peyton Manning (302) for passing yards by a rookie in Week 1. He tied the overall mark set by Detroit’s Matthew Stafford in Week 10 of 2009.
In fact, only three quarterbacks since 1960 have passed for more yards in a season opener: Dan Marino (473 in 1994), Kurt Warner (441 in 2000) and Manning (433 in 2010).
“That's some rare company to beat out. And then your first crack out of the box,” Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross said. Newton completed 24 of 37 passes. “He's only going to get better from here. He didn't even really scramble and do anything with his legs. I'm excited to be on a team with him. Our offense is much improved and I expect us to get a lot better next week.”
It wasn’t all rosy, though. He and the Panthers couldn’t score on five tries from the 11 or closer in the final two minutes. That’s something to work on. And, on the other side of the ball linebacker Jon Beason, according to reports, suffered what the team believes is a torn left Achilles tendon as he chased Jeff King (who scored on a 48-yard touchdown run). Beason will have an MRI today, but Coach Ron Rivera said, “It looks dire.”