‘I’m Back’: Cam Newton helps the Panthers stun the Cardinals

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Cam Newton n. 1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after scoring on a running touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at State Farm Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. Christian Petersen / Getty Images / AFP

Room Newton ran for a touchdown and threw for a score in his first game with Carolina as the Panthers stunned the Arizona Cardinals 34-10 Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.

Starting quarterback PJ Walker did much of the work for Carolina during the upheaval.

The Cardinals (8-2) had the best league record and one of the best defenses, but the Panthers scored 17 points in the first quarter and were in control throughout the game.

Walker finished 22 of 29 for 167 yards with an interception. Newton, who gained 14 yards over three courses, was 3-for-4 going through 8 yards. Christian McCaffrey gained 95 yards runs and 66 yards received for the Panthers (5-5).

Arizona, using reserve quarterback Colt McCoy due to Kyler Murray’s ankle injury, was kept at 169 yards total attack. McCoy was 11 of 20 for 107 yards with an interception before leaving in the third quarter with a bib injury.

Newton signed with Carolina, who had made him the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, at the end of the week as a free agent. He was the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player with the Panthers before spending last season with the New England Patriots.

It seemed unlikely he would play with such a short preparation window as the Panthers were looking to bolster their quarterback position. Starter Sam Darnold is out with a shoulder injury. Rather than, Newton he scored the first points of the game on a 2-yard run with 11:12 from the end of the first quarter.

He took off his helmet and shouted, “I’m back!”

NewtonRobby Anderson’s second touchdown came on a 2-yard pass later in the first quarter. Zane Gonzalez added field goals of 44, 48 and 49 yards while Carolina took a 23-0 lead at half-time.

Matt Prater’s 47-yard field goal put Arizona on the board in the third quarter.

The Panthers were back in business when Chuba Hubbard ran 5 yards for a touchdown with 5:34 left in the third quarter and Walker threw a two-point conversion pass.

James Conner scored Arizona’s only touchdown on an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter.

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