Cam Newton made his much-anticipated debut with the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night, entering the game to a standing ovation in the second quarter. Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, was clearly what the fans came to see, and delivered right away with a quick pass for a first down on his first snap.
Newton was given an easy play to work with, perhaps in an effort to shake the butterflies. On his first play from scrimmage, he faked the handoff, rolled to his right and dumped a quick pass to Greg Olsen for a nice gain and first down. His second pass, on the very next play, was incomplete, but he showed nice poise eluding the rush by shuffling up in the pocket.
After two more first downs on the ground, Newton hit Olsen again, this time for a 30-yard gain to setup first and goal. The throw was right on the money and the crowd was certainly impressed. Newton finished the drive completing 2-5 passes for 40 yards.
However, the drive stalled inside the 10-yard-line after a short run and two incomplete passes, forcing the Panthers to kick a field goal. Olindo Mare's kick was true and the Panthers took a three-point lead over the New York Giants, 10-7.