Perhaps the most anticipated rookie debut in the first NFL preseason weekend of the year was QB Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers. He was the No. 1 overall pick so the anticipation was expected and he turned in expected results -- not great but not awful either.
On the day, Newton completed 8-of-19 passes for 134 yards and no touchdowns. Those numbers won't wow anyone but he did the lead the team on two field-goal drives.
SB Nation's Cat Scratch Reader ran the numbers on Newton's time against the Giants first team defense and reports he completed 3-of-7 passes for 52 yards. Even though it's just the preseason, Cat Scratch Reader broke down his four incompletions against the Giants first team.
Two of Cam's four incompletions came in one series in the red zone where Newton fired passes to WR Brandon LaFell. The first of which the Giants DB made an excellent play on the ball and batted it down, the second of which hit LaFell's hands, but he couldn't reign it in. On both occasions these were good throws and Newton squeezed the ball into a tight window. Another incompletion came on what amounted to a throw away when Newton way backed up and threw the ball about 10 yards shy of Legedu Naanee, and the last one was an overthrow to Greg Olsen.
Mixed results as we expected. The good news is that Newton was able to move the ball down the field. He didn't get it into the end zone but he was part of two drives that put points on the board so that's the positive to take away from this.
We'll wait until next week before our next set of Cam Newton grades. Check out Cat Scratch Reader for the full update on how Newton did in his first NFL game. (And to prove how little preseason results actually matter, I went through an entire update without mentioning the final score -- 20-10, Panthers.)