Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton put on a show during his team’s 35-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
In the contest, Newton, the NFL’s rookie of the year in 2011, completed 14-of-20 passes for 253 yards and ran for a career-high 71 yards as the Panthers left the NFC South champion Saints 0-2 for the first time since 2007.
“The vibe is changing,” Newton said in a post-game interview. “Not only this team, but the whole organization. With this organization I think the fans are building as well. Today we found out so much about ourselves. Our potential is through the roof.”
Down 13-7 early on in the game, Carolina came back with three-straight touchdown drives to blow the game open.
Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert all scored on short touchdown runs, and star wideout Steve Smith overcame a sore knee to finish with 104 yards receiving — the 39th 100-yard receiving game of his career.
“We knew that we had to pick it up. Last week wasn’t good enough,” said Tolbert, referring to his team’s 10 yard rushing total against the Tampa Bay Bucs. “Coach knew that we needed the ball a little bit more, and he gave it to us. He gave us our shot, and we made it happen.”
When asked what the key to the Panthers’ attack is, Newton revealed:
“Execution. That’s all it comes down to. If we can’t execute, we’re going to stall week in and week out. We’ve got to keep the ball moving and stay out of those third-and-long and second-and-long situations.”
The Panthers host the defending Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants, on Thursday night.
To see highlights of Cam Newton’s performance on September 16 against the Saints, watch the video below: