Patriots

Newton reflects on successful first game back with Panthers

Patriots

Cam Newton's first game back with the Carolina Panthers couldn't have gone much better for the ex-New England Patriots quarterback.

Newton quickly made his presence felt in his season debut with a touchdown run on his first snap. On his second snap of the game three minutes later, he connected with wide receiver Robby Anderson for another TD.

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For the 2015 NFL MVP, not even Hollywood could come up with a better script for his return. He opened up about the emotional game at State Farm Stadium after the Panthers' 34-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

"God is good, I can tell you that," Newton said during his postgame press conference. "It was something about the significance of today. Not only the return. The last college game that I played, this was the stadium I played it at. This was the first NFL (stadium) I played at. And for me to come back, it was -- it's crazy."

Newton celebrated his first touchdown by screaming "I'm back!" As exciting as it was for the veteran signal-caller and the fans watching, it resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Simply put, the moment got the best of Newton after he spent the first nine weeks of the season itching to play football.

"I'll put it like this, this time last week I was eating a bowl of cereal," he said. "So, I told Coach Rhule that'll never happen again and that one's on me. But yeah, I was eating cereal last week, so that just puts things into perspective. ... So for that, it was all just a rush of emotions."

 

Despite letting the world know he's back, Newton makes it clear he doesn't want the talk after the win to be all about him. Just as he did in New England, the 32-year-old veteran stressed the importance of leadership and making it about the team.

"There's so many determining factors that go into a football game," Newton said. "You can't just sit up here and individually say, 'I'm going to ball out.' Because 'I'm going to ball out' sounds individualistic and that might just be your statistics, that doesn't necessarily mean team statistics.

"That being said, I'm just here for accountability. I just want to remind myself daily that first off, people are watching. I know that. And that comes with me knowing that I've got to do right by. I feel like I've got a lot of people's attention right now in the building, outside of the building, and I still have a long way to go."

Next up for Newton and the Panthers is a meeting with the Washington Football Team next Sunday. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule didn't reveal who his starting quarterback would be for the Week 11 matchup.