Cam Newton

Getty Images

Top Plays of Cam Newton's Career

Rob Joyce
June 29, 2020 - 8:52 am

An otherwise sleepy Sunday night quickly became electric with a tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

After going the first part of the offseason and the draft without getting a quarterback to replace Tom Brady, the Patriots pulled a very Patriots move in signing the 31-year-old former MVP for basically nothing. Depending on how quickly he picks up the offense, if he's healthy there's an assumption that eventually he'll be the starter over another Auburn alum in Jarrett Stidham. Though he hasn't been healthy since about midway through the 2018 season, the upside is obvious. What could New England be receiving with this pickup? Let's look back at some of the best performances of Newton's career.

6) Week 6, 2013: In terms of passer rating, there's only one better game in the quarterback's career. Completing 20-of-26 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns to no interceptions, Newton's rating of 143.4 came in an easy 35-10 Panthers win over the Vikings. Of course, Newton is also a force in the short run game - in fact, he became the NFL's all-time leader in rushing TDs by a quarterback against New England. In this game, he added 30 yards and a touchdown. It's one of 15 games in his career in which he's accounted for at least four touchdowns, either passing or rushing.

5) Week 1, 2011: The number one overall pick in that year's draft, Newton stormed onto the scene in his first NFL start, even in a loss. Playing the Cardinals, Newton threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a rushing score, in a 28-21 loss. He became the first rookie in league history to throw for at least 400 yards in his first game, and in terms of yardage managed to top it the next week with a 432-yard performance. The bad news? In 130 other starts between the regular and postseasons, he's never hit the 400-yard mark passing.

4) Week 10, 2017: One of his best combined passing and rushing games of his career, Newton did it all against the Dolphins in November 2017. In the 45-21 victory Newton threw for 254 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for 95 yards, including a 69-yard scamper, as the team collectively ran for 295 yards in a Monday Night Football victory.

3) Week 15, 2015: There were a lot of performances in Newton's MVP 2015 season worthy of this list, but we picked two, the first of which came in a 38-35 win against the Giants. Entering at 13-0, it was all Panthers early on, as Newton threw for five touchdowns in the first 40 minutes of the game to open up a 35-7 lead. New York, however, stormed all the way back to tie it with 1:51 left. Starting from his own 26-yard line, Newton went 3-for-4 through the air and added 12 yards rushing to get Carolina into field goal range, with Graham Gano kicking the game-winner as time expired. On the day, Cam threw for 340 yards, those five TDs and added 100 yards rushing.

2) Week 13, 2015: Undefeated at 11-0, Carolina fell behind by a pair of touchdowns early in New Orleans when Newton put together the highlight of his MVP regular season. Even after undergoing a concussion test (he passed) in the third quarter, he threw for 331 yards with five touchdowns and led the game-winning 11-play drive late in the fourth to pull off the 41-38 comeback win.

1) 2016 NFC Championship Game: Facing the NFC's top-rated offense, it was the Panthers instead who put on a clinic against the Cardinals, culminating in Newton's finest hour in Charlotte. The MVP completed 19-of-28 passes for 335 yards and a pair of scores, while adding 47 yards and two more touchdowns rushing. Up 24-7 at halftime, Carolina set a record for points scored with a 49-15 demolition of Arizona to advance to the Super Bowl.