Continuing my look at the most memorable plays during the Carolina Panthers' 2013 season is a play that legitimized Cam Newton as a quarterback that could lead his team to victory in the clutch against a quality team
The play: (Nov. 18) Newton completes a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr. with 59 seconds remaining to cap the biggest victory of his career at the time.
The final score: Panthers 24, Patriots 20
Why it made the list: Because until that moment, Newton hadn't been taken seriously as a player that could lead his team to victory in the final minutes. And make no mistake, this 13-play, 83-yard drive was all about Newton. He had a 15-yard run on third-and-6. He gained three yards up the middle on third-and-2. Then on second-and-15 from the New England 25, he floated a perfect pass to Ginn near the 10-yard line that the speedster converted into the winning touchdown. It capped a game in which Newton led Carolina in rushing with 62 yards on seven carries and compiled a 125.4 passer rating. "I hear the statistics of all the other guys having game-winning drives; now Cam has his game-winning drive against a worthy opponent," wide receiver Steve Smith said. "Watching that young man grow, that 24-year-old Cam Newton just chipping away, and a little bit of his greatness is starting to shine through. And it was fun to be a part of." Said coach Ron Rivera: "Cam did the things he needed to do to put us in position to win the football game. It has a lot to do with his maturity that we have talked about." With that play, the rest of the nation watching on 'Monday Night Football' began talking about it as well.