NFC South: Kordell Stewart

Cam Newton is making history

November, 28, 2011
Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton has a chance to rewrite the record book by the time the season ends.

Newton already is the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 10 touchdowns and run for 10 touchdowns in a season.

But Newton has a shot at more records, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He already has thrown for 3,093 yards, which ranks fourth in NFL history by a rookie quarterback. Peyton Manning (3,739 yards in 1998) holds the record. The only two other rookies to throw for more yards than Newton were Sam Bradford (3,512 yards last season) and Matt Ryan (3,440 in 2008).

With his 10 rushing touchdowns, Newton has a shot at a record that’s not just for rookies. Newton has a chance at the record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in NFL history. Steve Grogan set that record with 12 rushing touchdowns in 1976.

Kordell Stewart (1997), Tobin Rote (1956) and Johnny Lujack (1950) are tied for No. 2 with 11 touchdowns each. Newton now is tied with Daunte Culepper (2002) and (Billy Kilmer 1961).

By the numbers on Saints, Panthers

October, 31, 2011
Sunday was not a good day in the NFC South. The Buccaneers and Falcons were on bye and the Panthers and Saints each lost.

The Saints lot to a previously winless St. Louis team and the Panthers lost by a field goal to a Minnesota team that came in with only one win.

With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and Elias Sports Bureau, let’s take a look at some statistical nuggets on the Saints and Panthers. We’ll start with the Saints.

St. Louis’ victory marked only the second time in the past 14 seasons that a winless team with at least six losses defeated a first-place team. The last such victory was by an 0-6 Miami team against a 4-2 St. Louis team in 2004.

Defense continues to be a problem area for the Saints. The Rams scored 17 points in the first half. That was one point more than the Rams had scored in any full game prior to Sunday. The Rams hadn’t scored 31 points in a game since Week 12 of the 2010 season.

The Saints allowed St. Louis defensive end Chris Long to record three sacks. He’s the first player from the Rams to do that since Leonard Little in Week 13 of the 2003 season.

The Saints came in averaging a league-high 34.1 points. The Rams were averaging a league-low 9.3 points per game. This game marked only the second time in the past 30 years that the league’s lowest-scoring team defeated the highest scoring team.

Now, let’s move over to the Panthers.

Carolina’s Cam Newton and Minnesota’s Christian Ponder made a little history. For the first time ever, two opposing rookies each passed for at least 200 yards without throwing an interception.

Carolina’s Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen each had a touchdown catch. It marked just the second time in franchise history that two Carolina tight ends had receiving touchdowns in the same game. The first time was by Dante Rosario and Christian Fauria in 2007.

Newton became the first Carolina quarterback to throw for three touchdown passes in a home game since Matt Moore in 2009.

Newton joined Kordell Stewart as the only player since 1970 to record 11 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns in the first eight games of the season.

Carolina’s Steve Smith had his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season. Smith had only two such games in the 2009 and 2010 seasons combined.

Newton’s 1,381 passing yards in October is the highest in NFL history by a rookie in one calendar month. The previous record was 1,230 yards by Matthew Stafford in November 2009.