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Panthers’ Cam Newton gets noticed again, throwing for 353 yards in big win

How many yards did Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton throw for in 46-27 victory over San Francisco? “I feel like he threw for a million,” tight end Greg Olsen said.
How many yards did Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton throw for in 46-27 victory over San Francisco? “I feel like he threw for a million,” tight end Greg Olsen said. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Cam Newton made waves again Sunday in Carolina’s 46-27 home win against San Francisco, on the field and after the game.

Newton’s first pass was intercepted when he tried to force a ball into the middle of the field. He came back after that to throw for four TDs and tons of yardage.

Said tight end Greg Olsen of Newton: “How many did he throw for? I feel like he threw for a million.” Well, it was actually 353 yards, which was the fourth-most of Newton’s six-year career and the most since his rookie year of 2011.

Then Newton came to his postgame news conference looking like he was a member of a barbershop quartet with a natty ensemble that included a hat and a bow tie. He said he wasn’t going to mention where he got the hat, declaring that his personal business.

▪ In the one season that Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin played together, in 2014, each finished with exactly 1,008 yards receiving. Now, after two games in 2016, Benjamin has 199 receiving yards and Olsen has 195.

▪ How did that San Francisco defense ever manage to shut anybody out in Week 1? The Panthers were gaining 20 yards every time you looked around Sunday.

▪ Congratulations to Charlie Dayton, the Panthers’ longtime PR director, who had the press box dedicated in his name. He has always been a graceful professional, beloved by everyone who knows him. Plus, he has a great forehand.

▪ A couple of defensive nitpicks: The Panthers continue to get an inconsistent rush from their defensive ends. And several times you had to wonder where Carolina’s safeties had gone and left the middle of the field wide open. Carolina lost the turnover battle 4-3, but did have two fourth-quarter interceptions (by Luke Kuechly and rookie James Bradberry).

▪ A weird note: According to the stats at Pro Football Reference, this was the first time that any NFL game, ever, had ended by a 46-27 score.

▪ Kudos to Graham Gano on a busy day after he missed the game-winning field goal at Denver. Gano made all four of his field goals, including one from 49 when it was a one-score game in the fourth quarter. Punter Andy Lee was also superb once again. Gano did get an extra point blocked, however.

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