x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Newton is learning the hard way in NFL at Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton ran like the top choice in the NFL draft, but the Carolina Panthers quarterback passed like the rookie he is.

Cam Newton ran like the top choice in the NFL draft, but the Carolina Panthers quarterback passed like the rookie he is.

He rushed for 41 yards in the first half, including a 16-yard scramble for a touchdown, and played the first three series of the third quarter before giving way to second-year quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Newton completed only six of 19 passes, for 75 yards, and the Panthers lost 24-13 to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.

Newton realised that the learning curve is steep for quarterbacks making the transition from college football to the NFL, but his frustration level was rising after just six weeks in the league and a wretched 44.8 rating in the loss.

"It's unacceptable on my part," he said. "I've got to make the proper reads. I'll be doggone if it takes me years.

"The whole learning process has been sped up."

Newton showed the Heisman Trophy-winning style he used while leading Auburn to last year's college national championship to account for his first touchdown as a professional.

After the Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble recovered a Cedric Benson fumble at the Cincinnati 46, Newton led Carolina on a six-play scoring drive.

He completed just one of four passes on the possession, but he capped it by scrambling the final 16 yards. Running, however, is far less complicated than passing.

"This is a new offence and it's not just about Cam, but [also] about the other 10 guys being ready to play," said Ron Rivera, the Panthers' rookie coach.

"It's not just about the one guy. We didn't draft him to be a saviour, we drafted him to lead us."

Elsewhere, the NFL moved forward the starting time of tonight's Giants-Jets game due to the threat of Hurricane Irene, which was predicted to reach the New York area tomorrow. The Jets also cancelled their practice at Hofstra University on Long Island.

In Denver, Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn took snaps with the Broncos first team after starting quarterback Kyle Orton left practice.