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Cam Newton tops Peyton Manning's rookie record for yards passing

December 24, 2011 |  2:25 pm

Cam Newton set an NFL rookie passing record for yards when he threw for three touchdowns in the Carolina Panthers' 48-14 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cam Newton set an NFL rookie passing record for yards when he threw for three touchdowns, and ran 49 yards for another score, in the Carolina Panthers' 48-14 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday.

The rookie from Auburn eclipsed Peyton Manning's mark of 3,379 yards passing when he completed a seven-yard strike to Brandon LaFell. Newton passed for 171 yards Saturday and has 3,893 yards passing this season for the Panthers (6-9).

Newton helped establish a new franchise record when he connected with LaFell on a 91-yard scoring pass in the victory over the Bucs (4-11).

The 6-foot-5, 248-pound quarterback has 20 touchdown passes on the season and 14 rushing touchdowns, an NFL record for a quarterback.

“It's very nice to do something with a record that's so prestigious in this league,” Newton said of breaking Manning's rookie record.

When asked if he'd quieted his critics this up-and-down season, Newton said he didn't worry about praise or criticism. "I continuously try to do what I can control," he said. "I don't worry about what people say because you know one day you'll be on top of the world and everybody is praising you and the next day the world will be on top of you and everybody else will be criticizing you."

Other notable NFL records that Newton has established: First rookie with 10 touchdown passes and 10 touchdown runs in a season; first rookie with back-to-back 400-yard passing games; first player with five touchdown passes and five scoring runs in the first five games of career.

The Panthers scored on eight of nine possessions and piled up 397 yards in three quarters against the league's 30th-ranked defense Saturday. Carolina pulled Newton, who had eight TD strikes against Tampa Bay in two games this season, and the other starters early in the fourth quarter.

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-- Dan Loumena

Photo: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton outruns E.J. Biggers and the Buccaneers' defense for a 49-yard touchdown in the third quarter Saturday. Credit: Bob Leverone / Associated Press

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