Panthers sub in QB Cam Newton on 2nd drive, RB Chuba Hubbard scores

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As Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule kept his plan close to his smock all week long, we didn’t know when (or if) we’d see Cam Newton here in Week 17. Well, we’ve had ourselves a sighting.

On the offense’s second possession of the game, Rhule threw Newton in on a 1st & 10 from the New Orleans Saints’ 26-yard line and got himself a 5-yard rush from his backup quarterback. Rookie running back Chuba Hubbard, on the very next play, capped off the 10-play, 81-yard drive with a powerful 21-yard touchdown run.

Newton temporarily subbed in for starter Sam Darnold, who had held his own to that point. Through Carolina’s first two touches, Darnold completed each of his nine passes for 88 yards against a New Orleans defense that allowed just one touchdown over the previous three weeks.

Although the vast majority of those attempts were quick, short to intermediate throws, the fourth-year passer orchestrated two scoring drives that gave the Panthers a 10-3 lead at the 13:09 mark of the second quarter.

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