Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton proved his critics wrong last season, showing that he could be an elite NFL quarterback despite just one year at a major college program.
Now the question is can he get his team to the playoffs? It's hard to bet against him.
The No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft burst onto the scene in last year's season opener by throwing for 422 yards and scoring three touchdowns - two passing and one rushing - in a 28-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
He didn't let up, and went on to Peyton Manning's rookie record for yards passing with 4,051, set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14, and was voted AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
In doing so, the 6-foot-5, 245-pounder developed an even bigger following across the nation with his versatile and fearless style of play. The only problem was Newton didn't get to enjoy much of his personnel success.
The Panthers went 6-10 under first-year coach Ron Rivera. And while it was a four-game i...