The Carolina Panthers aren't having an ideal season, but the play of Cam Newton is providing a bright outlook for the future.
The Minnesota Vikings hope to have the same feeling now that they've turned to Christian Ponder.
The rookies square off when Carolina hosts Minnesota on Sunday.
Newton, the No. 1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn, has headed the Panthers' offense from Day 1, performing well and helping star wide receiver Steve Smith bounce back from a rough 2010.
Carolina (2-5) has scored 18 offensive touchdowns, exceeding the 16 it scored all of last season. Newton has thrown for eight touchdowns and run for seven more - tying the rookie record for rushing TDs by a quarterback and putting him on pace to top Steve Grogan's QB record of 12 in 1976.
Newton has rushed for a touchdown in six of the seven games and ran for a season-high 59 yards in last week's 33-20 win over Washington.
Newton has gone through some growing pains - his nin...