Cam Newton has been a touchdown machine this year. With just one game remaining in the 2015 regular season, the dual-threat Carolina QB has racked up 41 total touchdowns, the most in the NFL. Thirty three of them have come through the air, 8 on the ground. That means Cam is tied for the sixth-most rushing touchdowns in the league, ahead of star backs like Frank Gore and DeMarco Murray.
With the electric and dynamic Newton building a strong case for league MVP, we decided to rank his best touchdowns from the 2015 regular season. We went back and watched every one of his 41 trips to the end zone. Here are the five best.
5. Jumpman Cam
When: Week 9 vs. Packers, 12:14 remaining in the 2nd quarter
How it Looked in the Box Score: 1-yard touchdown run
The Score Before it Happened: Panthers down 7-3
Most of Newton's rushing touchdowns this season have come on designed goal line QB runs, such as this Week 9 play against the Packers. What makes this one so great is that Cam's dive into the end zone is reminiscent of a Michael Jordan's dunk from the free throw line.
The Panther's offensive line doesn't do a great job, and backside linebacker Mike Neal is able to scream down the line of scrimmage and wrap up Newton as he begins to take flight. However, Newton's supreme lower-body strength and explosiveness allow him to carry Neal as he jumps over his own lineman and dunks the ball over the goal line for six points. Blake Griffin would be proud.
Another impressive aspect of the play is Newton's grip strength. Most players would have fumbled this ball, but Cam's fingers are like vices! Guess those off-season Dead Hang competitions paid off.
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4. Triple Coverage? No Problem
When: Week 13 vs. Saints, 5:01 remaining in 3rd quarter
How it Looked in the Box Score: 13-yard touchdown pass
The Score Before it Happened: Panthers up 20-16
Coming out of Auburn University, Newton was a question mark in terms of passing accuracy. Everyone knew he could throw the ball through a brick wall, but arm power without accuracy doesn't do much good.
What was once one of Newton's biggest weaknesses has become one of his biggest strengths. This 13-yard laser to Devin Funchess was one of his most impressive throws of the season, showcasing both elite arm strength and lethal accuracy.
Newton heaves the ball on a rope between three Saints defenders, making them look utterly helpless. Newton's legs have long been dangerous weapons, but his passing has been even more effective in eviscerating defenses this season.
3. The Amazing Cam
When: Week 15 vs. Giants, :21 remaining in 2nd quarter
How it Looked in the Box Score: 14-yard touchdown pass
The Score Before it Happened: Panthers up 14-7
The Panthers' Week 15 match-up with the Giants was a heated affair, but at one point the Panthers were up 35-7. That's because Cam Newton had chucked five touchdown passes before the middle of the third quarter, including this ridiculous dart to Funchess.
This throw is mind-blowing. When you watch it in real time, the ball looks like it teleports from Newton's hand into Funchess's outstretched arms. When you see the alternate angle, you recognize the incredible accuracy required to complete the throw. And you start wondering if Cam Newton is some sort of ancient sorcerer sent to Earth to play football.
2. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Ninja
When: Week 2 vs. Packers, 1:10 remaining in the 3rd quarter
How it Looked in the Box Score: 2-yard touchdown run
The Score Before it Happened: Tied 10-10
One of Newton's craziest touchdowns came back in Week 2. The Panthers were deep in Texans territory looking to break a 10-10 deadlock. On first and goal at the 3-yard line, Newton took the snap and dropped back to pass. But just when he looked like he was going to set up in the pocket, he planted his right foot in the turf and bolted forward. His O-line carved a hole for him between the left guard and tackle, leaving Newton one-on-one with Texans free safety Rahim Moore. Newton might have been able to juke Moore or run him over, but he decided to take a different approach. As Moore lowered himself to brace for a tackle, Newton launched himself airborne, reached the ball forward, and completed a full front flip over the 6-foot-1 defender, crossing the goal line for a touchdown.
I couldn't pull off that move from a diving board. Newton did it in an NFL game. Newton actually landed on his feet before his momentum and a hit from a Texans defender took him to the ground. "My heart was in my socks. When I was flipping, I was like, 'Hey, I don't know how this is going to end,'" Newton told Panthers.com after the game. "I didn't stick it, but I still think I got a good high rating from the judge."
1. The One-in-a-Million Shot
When: Week 14 vs. Falcons, :22 remaining in the 2nd quarter
How it Looked in the Box Score: 4-yard touchdown pass
The Score Before it Happened: Panthers up 21-0
The Cam Newton show was in full effect in the Panthers' Week 14 matchup with the Falcons, and Cam recorded five passing touchdowns in the first half alone. His final passing touchdown before halftime might go down as the best play of the 2015 regular season.
Newton receives the snap out of the shotgun and almost immediately feels pressure, as the Carolina left guard gets blown back off the line of scrimmage. It looks like he's going to be pushed straight into Newton, but Cam doesn't move. He stands with his feet set and looks toward Funchess, who's running a basic slant route. Just before the pressure gets to him, Newton releases a rocket-powered throw with pinpoint accuracy.
No one else would even see this window, but Newton was able to thread the ball in there for 6 points. Do you think he charged that Falcons D lineman for the free haircut?
This is a perfect example of how Cam Newton is impossible to stop when he's in the zone. The defense got pressure almost immediately and played lockdown coverage. The middle linebacker even read Newton's eyes and began breaking toward Funchess before the throw was made. But none of it mattered. Newton had a millimeter of wiggle room on this throw, and he absolutely nailed it.
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