Panthers admit Cam Newton embellished injury to buy time

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We saw him rock back and forth. It would be more believable if we didn't have a couple of incidents from this season to go on.

For most of the regular season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has carefully placed his future Hall of Fame right arm in a protective sleeve, using it only when necessary. It was Brees' placement that made him impossible to stop on Sunday, when he consistently exploited tight coverage and threw receivers open all afternoon. The Saints defense - especially Cam Jordan - was just as effective as they forced Carolina (11-6) into five field-goal attempts before letting them into the end zone and then held off a last-gasp drive.

"I can tell you this: That game didn't come down to that play", Newton said.

Chris Nowinski, founding CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, took to Twitter to express his thoughts: "I can not believe the National Football League blew their new concussion protocol in the second week with Cam Newton". I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. But, amazingly, the officials FORGOT that an intentional grounding penalty also required a 10-second runoff until somebody on the Saints sideline pointed it out!

"The coaches wanted to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands fast", Bell said.

"The play call it was either me or Mike", said Ginn, "It's designed for the defense".

- Ben Koyack, Jaguars, caught the go-ahead 1-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter of Jacksonville's victory over Buffalo. Fullback Zach line and running back Alvin Kamara each ran for short touchdowns, the latter set up by Michael Thomas 46-yard reception.

"That was huge", Brees said.

But he's made a special exception this year for Kalil; he also thanked the veteran tackle for allowing him to get a sack in the first meeting against the Panthers.

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Newton and coach Ron Rivera both said after the game, which the Panthers lost 31-26, that the player was checked over after he was hit in the eye, not because of a concussion.

The organisation stipulates that any player suspected of having concussion must be evaluated in the dressing room.

New Orleans' 31-26 win over Carolina was the first playoff game to feature multiple 100-yard receivers for each team since the 2009 AFC championship game. Graham Gano's 29-yarder cut the Saints lead to 21-12.

"At the end of the day, we did enough to win", Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said.

"It was a blessing for us to be able to see each other three times". Obviously, he came up with the touchdown at the touchdown catch as well.

Newton finished 24 of 40 passing for 349 yards and two touchdowns, including a 56-yard scoring strike to Christian McCaffrey that pulled the Panthers within a touchdown with 4:09 left.

But with the Saints appearing to roll back the years, putting in performances reminiscent of their 2010 Superbowl win, Sunday's clash could go either way. After Jordan sacked Newton in the third quarter, the defensive end let his opponent know about it.

Newton sat on the field near the sideline after the play, and while a new National Football League rule calls for players to be taken to the locker room to be evaluated for concussions if they appear to be struggling to stand, Newton said part of his helmet got pushed into his eyelid and he only sat down to give backup Derek Anderson more time to warm up.

The NFL said it was in contact with the Panthers medical staff.