NEW ORLEANS – Cam Newton didn't get what he wanted most in his return to the Panthers lineup, but the Panthers got a lot out of Newton.
Newton, back on the field after spending last week's game in the concussion protocol, accounted for three touchdowns and became the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards, but it wasn't quite enough in a 41-38 loss at the Saints.
"We've just got to find ways to win football games," said Newton, who wasn't in the mood to answer many questions in the wake of Carolina's third consecutive loss.
His play spoke volumes. Newton threw for 322 yards to increase his career total to 19,559 yards, 201 more than Jake Delhomme threw for in a Panthers uniform. Newton tossed two touchdown passes, ran for one and directed Carolina to touchdowns on five of its final seven possessions aside from the drive that started with just 11 seconds left.
"Early on I thought he was a bit rusty, but as he got into the groove and got into his rhythm I thought he really played well," head caoch Ron Rivera said. "He gave us a chance to win."
"He did a great job," center Ryan Kalil said. "We got in a real rhythm, and some of the plays that he was calling were outstanding."
Newton ran the ball just twice but said he felt fine physically before and after the game.
"Cam was not limited at all in his mobility. I thought that he made some really good decisions," Rivera said. "We scored 38 points. It just shows you what he was out there doing.
"When you score 38 points, you need to give yourself more of a chance to win."