It took just 5:25 for the Carolina Panthers to get on the board in their NFC Championship bout against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Then, it took just over five more minutes for them to score again. And on it went, thanks to a certain player donning a No. 1 white and blue jersey.
On a night when Carolina's running and passing games were both on full display, the visiting Cardinals just didn't have the offensive firepower needed to compete, falling to the Panthers, 49-15. Per usual, quarterback Cam Newton led the way for Carolina, forcing and flipping his way into the end zone for two of his club's touchdowns on the day -- and throwing for two, too. All the while, he dabbed and danced as he earned his trip to Super Bowl 50 next month.
On the biggest stage of his career, Newton showcased not only his dominance with the ball in his hand, but also the man behind the helmet. To honor yet another all-time performance from the MVP candidate, here are five of the most awesome things he did in the NFC Championship matchup on Sunday.
1. He Flew Into The End Zone Like Superman Supercam
The Panthers had scored on their first three possessions of the game -- and while they failed to do so on their fourth, a muffed Cardinals punt gave the ball back to Carolina on a short field, setting the stage for Newton's acrobatics. From the one-yard line, Newton did his best Superman impression, flying over the mass of offensive and defensive linemen to tally the TD.
2. He Decided To Dab Rather Than Exchange Jabs
While things were getting heated between his teammates and rivals just before intermission, Newton skipped away from the scrum, choosing to dance all by himself instead. Yards away from the scuffle, Newton showed the world his trademark dab to celebrate the Panthers' growing lead.
3. Then The Quarterback-Turned-Gymnast Flipped Into The End Zone
Even when the Cardinals thought they had him stifled, covering the ground game and blocking his way to the end zone, Newton simply -- and literally -- rose above it all, flipping his way to another six points.
4. He Made Sure Everyone Knows There's No "I" In Team By Putting The Name Of All His Teammates On His Pregame Cleats
Newton received a barrage of (largely unfounded) criticism this season, for things as minute as his dabbing. But -- despite it all, in spite of being called a poor role model -- he's remained a model teammate, and he proved this by giving cleat-props to his fellow Panthers on Sunday.
5. And He Trounced The Cardinals On The Way To The Super Bowl
What had the potential for a blowout in the first half turned into utter mayhem following intermission, when the Panthers demoralized the Cardinals to the tune of their 49-15 victory. No one was expecting an Arizona meltdown of this magnitude -- especially after the club pulled out some magic from its back pocket to win last week's showdown against the Green Bay Packers. And if the victory was a symphony, Newton was truly its maestro.
Now, we can't wait to see what he'll do in two weeks on the biggest stage of them all.
Take a bow, Cam. You deserve it.