Cam Newton laid a giant egg on national TV on Thursday night. That can't be debated.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback and reigning NFL rookie of the year threw three interceptions and finished with a career-low passer rating of 40.6 in a 36-7 loss to the New York Giants in his prime-time debut.
But it could have been worse for Newton. He completed 53% of his passes (16 of 30), which isn't great but is better than three of his outings during his much-heralded season a year ago. He also compiled 242 passing yards, which tops nine of his efforts from last season.
Also during the 2011 campaign, Newton threw four interceptions in a game once and three of them two other times.
Newton didn't have any touchdown passes for the first time this season Thursday night, something that happened three times last year. But he avoided what would have been only his second pro game without a touchdown at all by scoring on a one-yard run in the third quarter.