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In his NFL debut game on September 11, 2011, Newton was 24–37 passing for 422 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, in a 28–21 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
With a quarterback rating of 110.4, he also rushed for a touchdown, and became the first rookie to throw for 400 yards in his first career game.
In his senior year, Newton was rated a five-star prospect by Rivals.com, the No.
2 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, and the 14th quarterback and 28th player overall.
The historic performance was part of a career-high three rushing touchdowns, which were part of a 38–19 win.
Newton is the only player in the modern era to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft within a one-year span.
He was the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year, is a three-time Pro Bowler, and was named to the NFL All-Pro First Team in 2015.
Although this is similar to a policy the New York Yankees has on all of its players, this gained some controversy on Richardson's part due to the fact that other players on the team didn't meet these guidelines.
Dave Zirin, reporter for The Nation.com, even accused Richardson of racism.
He threw for 256 yards and 1 touchdown, completing 18 of his 23 passes.