Cam NewtonThere is some controversy over whether the referees made the right call on the last play in the Carolina Panthers' 24-20 win over the New England Patriots in the ESPN Monday Night showcase.

Nevertheless, that call takes nothing away from the stellar play of the resurgence of Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton. 

Before Robert Griffin III and his now-famous initials RGIII, there was the arrival of CN1 or that would be his initials if he were to be in his rookie season seson this year.

Newton came with much of the hype of Griffin two season ago. He played like Johnny Manziel with both the exceptional play as the Heisman Trophy winner and controversy. There were the reports over his connections with his father who was rumored to be shopping him from one school to Auburn. But Newton was cleared of all charges and he went into the NFL unscathed from scandal. 

While Tim Tebow's last second heroics in winning games and focus on his evangelical faith was stealing the headlines in his first year, Newton was getting some respect in his rookie year. You see, it was Newton who was predicted by many experts to be the real deal as a quaterback.

While Tebow's personality was great off the field, Newton's play was more consistent on the field. Newton has a huge Magic Johnson-like smile and personality to go with his play and fit into Madison avenue. But in the second season there were doubts whether himself and his team can be a contender in the NFC South which was growing in competition from the Falcons and the Saints.

But this season things have changed. The Saints are back in contention with Sean Payton back as head coach and the Falcons are on the decline showing rust. Yet it is Newton who is coming back to true form. 

Before the Panthers' upset over the Patriots, Carolina was off to a rough start losing three out of their first four games. But since October 13th, Carolina has won six straight games including an upset over the favored 49ers at Candlestick.

Can Newton has played with the composure and maturity of a six-year veteran this season and he can more noise in the league if they beat New Orleans in two weeks. They face their division-leading rivals on Thanksgiving weekend and two weeks after that. RGIII can still be a great quarterback despite the struggles of his team, but for now the man who could be called CN1 is back on top of the class of 2011.