Cam Newton apologizes for bumping official in win


With so many games having playoff implications this week, we didn't expect to be writing much about Sunday's Oakland Raiders-Carolina Panthers matchup.

We also didn't expect quarterback Cam Newton to lose his cool on multiple occasions.

Early in the Panthers' 17-6 win, Newton was seen kicking Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly. We'd guess that Newton felt like Kelly was not letting go of him quickly enough. Kelly wound up being penalized on the play for pushing Newton after the kick.

"I was trying to get up," Newton said. "... Nothing good happens when you're at the bottom of a pile. With me looking at the replay, I realize it looked like I kicked him, but I was just trying to get up as fast as I could and get to the next play. He fell a certain type of way, then he put his hands in my face."

That moment wasn't so egregious, but Newton will receive more criticism for his behavior late in the game. Newton made contact with official Jerome Boger after being taken down hard after a fourth-quarter throw. Newton was looking for a flag and yelled at Boger while getting in his face.

Relive every game this season online and on-demand with enhanced viewing features, including the "All-22" coaches film. Get NFL Game Rewind.

The contact wasn't huge, but it certainly warranted the 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that Boger called on Newton. Even Boger said after the game it wasn't a big deal, noting that he didn't eject Newton because the bump wasn't "of a malicious nature."

But a fine is likely to follow for Newton. He apologized after the game and said he already had apologized to Boger.

The second-year pro has played well during Carolina's latest 4-2 stretch, but moments like this show he still must do a better job controlling his emotions.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.