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John DeShazier: Saints know Cam Newton can be one-man wrecking crew

Newton has accounted for all of Carolina's TDs this season

Carolina's offense has more play-makers at its disposal than quarterback Cam Newton.

But it doesn't always look that way, and as talented as Newton is, it doesn't have to be that way.

The fifth-year pro can be a one-man wrecking crew, clearly is the focal point of the offense for the Panthers, and is the main reason Carolina has won its first two games entering Sunday's NFC South Division scrap against the Saints (0-2) at Bank of America Stadium.

Newton this season has accounted for all four of Carolina's offensive touchdowns. He has completed 36 of 68 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions, and has run 24 times for 111 yards and a touchdown.

But in the Saints, Superman sometimes has been confronted by Kryptonite.

In New Orleans' 28-10 victory in Charlotte, N.C., last year, Newton completed 10 of 28 passes for 151 yards, was sacked four times and intercepted once, and ran for 43 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. He gained a measure of revenge in Carolina's 41-10 victory in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, completing 21 of 33 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions, and running for 83 yards and a score on 12 carries.

The teams also split in 2013; Newton completed 22 of 34 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown, ran six times for 48 yards and was sacked five times in New Orleans' 31-13 victory in the Superdome, but went 13 for 22 for 181 yards and a touchdown, with an interception, and was sacked four times in a 17-13 home win for the Panthers.

Newton was at his best against the Saints in 2012, when Carolina swept New Orleans by scores of 35-27 at home and 44-38 in the Superdome. In the two games, he combined to complete 30 of 53 passes for 501 yards and a touchdown, with an interception. But he only was sacked twice and ran 20 times for 105 yards and a touchdown.

The Saints took the upper hand in his rookie season of '11, by scores of 30-27 and 45-17. In those two games New Orleans sacked Newton three times, held him to 382 passing yards on 31 of 56 passing, intercepted him twice while allowing three touchdown passes and saw him run 13 times for 59 yards.

The Saints, like other defenses, have a plan to employ. The difficulty for them, like for other defenses, has been getting Newton to comply.

"A lot of people try to focus on keeping him in the pocket, and that's what you want to do," said defensive end Cam Jordan, a 2011 draft classmate of Newton's who has six of his 29 career sacks against Newton. "(But) Cam is enough of an athlete to even evade that.

"It's just been a testament to our guys being able to chase him down from all angles, and that's what we have to bring into this game, just the ability to keep after him, keep chasing him and force him into some bad positions."

Even from bad positions, Newton has displayed an ability to make something good happen. Thus, Saints defenders understand that a short memory will be critical.

"Our conference has gotten more mobile," Jordan said. "Mobile quarterbacks are starting to become that thing. He's one of the better ones at it. You want to keep contain, but he's going to break that sometimes. You've got to be able to rally and get him down on the ground."

That lesson is being passed down, from the veterans to the younger players.

"It's always important to get after the quarterback," said rookie linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha, who has one of the Saints' three sacks this season and two of their three forced fumbles. "He runs their offense and he does a really great job of it. We just have to be sound in our technique and be able to affect that person.

"He's a great player. He'll get out. He'll stay in if he wants, so we have to do what we can within our gameplan."

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