CHARLOTTE -- Cam Newton flashed all of his enviable traits at the Raiders in Carolina's 17-6 victory Sunday -- big arm, physical presence, fast feet.
But the Panthers' second-year quarterback and self-described icon and entertainer also showed his underbelly -- sneak peeks at his immaturity. And really, he did not pay the full price for any of his on-field "infractions," despite being caught on camera several times.
"I don't think he liked to get hit," offered Raiders safety Mike Mitchell. "He was doing a lot of complaining. This is full-speed tackle football.
"Complaining all the time gets old."
Early in the game, Newton threw jab-like punches at Mitchell and linebacker Miles Burris after being taken down. Then, midway through the second quarter, after being sacked by Desmond Bryant and Tommy Kelly, Newton kicked Kelly in the facemask as Kelly lifted himself from the pile. At the end of the scrum, and after Kelly went after Newton, Kelly was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"I wasn't fixing to take that from nobody," Kelly said. "I'm a grown-ass man.
"What you going to do when somebody kicks you? You going to take it? Nah."
Newton's response was just as hilarious.
"Looking at the replay, I realize it looked like I kicked him," Newton said. "But I was just trying to get up as fast as I can to get the next play."
One thing, though: that play occurred on 3rd-and-10 and it would have been 4th-and-19 had Kelly not reacted to getting kicked in the facemask.
Not that Raiders coach Dennis Allen was buying it, though.
"We're trying to change the culture and what we have to understand is we've got to keep our composure in those types of situations because nothing good comes out of it," Allen said. "We've got to keep our composure no matter what happens in the game."
Newton lost his in the fourth quarter.
After being taken down by Mitchell following a completed pass, Newton jumped up and got in referee Jerome Boger's face to complain about the lack of a flag. Newton bumped Boger and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct while Boger announced it was for "bumping" the official, which would have meant an immediate ejection for Newton.
"I misspoke when I said he bumped the official," Boger said. "What I was penalizing him for was disrespectfully addressing the official. There was some contact between he and I, but it wasn't of a malicious nature. It was where I was moving away and when I stopped to confirm what he was saying, we slightly brushed each other."
Newton remained in the game.
And still, the Raiders did a decent job of containing him. Sure, Newton had a game-high 60 yards rushing, but 29 of those yards came on one play. He also threw for 170 yards on 18-of-29 passing with a touchdown and an interception, but was sacked twice.
Plus, the Raiders had added incentive against the Panthers after Greg Hardy knocked Carson Palmer out of the game in the first quarter with a helmet to the back.
"It's the quarterback," Kelly said. "We tried to get their quarterback out of the game. Nothing illegal…
"You take our guy out, we're going to try to take your guy out. We're not out to hurt someone, but when that happens…"
Meh, if Newton bumping an official was not going to get him out of the game, what did the Raiders think they were going to do?