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NFL: Carolina 48, Tampa Bay 16

Dec. 24, 2011 at 4:53 PM   |   Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Cam Newton entered the NFL record books Saturday while hurling three touchdown passes in the Carolina Panthers' 48-16 rout of Tampa Bay.

Newton passed for 171 yards, giving him 3,893 for the season. That broke the NFL's all-time rookie passing record set by Peyton Manning in 1997.

Last year's Heisman Trophy winner now needs just 107 yards to become the first player in league history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 10 or more touchdowns in a season.

Newton ran for a score Sunday and hooked up with Brandon LaFell on a 91-yard scoring strike -- the longest TD catch in club history for Carolina (6-9).

Josh Freeman gained 274 aerial yards and a touchdown for the Buccaneers (4-11), who turned the ball over four times en route to their ninth straight loss.

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