The news Tuesday that the Panthers might not have starting quarterback Cam Newton for Sunday's game at State Farm Stadium because of his gimpy ankle -- and the possibility backup Kyle Allen, a product of Scottsdale Desert Mountain High School could play -- brought to mind the ... let's call it interesting history of starting quarterbacks when these teams have met over the years.
I mean, sometimes it's straight up. Sometimes we've seen Newton against Carson Palmer, like the 2015 NFC Championship game or in the 2016 matchup in Carolina -- the last time these teams played before this week. But the epic Newton versus Ryan Lindley matchup in the 2014 Wild Card playoff game? John Skelton versus Jimmy Clausen in 2010? Or my absolute favorite one -- and technically Kurt Warner started but left early in the game to a mangled elbow, allowing just-signed-that-week Tim Rattay to battle Vinny Testaverde in 2007? (Testaverde, by the way, had also just been signed that week by Carolina, after the Cardinals tried to sign Testaverde him as well, to be Warner's backup after Matt Leinart went down. Testaverde chose Carolina.)
Newton versus Murray would be fascinating, given that they are the only two guys ever to throw for 300-plus yards in their first two NFL games (Newton, in fact, opened his NFL career at State Farm Stadium, throwing for more than 400 yards in 2011 Week 1 but losing to the Cardinals and ... Kevin Kolb, 28-21, thanks to Patrick Peterson's first punt return touchdown.)
But Murray versus Allen would be pretty fascinating too, since Allen who was the one to hold off talented freshman Kyler Murray as starting QB at Texas A&M once upon a time. (Allen and Murray both ended up leaving A&M after the season, so there's that.)