Following a costly Andy Dalton fumble, Newton led the Panthers on a 46-yard touchdown drive, ending with this impressive 16-yard scramble. Leading up to the touchdown, Newton also completed a 9-yard pass to star wideout Steve Smith.
While the touchdown run may evoke memories of Randall Cunningham or early-career Donovan McNabb, the celebration was all LeBron James. Newton, the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, mimicked the longtime pregame ritual of James, the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Newton pantomimed James' trademark routine by "pouring" the contents of the game ball into his hands and splashing the imaginary powder into the air.
Newton can't claim he's the first NFL player to mimic the routine. Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson did something similar in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns, in the town where James made the ritual famous.
Update: A few intrepid readers have pointed out that Santonio Holmes utilized this same celebration in Super Bowl XLIII.
Michael Schottey is an NFL Associate Editor of Bleacher Report. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, he has professionally covered the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, as well as NFL events like the Scouting Combine and the Senior Bowl. Follow him on Twitter.