ALAMEDA -- For a defensive unit that has been victimized by the run and pass, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton presents the ultimate dilemma.
Newton leads the Panthers in rushing with 673 yards and over two seasons has scored 21 touchdowns -- the most by any quarterback over his first two seasons and two more than the Raiders have as a team over the same span.
His 1,379 yards on the ground in 2011-12 is more Raiders leader Darren McFadden (1,218).
With 373 yards passing in his last two games, Newton will eclipse Peyton Manning's total of 7,874 yards for the most in NFL history by a quarterback in his first two years.
Dominating Brady Quinn in a 15-0 win over the Kansas City Chiefs is one thing. Dealing with Newton is something else entirely.
Middle linebacker Omar Gaither, a teammate of Newton's last season with the Panthers, called Newton a "wow" player.
"Some stuff, you can't practice for it," Gaither said. "It's like you're playing against Kobe (Bryant), you know what he can do, but somehow he still hangs 40 on you."
Newton is in the midst of his most efficient streak since being the No. 1 draft pick as the Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn in 2011. He hasn't thrown an interception in 152 passes, the longest current streak in the NFL.
In a 30-20 win over Atlanta on Dec. 9, Newton ripped off a 72-yard touchdown run, the fifth-longest by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
At 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, Newton has the size of a defensive end or tight end and the athleticism of a running back or wide receiver, a skill set that just happens to be attached to one of the game's top throwing arms.
"He creates a lot of issues that you have to worry about," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "You have to worry about him in the passing game, scrambling around and keeping plays alive. They use him a lot of different ways in the running game also."
Carolina coach Ron Rivera told reporters by conference call that having a quarterback as the leading rusher is not ideal, but he's not about to stifle Newton's creativity or spontaneity.
"The crazy part of it is a lot of Cam's runs weren't called," Rivera said. "A lot of them were him tucking, running and making plays."
The run-pass threat poses a problem for defensive backs in coverage on when to abandon their man for a potential scramble. Cornerback Michael Huff doesn't plan on taking the bait.
"You don't come off," Huff said. "You have no idea, with your back turned. You cover until its two, three seconds later."
What the Raiders have going for them is the player most qualified to impersonate Newton during practice.
"We've got the closest guy to him right here in Terrelle Pryor," said running back Mike Goodson, a teammate of Newton's last year.
Pryor, 6-foot-4, 233 pounds, has been simulating Newton this week, running read option plays and taking off on scrambles, passing in some instances and running in others.
"He's been giving us a great look this week," linebacker Miles Burris said.