This is the no-brainers of all no-brainers.
Carolina Panthers rookie QB Cam Newton has taken the NFL by storm this season. He shot down the nay-sayers. Created believers out of doubters (including yours truly). He broke records (rookie passing and QB rushing touchdowns in a season). Simply put, Newton exceeded expectations and turned a laughingstock franchise in a respectable force in the future.
That is why Newton should be the NFL Rookie of the Year, and it shouldn’t be close.
Sure people (namely Skip Bayless) will point out that Newton has not led his team to a winning record a la Andy Dalton (another ROY candidate) in Cincinnati – Newton’s Panthers are 6-9 while Dalton’s Bengals are 9-6 with a shot at a wild-card berth. Those same people will say that Newton has thrown more interceptions than Dalton (16 to 13).
Well, I have some things that would shoot down the Dalton argument.
First of all, as I mentioned earlier, Newton set records from the QB position. He broke the rookie passing record set by Peyton Manning – yes, THAT Peyton Manning. Newton has passed for 3,893 while completing 60% of his passes – not bad for a person with “accuracy issues” coming out of Auburn.
Newton broke the touchdown record for QBs with 14 – which is also second highest rushing TDs in the league this season. He has rushed for 674 yards with a 5.6 yards per carry (who does that?).
The second reason is one that a lot of people are not talking about. Dalton’s ROY votes will be split with A.J. Green – who is not only a rookie sensation himself, but is Dalton’s teammate. That alone should hand Newton the ROY award.
This is not to poo-poo the success of Dalton. I liked the kid since he was tearing it up at TCU. Plus, I expect bigger things for him and the Bengals next season going forward.
I just think that this is Newton’s award to lose.