Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton proved he will be a promising quarterback in the league for years to come. However, when it comes to the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is a lock for the selection.
As strong of a season as Dalton had with the Bengals, nearly sparking a playoff run, based on the way Cam played this season with the team he had made the feat all the more impressive.
Talk about a memorable rookie season.
In spite of finishing the season 6-10, the Panthers won four of their last six games, with three of those four wins coming on the road.
Newton's production was the force behind this furry, throwing for six touchdowns and no interceptions in each of those wins. His ability to break the pocket and use his explosive legs were difference makers in the victories, rushing for 227 yards and five touchdowns.
This season, Newton proved his worth as both a rushing threat and accurate passer in the pocket.
By throwing for over 4,000 yards passing, totaling 4,051 for the season, Newton broke the record for most passing yards by a rookie in the regular season in NFL history. He was able to complete a solid 60 percent of his passes, as he proved his worth as a solid pocket-passer in the league.
When it comes to rushing the football, Newton has a gift that Dalton and most in the game don't have. His 706 yards were just 130 shy of landing him a spot as the top rusher on this Panthers team. Newton also recorded 14 touchdowns on the ground this season.
Dalton, unlike Newton, has a major deep threat in A.J. Green. Outside of Steve Smith, who tends to get his yardage after catching the football, Newton has had little to no targets to throw the football to this year.
He has also suffered playing with a defense that has underachieved all season long. The Panthers ranked No. 24 against the pass and No. 25 against the run this season.
Dalton, on the other hand, had the luxury of playing with a top-10 defense in the league.
With the plethora of accomplishments and records that Newton has put up in 2011, there is no question he is both the front-runner and a lock for the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year award.