Comparing Robert Griffin and Cam Newton's Rookie Seasons

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Comparing Robert Griffin and Cam Newton's Rookie Seasons
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Anytime a new player starts to blow up, everything that happened in the past has a way of getting swept under the rug. However, let's dust off Cam Newton's so-long-ago rookie year and see how it stacks up to today's phenom—Robert Griffin III.

To do so, we'll break out the beakers and Bunsen burners that haven't been used since third grade. Then we'll relearn the scientific method and see whether our experiments validate or discredit our hypotheses. 

Or we will look at the stats and use our observational skills.

Yeah, let's do that instead.

 

Passing

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Newton started out ridiculously hot with two straight 400-yard games. Pundits proclaimed that we had never seen anything like this before.

And then reality began to set in. His third game only included 158 passing yards and Newton only had one more game over 300 yards for the rest of the season.

For the entire year, he ended up averaging 253 yards per game with a 60 percent completion rate and 7.84 yards per attempt. Pretty solid numbers for a rookie.

As for Griffin, he hasn't had quite the same type of impact in the passing game. He did start out with a 320-yard game, but he also put up a 91-yard stink bomb against the Atlanta Falcons.

Thus far, he has averaged a respectable 224 yards per game while completing 65.6 percent of his throws for a 7.61 average.

The yardage favors Newton, but Griffin shouldn't be punished because his team is better-coached and runs more. The completion percentage and interceptions (three times as many for Newton) are too much to overcome.

Edge: Griffin

 

Rushing

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

These guys are both equally ridiculous when they tuck the ball away and run. 

Newton averaged 5.6 yards per carry and racked up a ridiculous 14 touchdowns, or .875 per game.

Griffin exceeds Newton's average with 6.5 yards per rush, but lags behind in touchdowns (.667 per contest). Plus, Griffin has lost the ball six times in nine games while Newton only lost it twice on rushing plays.

When the scores are taken into account with the fumbles, it's obvious.

Edge: Newton

 

Intangibles

Al Bello/Getty Images

Newton's sulking is not a new thing. He would bury his head in his towel on the sideline as soon as things didn't go the Carolina Panthers' way. That's not what you are looking for in a top-overall pick.

Meanwhile, Griffin always has a great attitude. 

He was anointed the savior of a marquee franchise before he was drafted. Thus far, he's handled it with grace and a smile.

His team is mostly comprised of casualty replacements who shouldn't be NFL starters. However, he continues to fight every game to make things interesting.

This one is as obvious as the rushing.

Edge: Griffin

 

Conclusion

This is where the math and science come into play. Two categories is better than one.

Griffin's rookie year is shaping up to be better than Newton's. And I wouldn't be surprised if that led to a better career.

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