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Cam Newton: How the Rookie QB's First 2 Starts Compare to Legendary QBs

Bob BajekAnalyst IIISeptember 21, 2011

Cam Newton: How the Rookie QB's First 2 Starts Compare to Legendary QBs

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    Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton is taking the NFL by storm.

    The No. 1 Draft Pick rocked rookie and league records in his first two games starting. 

    Newton has thrown more than 400 yards in consecutive games—the first rookie and player in the NFL's history to open a season with those numbers.

    Overall, Newton is 52 of 83 passing for 854 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, which is good for a 89.1 passer rating. He also has two rushing scores on 18 attempts for 71 yards. However, his Panthers are 0-2.

    One question that is floating around is: How good exactly is Cam Newton?

    Well, here is how Newton's first two starts compare to 10 legendary quarterbacks' initial starts. These quarterbacks are either in the Hall of Fame or will be a future member.

Brett Favre

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    Brett Favre had his first two starts in 1992 with the Green Bay Packers.

    Favre was 47 of 62 passing, 486 yards, three touchdowns and one pick. He rushed for 16 yards on five attempts.

    He beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, but lost to the Atlanta Falcons for a 1-1 showing.

    Favre had an impressive 107.3 passer rating, but he had the case of the dropsies. No. 4 fumbled six footballs and lost two.

    The future Hall of Famer is the all-time leader in touchdowns (501), yardage (71,838) and completions (6,300), and has three MVP awards.

Peyton Manning

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    Peyton Manning was a No. 1 pick like Newton in 1998 for the Indianapolis Colts.

    Even though Manning is a four-time MVP award winner, his first two starts were really shaky.

    Manning was 42 of 70 passing, 490 yards, two touchdowns and six picks, resulting in a 55.06 passer rating. He also had one fumble and lost it.

    His opening record was 0-2, consecutive defeats to the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.

    With a Super Bowl championship, Manning is third all-time in touchdowns (398), yardage (54,828) and completions (4,682).

Dan Marino

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    Miami Dolphins legendary quarterback Dan Marino opened his NFL career in 1983.

    The No. 2 all-time leader in touchdowns (420), yardage (61, 361) and completions (4987), Marino, who also has an MVP award, started with an 0-2 mark against the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints.

    He was 23 of 39 passing for 240 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while having a passer rating of 91.8.

Joe Montana

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    "Joe Cool" was definitely one of the greatest signal-callers of all time. His two MVPs, four Super Bowl victories, 273 touchdowns and over 40,000 yards passing certainly back that up.

    The 2000 Hall of Fame inductee, who never threw a pick in a Super Bowl, started his career 0-2, losing to the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1979 and the Los Angeles Rams in 1980. 

    He was 26 of 45 passing for 289 yards, two touchdowns and one pick, while scrambling for 33 yards on four carries. His passer rating was 82.5.

Tom Brady

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    Probably the best late pick in NFL history, Tom Brady was a sixth-round guy who got his first opportunity to play when elite quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured in 2001.

    Brady beat the Indianapolis Colts, but lost to the Miami Dolphins for a 1-1 start.

    He was 24 of 47 passing for 254 passing yards, and threw no touchdowns or picks. He had two lost fumbles, and rushed for 11 yards on three carries. His passer rating was 68.9.

    The modern day Joe Montana, Brady has won three Super Bowl titles, two MVP awards and 268 touchdowns. He also was voted first-team quarterback on the All-Decade Team in 2000.

Steve Young

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    When Joe Montana left the 49ers, they got another Hall of Fame quarterback in Steve Young.

    Young began his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 1-1 starting record. He was 24 of 44 passing for 220 yards, no touchdown and one interception, giving him a 58.9 passer rating. He rushed for 91 yards on 17 carries.

    The 2005 Hall of Fame inductee was a three-time first-team All-Pro selection, nabbing two MVPs and a Super Bowl championship in his illustrious career. Young is the all-time leader in quarterback rushing touchdowns (43) and third in rushing yards by a quarterback (4,239).

Terry Bradshaw

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    In 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 1 pick Terry Bradshaw was chosen to lead the team to respectability after an abysmal 1-13 1969 season.

    Bradshaw lost his first two starts, going 17 of 42 passing for 281 yards and two interceptions. His passer rating was 43.8.

    Despite his pedestrian regular season stats, Bradshaw was a postseason starter, leading the Steelers to four Super Bowl championships and gaining two Super Bowl MVPs. He was a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee.

Warren Moon

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    Warren Moon was the first great African-American quarterback in the league.

    Moon began his professional football career in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos, throwing for 144 touchdowns.

    Opening his NFL career with an 0-2 mark in 1984 for the Houston Oilers, Moon was 35 of 72 passes for 566 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating was an even 80.

    Moon would go on to throw 291 touchdowns and 49,325 yards in his NFL career.

    He is one of two players that was elected to both the CFL and NFL Hall of Fames.

Troy Aikman

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    Aikman was a stud in the 1990s as he led his Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles.

    However, Aikman had a shaky rookie year in 1989, going 0-11 as a starter.

    No. 8's first two games were not that great, either. He was 30 of 58 passing for 421 yards, one touchdown and four picks. His passer rating was 52.4.

    Aikman, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, was a three-time All-Pro selection and was Super Bowl XXVII MVP.

John Elway

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    John Elway was the Denver Broncos franchise quarterback from 1983-1998.

    His first two starts resulted in wins, even though he did not preform well. He was 10 of 29 passing for 120 yards and one interception, giving him a 33.7 passer rating.

    No. 7 went on to have a wonderful career, throwing for 300 touchdowns, 51,745 yards and winning an MVP award and two Super Bowls. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2004.

    Bob Bajek is a freelance reporter and can be followed at Patch.com and Twitter.

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