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Andy Dalton or Cam Newton. Those are the only two choices in this situation, but the choice will be a very difficult one to make at that.
When I originally started writing this, I was going to be fair and admit that I am a big fan of Cam Newton's which made me want to choose him badly, but in an even more fair decision was going to choose Andy Dalton because I felt that he was more deserving.
But then I began to write, I came to the conclusion that wasn't necessarily true...at all. The more I tried to compare the two, the more I realized that this is a decision that I truly cannot make, and thank goodness, I will not be the one that will have to.
Talking wins and playoff chances, this award is far and away Andy Dalton's, however what Cam Newton has done and will continue to do statistically will be unmatched by any rookie.
To try and make a decision, here are the different factors relating to the two.
For starters, let's compare their NFL beginnings. Newton came in with ultra-hype and expectation as the top overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, while Dalton was chosen as the 35th overall pick from the second round, with little to no expectations and almost no confidence from his organization for him to the be their starter. So in that regard, Dalton has defied the odds, but then again so has Newton as so many vocalized that he was not suitable as the first pick.
When considering the two, the first question was simple, who is winning. Now Newton has done all that he can in a number of games, and his team has still not won. However, the goal is to get victories, and Dalton has done that.
Dalton has the Bengals sitting at 5-2 in second place in the AFC North just behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and in the playoff chase. Already, he has won more games than the Bengals did last year when they went 4-12.
Newton, on the other hand, has the Panthers at 2-6, at the bottom of the NFC South and, probably safe to say, out of the playoff chase. With just a 2-14 season last year, Newton has not yet to improve the team's record, although I'm sure he will before the season over.
With Dalton edging out Newton for the most important statistic winning, it seems that would seal the deal, but these next two stats are where the decision gets substantially harder.
Obviously, talking passing yards, Dalton and Newton do not even compare. Newton has proved every critic wrong on his way to 2,393 passing yards already on the season. Not only is this number unreal, but in each of his first two games of his career, Newton passed for over 400 yards, destroying records. These stats alone could be enough reason to give him the nod.
Furthermore, Newton has accumulated 319 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. Yardage-wise, he is second only to Vick for quarterbacks, but touchdown-wise he is second to no quarterback. In fact, Newton is third in the league overall for rushing touchdowns, behind only Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy, two of the most elite running backs currently playing in the NFL.
Dalton, on the other hand, has just 19 rushing yards for one touchdown.
The two's completion percentages are nearly the same with Dalton just edging out Newton 62.4 to 60.6, but for passer rating, Newton edges out Dalton 87.1 to 82.7.
Touchdowns to interceptions, Newton has 11 touchdowns to nine interceptions while Dalton has nine touchdowns to seven interceptions.
Here are the stats, decide for yourself, but both quarterbacks are great players. Even if Dalton does beat out Newton this year based on wins, with the kind of numbers Newton is putting up, he has easily one of the brightest futures of any young player in the league today and will undoubtedly redefine what it means to play quarterback.
This one is going to come down to final stats and biased voting