Ranking Cam Newton Against the Best Rookie Campaigns in NFL History
Cam Newton has had a phenomenally productive rookie campaign. After a stellar single season leading the Auburn Tigers to a National Championship, Newton hit the ground running in Carolina and immediately put up some huge numbers.
But where does he rank among the best rookie QBs of all time? Click through the slideshow to find out.
*Disclaimer: Individual players DO NOT win NFL games, especially rookies. If you want to argue about X QB because they "won" more games, save it (I'm looking at you, Mark Sanchez fans). This list contains players who were asked to do a lot of things by their teams, and delivered more often than not.
5. Peyton Manning
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Peyton Manning began his career as a boom and bust rookie.
One remarkable stat is that Manning registered the third most passing attempts in his career during his rookie season with 575. While that was certainly a questionable strategy on the Colts' part, it goes to show what a pitiful team they were when he joined their ranks.
Few QBs have had the weight of the entire franchise thrust upon him so quickly. While he certainly threw a lot of INTs, 11 of those came in his first four games.
Manning holds the rookie passing TD record at 26, and he is also the guy Cam Newton will be taking the rookie passing yardage record away from next week.
4. Matt Ryan
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In some ways, Matt Ryan was better or just as good during his rookie year as he has been this year. His 61 percent completion rate and 3,400-plus passing yards stand out, as does his 7.5 yards per attempt.
Ryan was another guy, like Cam and Peyton, who was given the reigns from the first day. He did not disappoint, as he was a big part of the Falcons playoff push that season.
3. Cam Newton
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Cam Newton has put up enormous production as a rookie. He has scored 30 total touchdowns this season, and has over 4,300 all-purpose yards on the year.
While he has also thrown 16 interceptions, a lot of that has to do with the all the passes he has been asked to throw—his INT percentage is still an acceptably low 3.5 percent.
Newton has laid a strong foundation to becoming one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in NFL history.
2. Ben Roethlisberger
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The battle between first and second on this list was a very tough decision, and really it's a toss up.
Big Ben completed a mind-blowing 66 percent of his passes in his rookie campaign, a number that many seasoned vets never hit. And those weren't short throws, mind you. Ben had 8.9 yards per attempt that year, and would have been right around 3,000 yards had he played a full 16-game schedule.
He also put up 17 TDs to 11 INTs, which is quite good for a rookie.
Many people will list Big Ben as the best rookie season ever, and I would have a hard time arguing too strenuously against it, but for the fact that the next guy was one of the best QBs in the entire league during his rookie season.
1. Dan Marino
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Dan Marino, as a rookie, had the third best QB rating in the entire league, and also was named starting QB in the Pro Bowl that year. Marino takes the cake because he was wasn't just good as a rookie—he was good period.
His 20 TDs to only six INTs will probably never be surpassed by anyone else, as again, that's a great line regardless of how long you have been in the league. Marino came into the league when passing was far less prolific as it is today, and it a lot of ways was ahead of his time.
Can you imagine any team these days switching to a rookie QB the year after going to the Super Bowl? Yeah, he was that good.