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Newton vs. Wilson: The New Manning vs. Brady

The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks have turned into one of the league's biggest rivalries and Cam Newton and Russell Wilson lead the charge as two young quarterbacks on the cusp of greatness.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have become two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and their battles with each other, frequently in the postseason, have become must-see TV.

But with their age increasing and their careers on the back end, a new crop of quarterbacks will look to take their place. And a new quarterback battle may already be taking over.

Cam Newton vs. Russell Wilson: the next big quarterback rivalry.

These two young quarterbacks are on the rise towards elite status and have turned their respective teams into consistent contenders in the NFC; much like Manning and Brady in their primes.

Both Newton and Wilson represent the new-age of quarterback play in the NFL and are already establishing themselves as top talent at the position. With their combination of rushing ability and big-arm strength, these two are entering their peak years ready to take the torch from the veterans.

These two already have a number of notable performances and big-game battles. They have faced off with each other five times since they’ve entered the league and this Sunday’s Divisional matchup will mark the sixth in the last four seasons alone, and the second time they’ve met in the postseason. Wilson and the Seahawks have the 4-1 edge but the Panthers have certainly gained ground.

Wilson has obviously had greater success in his young career to this point with two Super Bowl appearances already under his belt including one ring. Since he joined the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 as third-round pick, he has a 46-18 record to go with a 7-2 postseason record.

Newton has experienced plenty of individual success with three Pro Bowl nods and his first All-Pro selection this season while also winning Rookie of the Year in 2011 and most recently, leading the Panthers to three straight NFC South titles. But the postseason success is lacking for Newton as he’s just 1-2 and overall is just 45-32-1 with one more season played.

Statistics-wise, these two are fairly similar with Wilson having the slight edge in passing to Newton’s advantage in rushing.

 

Cam Newton (5th Year)

Russell Wilson (4th Year)

Comp. %

59.6%

64.7%

Pass YDs

18,263

13,974

Pass TDs

117

106

INTS

91

34

Rush YDs

3,207

2,430

Rush TDs

43

12

Stats aside though, if this season was any indication, these two will soon lead the next Colts-Patriots-esque conference rivalry.

This 2015 season saw both quarterbacks take massive strides towards stardom and success as quarterbacks, essentially willing their teams to victory on multiple occasions with less than stellar talent beside them.

Newton experienced arguably his best season as a pro, truly commanding the Panthers’ offense to become the number one scoring team in the league (31.3-ppg) while making huge progress in the mental aspect of his game with his pre-snap reads and audibles. The Carolina quarterback also saw his best season in touchdown-interception ratio (35-10) and added another 10 scores on the ground to lead the league in total touchdowns.

Wilson had far and away his best season as a passer in 2015. He set career highs in yards (4,024), touchdowns (34) and completion percentage (68.1%) in a season that saw the quarterback end the season with 24 touchdowns to just one interception in his last seven games.

The Panthers-Seahawks matchups, or Newton-Wilson as they may soon be classified as, are traditionally known for low-scoring defensive bouts with one or two big plays making the difference, usually in Seattle’s favor. But the most recent battle in Week 6 of this season saw a bit more offensive firepower and showed where this rivalry is likely headed in the future.

Newton and Wilson are two of the most dynamic playmakers in the entire league. They not only possess the skills to sling the ball deep and lead their team in crunch time through the air, but also can be arguably more dangerous when they tuck the ball and run. Running quarterbacks tend to be exposed at times when they are forced to throw but these two have instead turned that into just another strength in their arsenal making them almost indefensible; a true nightmare for opposing defenses.

Their playing styles will change as they grow older in this league; it’s inevitable. But right now, their never-before-seen abilities and unmatched playmaking skills make them the most exciting quarterback duo in the league since Manning and Brady. And that doesn’t figure to change anytime soon.

Twitter: @TheKenanGoyette


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