The Carolina Panthers are heading to their second Super Bowl and hopefully will be leaving with their first Lombardi Trophy. The reason they are in this position is because quarterback Cam Newton has played incredibly well, arguably better than any player in the league.
Now while the votes have already been cast for league MVP, Newton put an exclamation point on a season that should earn him the award after his performance against the Arizona Cardinals. The Panthers' quarterback has now gone head to head with two players who were in contention for the award (Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer) this postseason and on both occassions was victorious.
In the two playoff games this year, Newton has averaged just under 250 passing yards, 50 rushing yards and has five touchdowns with only one turnover. He has been able to put these numbers up against the second best defense in the regular season (Seattle Seahawks) and the fifth best defense (Arizona Cardinals).
The former first overall pick has improved as the regular season has gone on. Over the first eight games, Newton averaged 227.5 passing yards and 42.87 rushing yards per game with 19 total touchdowns and nine interceptions. In the second half of the year though he averaged 252 passing yards, 36.6 rushing yards per game with 26 total touchdowns and only one interception.
The way he played over the final eight games helped solidify his case for the MVP award, which the voters casted their ballot for the week after the regular season ended. If Newton is to win the award, he will be only the fourth player ever to win the Heisman Trophy and the NFL MVP award, and will be the first quarterback to do it. The last player to accomplish this feat was Detroit Lions' Barry Sanders, who split the MVP award in 1997 with Brett Farve.
The Panthers' have never had a player win MVP and they have never won the Lombardi Trophy. They hope they can cross both off the list next weekend.