MVP: QB Cam Newton, CAR
Season Stats: 3,837 yds, 35 tds, 10 ints, 636 yds (rush), 10 tds (rush), 4.8 ypc
There were a lot of Carolina Panthers players who emerged in 2015 and who are deserving of some of the credit for their teams magical 14-1 season. Josh Norman for example, was a no-name player last season and has become one of the best lockdown corners in the NFL. And while Norman and the rest of the Panthers defense certainly deserve credit, no individual player on Carolina’s roster deserves more praise for the team’s season than Cam Newton.
Newton has always been one to dance and celebrate his accomplishments, but this season was different. He carried himself with a different type of swagger in 2015. Perhaps, it was the improved offensive line, or perhaps he was inspired by head coach Ron Rivera. But one thing was clear in 2015, Newton was sick of losing.
His 2015 campaign should be placed in the dictionary next to the phrase “putting the team on your back” as he accounted for 45 total touchdowns this season–35 passing and 10 rushing–still with nobody to throw to! Kelvin Benjamin was out for the year before the season began, which meant Cam had to lean on Greg Olsen and Tedd Ginn Jr. (a.k.a. the King of Drops) in the passing game.
Still, Newton got the job done. He lead his team to a 14-1 record, a first-round bye in the playoffs and home field advantage throughout. This isn’t the same Cam Newton who would run backwards in an attempt to evade a defender only to get sacked 15 yards in the backfield, nor is it the Cam Newton who would get cocky and fire footballs into tight windows that resulted in picks.
What we’re seeing now is a whole new Cam Newton. He reads the defense, makes adjustments, makes the right decisions, and does whatever he has to in order for his team to win the game. That’s why his team won 14 games this season and that’s why he’s the unquestioned MVP of the league.
Runner Up: QB Carson Palmer, ARI