What do Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III have in common?
Since the Associated Press began awarding NFL Rookie of the Year following the 1967 season, they are the only two quarterbacks to have won the Heisman one year and NFL Rookie of the Year the next.
Both quarterbacks experienced success right out of the gate, defying many critics who questioned whether their duel-threat skillsets would translate to the faster NFL game.
However, in the team’s Week 13 Monday Night Football Matchup vs. the Giants, Griffin III broke Cam Newton’s NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback (706 in 2011). He finished the season with 815 yards rushing.
The rookie was voted NFL Rookie of the Week seven times, compared to Cam Newton’s three. In fact, the only quarterback to claim more rookie of the year awards since its’ inception (2002) was Pittsburgh Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who won nine (2004).
Overall, Newton threw for 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns, and an 84.5 quarterback rating through the air, along with 706 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground in his rookie season; pretty impressive to say the least.
Griffin amassed 20 touchdowns, 3,200 yards, and a 102.4 quarterback rating to accompany 815 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He joined QB Randall Cunningham (1990) as the only players in NFL history to surpass the 3,000-yard mark passing and rush for 800-plus yards.
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Tags: cam newton, NFL, nfl awards, RGIII, Robert Griffin III, rookie of the year
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