Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton set a league record with 854 yards passing during the first two games of the season, breaking Kurt Warner's record in 2000 when he posted 827 yards with the St. Louis Rams. Tom Brady answered by shattering Newton's three-hour old record posting 920 yards passing of his own during New England's first two games of the season. That being said Newton also set a league record throwing for 432 yards passing on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers and he's the first player to ever record back-to-back 400-yard passing games to begin a career.
What Newton has done is impressive; we can't take that away from him nor is it our right to do so. But from a Bengals perspective, Newton is also the reason why Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green will likely get shafted for offensive rookie of the year candidacy.
Consider that of the major statistics, Newton's primary argument over Dalton is yards. The Bengals rookie quarterback sports a higher completion percentage, just as many touchdowns, four fewer interceptions and a passer rating nearly 20 points higher than Newton. Further compounding the argument is that wide receiver A.J. Green leads all rookie wide receivers with 11 receptions, 165 yards receiving, two touchdowns, nine first down receptions and is tied for most 20-yard receptions (4).
Newton is already a media darling, having garnered so much focus during Auburn's championship run (and more attention based on his eligibility due to his father's actions). He's the first overall selection and his historic run during the first two weeks could seal the deal for him, provided he doesn't crash with historical poor performances. And look at it this way? How much talk has Andy Dalton generated in the past 24 hours after posting 280 yards in the second half against the Broncos?
No. It's not surprising and it's very much expected. Quite honestly, that's alright with me. But Red deserves his due as much as Newton.