Just as with Hollywood, it’s awards season for the NFL. And even as Leonardo DiCaprio looks like a lock to win the best actor Oscar for “The Revenant,” Cam Newton seems like a sure thing to win the AP Most Valuable Player award for his starring role with the Carolina Panthers.
The latest evidence that it’s simply Newton’s year, at least in terms of individual honors, came Wednesday, when the Pro Football Writers of America named the quarterback MVP, as well as offensive player of the year. The PFWA also named Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt as its defensive player of the year.
The PFWA cited the fact that Newton led the NFL with 45 total touchdowns, including an unprecedented combination of 35 through the air and 10 on the ground. He finished the regular season with 3,837 yards and 10 interceptions on 59.7% passing, with 636 rushing yards.
However, the most significant number attached to Newton is likely “1,” as in the number of losses his Panthers suffered this season. The team won it first playoff game to improve its record to 16-1, and it is preparing to host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in the NFC championship game.
Newton had already been named the Sporting News offensive player of the year, as well as a first-team all-pro. At just 26 years of age, he’s already in his fifth NFL season, after having been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
The AP NFL awards, which essentially serve as the official league honors, will be announced on Feb. 6, a day before Super Bowl 50.