TEMPE, Ariz. -- The NFL MVP race is slowly becoming a one-man show.
After Sunday's impressive performance of 340 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and five touchdowns, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has put enough distance between himself and both Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to become the clear-cut favorite.
While Palmer might have the better all-around team and Brady might be the better quarterback, Newton has continued to prove his value to the Panthers. He's doing it with his arm and feet and just continues to win.
While Newton made NFL history against the New York Giants, Palmer reached a few personal milestones with his performance Sunday night. Brady continued to right the ship in New England with the Patriots' second straight win.
Here's a look at the how the top three MVP candidates stack up with two games left in the regular season:
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona: His historic season continued. Palmer set a career high Sunday night for yards thrown in a season, with 4,277 through Sunday's game. He also tied his career high of 32 touchdown passes in an impressive 40-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles that clinched the NFC West for Arizona. He still leads the NFL in yards per attempt, yards per dropback and quarterback rating. He's also third in passing yards and touchdowns.
Analysis: He continues to show he's the truest definition of the word "valuable" among the three players vying for the NFL's top award. Palmer has guided the Cardinals to a franchise-best 12 wins this season, and Sunday was their eighth win in a row. But Palmer might have picked the wrong season to have a breakout year. If Newton weren't playing at the level he is this season, Palmer would be the front-runner, but it's difficult to compete with Newton's numbers and impact on the Panthers.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina: The Panthers improved to 14-0 by surviving the New York Giants 38-35, led by Newton's season-high 340 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He became the first player in NFL history with five passing touchdowns and 100 rushing yards in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Newton has thrown the second-most touchdown passes and leads the NFL with 40 combined passing and rushing touchdowns.
Analysis: As good as Palmer has been this season, nobody in the NFL has done as much for his team as Newton. He has been on the field for 660 of Carolina's 923 plays in which he was either the decision-maker or ball carrier after the snap, which accounts for 72 percent of the Panthers' total snaps. Newton has the second-lowest percentage of passing yards gained after the catch among NFL quarterbacks and 40 of Carolina's 49 touchdowns this season were either thrown or run by Newton.
Tom Brady, QB, New England: Statistically, Brady is having a season worthy of the NFL MVP. He leads the NFL in passing touchdowns, passing yards, passing touchdowns-to-interception ratio and passing first downs. He rebounded from consecutive losses to lead the Patriots on a two-game winning streak. He threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Analysis: Where Brady is losing the race for the MVP is his less impressive recent stretch. Granted, he won 10 straight to open the season, but he went on to lose two games to playoff-caliber teams, including the Eagles, and he has since led the Patriots to wins against teams with losing records the past two weeks.