Newton’s dabbin’ seemingly has taken over the sports world from all the dabs I saw in the NBA, NFL and college football over the Thanksgiving weekend.
But ultimately it will come down to performance and how their teams do on the field. That brings us to this week’s question on how much final records will go into determining whether Newton or Brady gets the nod.
NFL Nation reporters Mike Reiss (Patriots) and David Newton (Panthers) provide their thoughts:
Reiss: Wins and losses are always a factor, David. And if Newton leads the Panthers to an undefeated season, that would be his trump card over Brady. Even though these are individual awards, we’d be naïve to overlook the fact that they often go to players whose teams have the most success. As for where things stand now with the Patriots, they are 10-1 and host Philadelphia (Dec. 6), visit Houston (Dec. 13), host Tennessee (Dec. 20) and then wrap up the year with back-to-back road games against the Jets (Dec. 27) and Dolphins (Jan. 3). With key offensive players such as Rob Gronkowski (knee), Julian Edelman (foot) and Danny Amendola (knee) currently dealing with injuries, this could be a struggle, but I don’t see more than two losses over that five-game span for the Patriots. So at worst, Brady’s candidacy would be his performance -- which remains strong,even as parts around him are depleted -- leading a 13-3 team.
Newton: So, Mike, you’re saying Brady won’t be taking dance lessons to level the playing field? You know I’m kidding. And I agree that performance and team success play hand-in-hand here. Because the Panthers (11-0) are the only remaining undefeated team and have a shot to run the table -- New Orleans, the New York Giants, Atlanta twice and Tampa Bay -- the spotlight will shine brightly on Newton. If his performance down the stretch mirrors what he’s done in past seasons, he should have the edge. Newton’s Total Quarterback Ranking for December and January is 72.6 since he came into the league in 2011. That’s significantly higher than his QBR of 53.1 for September through November. Newton averages about 15 yards more a game rushing in December-January as well. That’s helped Newton win 14 games during those two months. Only Brady has more during the same span. If Newton can perform at that level and continue to win, you can go ahead and put his name on the trophy.