How Seahawks' Russell Wilson stacks up to Panthers' Cam Newton

Russell Wilson and Cam Newton turned in the best regular seasons of their respective careers in 2015.

On Sunday, they'll be on the field together as the Seattle Seahawks travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Below is a look at how the two players compare in a number of categories with an eye toward this weekend's matchup.

Wilson was the more accurate passer, and it wasn't particularly close. Wilson also averaged 8.33 yards per attempt (fourth) compared to 7.75 for Newton (seventh), so this is not a case of one quarterback dinking and dunking. Both guys have shown they are capable of pushing the ball downfield.

Wilson averaged one explosive completion (20-plus yards or more) every 8.05 attempts. Newton averaged one every 9.52 attempts.

In the first meeting back in Week 6, the Panthers produced four explosive pass plays, while the Seahawks had five.

Both quarterbacks put defensive coordinators in a bind. Do they try to prevent Wilson and Newton from leaving the pocket? Or blitz to try to produce pressure?

Newton was blitzed on 39.7 percent of his dropbacks, second most among quarterbacks. And he did damage on a consistent basis, throwing 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions when opponents sent five or more rushers.

Wilson was also very good against the blitz, but he faced extra pressure less than Newton (29.0 percent; 21st).

The Seattle and Carolina defenses have picked their spots when it comes to sending pressure. The Panthers ranked 17th in blitz frequency during the regular season, while the Seahawks ranked 26th. It would be a surprise if either team strayed too far from those numbers Sunday, given how well Newton and Wilson have performed against the blitz.

This one goes hand in hand with the category above and helps explain why both guys have been so good this year. Often when quarterbacks use their athletic ability, critics assume they can't operate from the pocket. But that's not the case with Wilson and Newton.

Wilson's 118.6 passer rating from the pocket was the best single-season mark of any quarterback in the past three years. Newton was also top 10 in the category at 99.8, after finishing 22nd (85.7) in 2014.

Both players can run, but they don't have to run to be effective. If given time, they can do damage from the pocket.

The Panthers use more designed runs than the Seahawks, but as we saw Sunday, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will still call on the read option with Wilson.

The big number that stands out here is 10 -- Newton's rushing touchdowns. Those were all from inside the red zone. In the entire NFL, only Pittsburgh's DeAngelo Williams had more red zone rushing touchdowns than Newton. He's a weapon when the Panthers get close and a big reason they scored touchdowns on 68.3 percent of their red zone trips, the second-best mark in the league.

With his size, Newton had 200 yards after contact, while Wilson (87) is a master at avoiding unnecessary hits.

Both players are among the best in the league at escaping pressure, but since they move around, buy time and scramble, they'll also take some sacks.

It's worth noting that the numbers were different in the second half of the season. From Week 10 on, Wilson was sacked on just 4.9 percent of his dropbacks (eighth), while Newton was sacked 7.2 percent of the time (24th).

* Numbers are courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information, unless otherwise noted.