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AFC North

MVP Comp: Cam Newton vs Lamar Jackson

Among the many headlines of the 2020 off-season, the signing of Cam Newton to the New England Patriots is likely one of the top stories. It’s clear that many football fans have forgotten what a talent Cam Newton was, or they simply don’t believe that he can return to form.

With an anticipated upgrade in coaching staff, scheme, and possible situational football, will Cam return to his MVP ways? Only time will tell. For now, we’ll take a look into Cam’s 2015 MVP year and compare that to Lamar Jackson‘s 2019 MVP season – who’s will be better?

Cam Newton’s MVP Season

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In 2015, it seemed like Cam Newton was destined to reach the Superbowl. He and the Panthers earned their ticket to the big show with a 15-1 regular season record, outscoring opponents 500 to 308 on the year.

With the #1-ranked offense, it seemed like nobody could stop Cam and company. Carolina punched their ticket to the Superbowl with a 49-15 blowout of the Arizona Cardinals in the Conference Championship, but couldn’t conquer Denver’s vaunted defense that year.

Newton’s Performance

“Superman” played with a swagger we find rarely among quarterbacks. He was dominant as a passer and rusher, finding the end zone a cumulative 45 times. Though Cam didn’t compete as a league-best passer in attempts or yards, he was extremely efficient.

Tom Brady happened to lead the league in touchdown passes with 36. Newton had 35 touchdown tosses with over 100 fewer attempts than Brady. Newton would finish his 2015 campaign with a 67.0 QB Rating.

Lamar Jackson’s MVP Season

The Baltimore Ravens looked like the team to beat during the 2019 NFL Playoffs. Mike Vrabel and company came in with a smart game-plan that was executed to perfection. Ending the regular season at 14-2, Baltimore handled most of their opponents with ease as the Ravens pushed on towards the playoffs.

Baltimore was also a league-leading offense with 531 points for and only 282 points against. Baltimore exploded as the season progressed, winning 12 straight to close the season. Sadly, Baltimore disappointed by losing in the first round of the playoffs.

Lamar’s Performance

Lamar kicked off the 2019 season with a vengeance. A 5-touchdown passing performance put the “running-back” comments to rest. Jackson accounted for 43 total touchdowns and had a similar efficiency through the air.

With just 265 attempts, Lamar tossed 36 touchdowns, leading the NFL. Jackson also boasted an 81.8 QB Rating. Jackson nearly doubled Cam’s MVP rushing yardage, but with 3 fewer touchdowns.

Lamar Jackson vs Cam Newton

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Both of these quarterbacks have now received one of the NFL’s most prestigious awards. Who did more to deserve it?

These two stacked up with some very interesting statistics. Despite being seemingly-more effective both on the ground and in the air, Lamar Jackson did not outperform Cam Newton overall in his MVP campaign, according to the statistics.

It’s clear that both players performed at an extraordinary level, but with all of the rave around Jackson currently, it’s surprising to note that Cam was just as effective, if not more, during his 2015 campaign.

Of course, nobody can take anything away from Lamar, who set numerous records in 2019 and earned the title of MVP in just his second year, with plenty of room for growth. But for those who forgot just how good Cam was, this might be eye-opening.

Who Wore it Better?

It’s difficult to just go and say if Lamar Jackson is better than Cam Newton, or vice-versa. These players, albeit mobile, have unique styles that make them very different from one another. Add the Greg Roman offense to the equation and you can hardly compare the two.

In each of their campaigns, the MVPs acted and responded much differently to their respective success. So, who was the more like-able MVP? Cam will forever be remembered for his chest pounding, dabbing, and his unique post-game outfits.

Lamar typically let his teammates talk for him, with a few small exceptions. Insert Mark Ingram, “Big Truss”. In a statistical comparison that yields no clear favorite, which MVP quarterback would you prefer to lead your team (in their prime)?

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