Cincinnati Bengals fans undoubtedly thought Andy Dalton should be the NFL's Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, only three of the 50 Associated Press writers agree with them as Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers took home the honors.
Newton and Dalton's quarterbacking stats were almost identical in many areas. Dalton threw 20 touchdown passes to Newton's 21 and both had similar QB ratings, Dalton at 80.4 while Newton was at 84.5. Newton, however, threw for over 4000 yards, breaking Peyton Manning's rookie record and scored an additional 14 touchdowns with his legs.
It could be argued that Dalton was more deserving because of his guiding his team to the playoffs and the defenses that Dalton faced versus those that Newton had to contend with. While Dalton was playing 10 of his 16 games against the top 10 defenses in the NFL, three of which resided in the AFC North, Newton was facing lesser competition in the NFC South and faced only two of the NFL's top 10 defenses.
Bengals' wide receiver AJ Green did not receive any votes for Rookie of the Year despite his outstanding season. Jerome Simpson was also nominated for play of the year for his flip into the end zone against Arizona. Green Bay's Randall Cobb won for his opening night kickoff return against New Orleans.
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