Cam Newton's 2011 Still Among the Best QB Rookie Campaigns This Century

Cam Newton took the league by storm in 2011.
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It didn't take Cam Newton long to win over Carolina Panthers fans or to prove to the rest of the NFL that he was legit star. His 2011 rookie season went down as one of the best in league history, throwing for a then-NFL record 4,051 yards.

Newton completely changed the direction of the Panthers' offense and did so immediately, leading the team to a fifth place finish in points per game that year (25.4). What makes that year even more impressive is heading into that season, the Panthers really didn't have a proven commodity aside from Steve Smith Sr. as far as pass catchers are concerned. This was also Greg Olsen's first year in Carolina and at that point, he wasn't the Greg Olsen that was viewed as one of the top tight ends in the league.

According to The 33rd Team, Newton has the fourth-best rookie quarterback season since 2000.

"Like most of his career, Cam Newton’s rookie season is underrated, as he carried a heavy load for the offense. He had 596 dropbacks, ninth among rookies in the 2011 season. Newton also had 117 rushing attempts for 713 yards and 0.27 EPA per rush. Only 59.3 percent of Newton’s pass attempts were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, which put a ton of his shoulders to push the ball downfield. Given the rate of deeper throws, his 60 percent completion rate looks more favorable, and his success rate ranks sixth among rookies. He’s the only rookie with multiple 400-yard passing games in the regular season."

Dan Pizzuta

The only three rookie year's ranked ahead of Newton were Russell Wilson (2012), Robert Griffin III (2012), and Dak Prescott (2016). The only one I would disagree with is RG3. He did have a phenomenal year and I'm not discrediting that, but Newton threw for 800 more yards and had eight more total touchdowns.


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