Do I have your attention yet? I'm going to be making the case for why Cam Newton, our phenom rookie QB, should be voted into this year's Pro-Bowl. In my mind, it's still an uphill battle. There are plenty of other QBs putting up very good numbers (even the likes of Alex Smith deserves to be in consideration). But simply put, Cam's performance is fundamentally more than just that of a simple QB and like Vick when he first entered the league, he is simply in a different league from other QBs.
At first glance, there is a lot of stiff competition for Cam getting into the Pro-Bowl this year in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers is perhaps the best QB in the NFC right now and that is followed very closely by Drew Brees. I don't think there is any question when it comes to those two. They will get in.
The rest of the field is very, very crowded. As far as QB rating, Cam isn't even close to the top, in large part due to the number of interceptions he has thrown vs. the number of touchdowns. In the NFC, he has a QBR of only 82.4 which is good enough for only 9th out of 16, so not even in the top half. Ahead of him are the likes of Tony Romo (97.3), Eli Manning (96.0), and Alex Smith (94.9) (and of course Rodgers and Brees). QBR really is meant to determine the passing effectiveness of a particular player, and in that regard he compares well, but does not exceed some of the other contenders.
But to determine a quarterback's Pro-Bowl eligibility solely off of their QBR really wouldn't do anyone justice. I am loathe to make this comparison, but look no further than Michael Vick's time with the Atlanta Falcons to measure this. Vick was never a complete quarterback then, but he made the Pro Bowl three times during his stint in Atlanta, once in 2002, 2004, and 2005. During that time his highest QBR was just an 81.6 in 2002 when he completed just 54.9% of his passes for 2936 yards, with 16 TDs and 8 Ints, but adding another 777 yards on the ground rushing with 8 TDs.
Through 12 games, Cam Newton has already thrown for more yards (3297) by completing over 60% of his passes and rushed for nearly as many (518). He hasn't thrown as many TDs and has more Ints (13:14), but has added many more TDs on the ground, setting the record for rushing TDs by a QB at 13. Not only has he set that record, but he leads all players in the entire NFL in rushing TDs for any position, beating out LeSean McCoy who is in 2nd with 12. To me, that is just incredible.
One thing to remember is that the season still isn't over yet. As it stands, Newton is on a course to throw for over 4000 yards (4396.8 yards at his current pace). He has already set several records in his own right. I believe he will easily surpass Peyton Manning's rookie passing yards record. He not only shattered the record for rushing TDs , but set the NFL-wide record for that category. And there's still 4 games left to play. Another record no one has mentioned yet that Newton already owns is the most total TDs scored by a rookie. The previous holder was Gale Sayers who scored 26 TDs in 2002. Newton already has 26 total TDs (13 rushing and 13 passing). One more in his sights though is the rookie rushing TD record held by Eric Dickerson who scored 18 TDs during is 1983 rookie season. Newton will need to add another 5 TDs on the ground over the next 4 weeks to pass that record. Not entirely infeasible, but at his current pace he comes up just 1 TD shy.
For Newton to have achieved so much his rookie season is bewildering. Truly, who ever would have expected this kind of production from him? In spite of all this, no one is really talking about the Pro-Bowl worthy performance by our QB. You can argue all you want about the collective team performances of the likes of Andy Dalton and some of the other Rookies out there, but Cam truly eclipses them all.
This season isn't just ROY worthy. It's not simply Pro-Bowl worthy either. This season will go down as one of the best performances by a rookie in the history of the NFL and a phenomenal season for a player in it's own right. And if that's not worthy of the previous two aforementioned awards... I simply don't know what is.