The NFL is a league of comparisons- Brady or Manning, Marino or Montana... the list goes on. Fans of football as a whole are always looking for talking points to evaluate one player against another, or try and determine what a player's future will look like. In many ways I think doing a three week comparison of Cam Newton is a fool's pursuit; the season is still young, and especially after yesterday's game it's hard to imagine an evaluation this early would hold any water (pun very much intended).
Nevertheless, I feel it's prudent to compare Cam Newton's first three starts to three different QBs on different parts of the spectrum- Jimmy Clausen who started 10 games as a rookie for the Panthers in 2010, Peyton Manning who started a full season as a rookie, and whose rookie passing record Newton is currently on pace to best, and finally Sam Bradford, the last #1 overall QB pick.
After the jump we'll look at the three week stats for these QBs. I don't intend to draw any major conclusions from these stats, I just present them as a talking point.
Jimmy Clausen, Carolina Panthers- 2010
First three starts (0-3): Cincinnati, New Orleans, Chicago (Combined 2010 W/L: 26-22)
36/76 (47.2%), 395 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT----- QB Rating: 58.0
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts- 1998
First three starts (0-3): Miami, New England, NT Jets (Combined 1998 W/L: 31-17)
62/114 (54.3%), 683 yards, 2 TD, 8 INT---- QB Rating: 50.0
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams- 2010
First three starts (1-2): Arizona, Oakland, Washington (Combined 2010 W/L: 19-29)
69/117 (58.8%), 655 yards, 4 TD, 5 INT---- QB Rating: 72.6
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers- 2011
First three starts (1-2): Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville (Combined 2011 W/L: 5-4)
70/117 (59.8%), 1,012 yards, 4 TD, 4 INT---- QB Rating: 85.1
I'll leave any conclusions to you, but thus far through three games he's looked supremely impressive overall.