Cam Newton's rank in the spectrum of NFL quarterbacks will always be a hotly debated topic among Carolina Panthers fans. There's no doubting the multi-faceted passer is one of the league's top athletes and most dynamic play makers, but respect as a quarterback continues to elude him. Now there's another member of the national media doubting his abilities and Ron Jaworski's 2014 QB rankings will upset fans.
Jaworski lists Newton as the No.14 quarterback in the league, worse than Colin Kaepernick -- three spots lower than Eli Manning. It's this latter ranking that's most puzzling, especially given Manning is coming off his worst season since entering the league in 2003.
Here's the problem with any rankings that list Manning at No.11 and Newton at No.14: In many ways they're similar players. No, Newton doesn't have Eli's mechanics, nor does the younger Manning have Cam's athleticism -- but both quarterbacks are renowned for their improvisation and ability to gain yards on broken plays.
Newton hasn't had Manning's 11 years in the league, but lets compare the two passers.
- Average passing yards per year -- Manning: 3,213, Newton: 3,766.
- Average yards per attempt -- Manning: 7.06, Newton: 7.70
- Career TD/INT ratio -- Manning: 2.31, Newton: 1.52
- Completion percentage -- Manning: 58.5, Newton: 59.8
- Quarterback rating -- Manning: 81.2, Newton: 86.4
This doesn't factor in rushing yards or touchdowns either, which Newton has a significant edge. Heck, Cam ran for more yards and touchdowns last year than Eli has in his career.
It's easy to sound like a child throwing a tantrum over something as trivial as quarterback rankings, but the continued and sustained criticism of Newton as a quarterback wears on the nerves of the most steely Panthers' fan. Kenneth Arthur of Field Gulls wrote about Newton in regards to Russell Wilson, and while Seahawks fans would prefer their passer, most have a higher appreciation for Newton than Jaworski does.
Frustration achieves very little, and while it's easy to point and laugh at Jaws' last prediction that Colin Kaepernick could become the "greatest of all time," it doesn't stop it from stinging a little.
Quarterback rankings are dumb.