Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was voted NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award by a committee of sports writers and broadcasters. Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown received the second most votes with 10, eight fewer than Newton.
Newton led his team to Super Bowl 50, which will unfold on Sunday afternoon in San Francisco. During the regular season, he had 35 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing, an astounding number when you consider that he scored more touchdowns this year than Tampa Bay's Doug Martin, an All-Pro running back.
Antonio Brown also had an impressive season, catching 136 passes for 1,834 yards, an average of 13.5 yards-per-play. That statistic is even more astounding when you consider that Brown saw relatively little action when his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, was sidelined with injury at the beginning of the season. Against Baltimore in Week 4, Brown was targeted only five times for 42 yards. Against San Diego in Week 5, he was targeted three ties for 45 yards. His worst week came against the Arizona Cardinals when he totaled a dismal 24 yards on three catches. When Roethlisberger was at the helm, Brown was much more productive. He had an incredible 17 receptions and 284 yards against Oakland in Week 9 and 16 completions for 189 yards against the vaunted Broncos defense in Week 15.
If Brown and Roethlisberger had been able to play together for the entirety of the season, he likely would have broken Marvin Harrison's NFL record for most pass receptions in a season (143). Brown had over 1,600 receiving yards two seasons in a row, only the second player in NFL history (the other is Calvin Johnson) to accomplish such a feat.
While Brown was an offensive phenom this year, Newton is in the limelight ahead of Super Bowl 50. The Panthers finished the season with a 15-1 record and have absolutely crushed their opponents so far this postseason. If both Brown and Roethlisberger stay healthy for the entirety of the 2016 season, expect some record-breaking numbers from Brown, and, hopefully, Offensive Player of the Year honors.