The NFL MVP award for 2015 could be a close race this season, but Cam Newton is looking like the favorite to win over Carson Palmer, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson.
All four players put up stats that are good enough to justify winning the award, but Newton has been leading for most of the season and likely has things locked up. The Panthers were undefeated through 14 games this season and finished with the best record in the NFL in no small part because of how Newton played.
The Seahawks, Patriots and Cardinals all dealt with injury issues and while some of those teams may have lost more players than the Panthers did, it doesn't outweigh Newton and how he performed this season. Newton was able to overcome the loss of Kelvin Benjamin before the season started and he also was able opt get things done with Jonathan Stewart banged up.
Here is a look at the main MVP candidates for this season:
Cam Newton, Panthers
Newton could win the award on stats alone and that is why he likely will take the award this year, as his team was the best in the NFL and he was the main reason why. Newton finished the season with 3837 passing yards and 35 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions and he also added over 600 rushing yards with 10 more touchdowns. Newton accounted for 45 touchdowns this season and while he completed less than 60 percent of his passes, he was the ultimate difference maker for the Panthers and is currently the favorite for the award.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals
Palmer came back from serious knee surgery and had the best season of his career with 4671 passing yards and 35 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions. The Cardinals finished second in the NFC and Palmer completed 63 percent of his passes while leading his team to a first round bye in the playoffs. Palmer dealt with Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington getting injured and helped Larry Fitzgerald have a resurgent season for Arizona.
Tom Brady, Patriots
Brady deserves strong consideration for the award based on his stats, but also because of how well he played despite the Patriots dealing with numerous injuries this season. The Patriots saw players like Dion Lewis, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount all miss various amounts of time due to injuries this year. Almost any other team would be devastated by those injuries, but Brady and the Patriots ended up second in the AFC. Brady threw for 4770 yards and 36 touchdowns with just seven interceptions while completing over 64 percent of his passes this season.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Wilson also put up career numbers this season with 4024 passing yards and 34 touchdowns with just eight interceptions and he had to overcome the loss of Marshawn Lynch. Lynch was out for most of the season and that put even more pressure on Wilson, who finished the season completing 68 percent of his passes. In any other year it might be Wilson's award to lose, as he led the Seahawks to a 6-1 finish after a bad start to the season. Wilson also had an amazing stretch with 24 touchdowns and just one interception over the final seven games of the season.
Prediction: Cam Newton wins award over Carson Palmer, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady.