The NFL MVP race has been Cam Newton's to lose all season and while the playoffs don't account for the most valuable player award, the Carolina Panthers quarterback has shown everyone why he deserves to win this year.
Newton is the last man standing among the main candidates for the award with Carson Palmer, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson all out of the playoffs. Newton has been the leader of the race all season while helping the Panthers start 14-0 and finishing with the best record in football. Newton put up strong stats this season and now he has the Panthers into the Super Bowl.
Here is a look at the top candidates for the award:
Cam Newton, Panthers
Newton had a fantastic regular season for the Panthers, leading the team to a 15-1 record while putting up 45 total touchdowns. Newton threw for 3837 yards and 35 touchdowns and also added 636 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Newton's playoff performances don't factor into the MVP voting, but he has shown everyone why he should be the most valuable player this year.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals
Palmer had a dreadful performance in the NFC title game, but he had a great season for the Cardinals and deserves MVP consideration. Palmer had over 4600 passing yards and 35 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions. Palmer returned from a serious knee injury and had a career season, leading the Cardinals to a 13-3 record.
Tom Brady, Patriots
Brady put up some of the best numbers of his career and had the Patriots into the playoffs as the second seed in the AFC. Brady threw for 4770 yards and 36 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. The Patriots offense dealt with numerous injuries, but that didn't stop Brady from having a great year. The team saw players like Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski all miss various amounts of time.