A rookie quarterback has been named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month for October, and it’s not Cam Newton.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been given the award, the NFL announced today.
Giving Dalton the honor over Newton is a nod to the Bengals’ 4-0 record in October. Newton’s Panthers were 1-4 in October.
Statistically, Newton clearly had the superior month. Dalton completed 82 of 130 passes for 909 yards, with six touchdowns and five interceptions in October. Newton completed 104 of 170 passes for 1,381 yards, with seven touchdowns and five interceptions in October. And, of course, there’s the little matter of Newton having 38 carries for 221 yards and five rushing touchdowns in October, while Dalton ran seven times for 14 yards and one touchdown in October.
But where Dalton separated himself from Newton, at least in the eyes of the people who select the Rookie of the Month award, is in being at the helm of a team that’s a surprising playoff contender. The Bengals are in the AFC North hunt and have a good shot at a wild-card berth if they don’t win the division. No one saw that when Dalton was first lining up under center in Week One.
Of course, if Newton got to play on a team as good on defense and special teams as the Bengals, he’d likely be in the playoff hunt, too. But Newton is on a team with a terrible defense and special teams. And so Dalton is hailed as a winner, and is the winner of the Rookie of the Month award.