Cam Newton’s record-setting day merited him recognition as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Newton broke the single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with three scores against the Buccaneers in Sunday’s 38-19 victory. He also became the third player (and first quarterback) in NFL history to run for three scores, throw a touchdown and catch a pass in the same game and joined Eric Dickerson as the only players to run for scores in nine of his first 12 games. That kind of success makes Newton the odds-on favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors this season and explains his smile in the picture to the right, if not the reason why some people labeled that smile as fake before the draft.
He’s joined on this week’s honor roll by Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne and Packers punter Tim Masthay. Hawthorne returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown during Thursday’s 31-14 win over the Eagles. The score came with less than five minutes to play in the game, ending any hope of a Philly comeback in the game or down the stretch of the season.
Masthay dropped four punts inside the 20 during Green Bay’s 38-35 win in the Meadowlands. His work consistently left the Giants with long fields to work with, earning him the second NFC Special Teams Player of the Week notice of his career.