Apparently, Panthers fans were so giddy about rookie quarterback Cam Newton’s performance in his debut that they forgot to vote for him in NFL.com’s Pepsi Rookie of the Week contest.
Packers receiver Randall Cobb won the award instead. Cobb scored two touchdowns in the season opener at Lambeau Field — one on a 108-yard kickoff return, despite coach Mike McCarthy’s order not to bring it out, and the other on a pass reception that came after he ran the wrong route.
Though Cobb’s accomplishments were significant, Newton’s 422 passing yards, a record for a rookie debut, seem to have been more noteworthy. But that’s one of the realities of a popular vote; players from the more popular teams tend to do better in the final tabulation.
Newton and Cobb will go head to head this weekend in Charlotte, when the Packers face the Panthers.
The other finalists for the award were Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.