Why did the voters choose Newton over Wilson?
First of all, it has to be said two different Newton and Wilson are in character. Newton loves to be seen and heard as the team leader and is very aware of the profile he projects, whereas Wilson is a much more humble character that turns up and does his job and lets others consider how good he is.
So a character like Newton draws attention to himself, which is a useful asset when trying to win votes as long as you play well. This was Newton’s fifth year in the NFL and in Carolina, the previous season they had been a 5-8-1 team and turned that around to a 15-1 record in 2015. Whereas Wilson’s Seahawks went from 12-4 to 10-6 and finished second in the NFC West.
So perception-wise, one team or individual has turned things around, whereas the other has actually declined in terms of wins produced. What did their individual stats say?
Newton 296 completions for 3,837 yards and 35 TDs passing-wise, Wilson made 329 completions for 4,024 yards and 34 TDs. On the ground, Wilson rushed for 508 yards and 4 TDs whereas Newton rushed for 636 yards and 10 TDs.
Total scrimmage yards and TDs wise Wilson had 4,532 yards and 38 TDs against Newton’s 4,473 yards and 45 TDs.
Therefore Newton had the edge stats-wise and particularly in the team record, which added to the fact that Newton had the appearance of turning the Panthers around single-handedly led voters to lean towards him.
So perception was a factor here, but more so that you will not win the MVP unless your team is seen to have improved beyond expectation and must win their division for you to be considered for the MVP award.
Let’s not take it away from Cam Newton, 2015 was a great season for him.