NFC South Rookie of the Week- Cam Newton
Though it's far down of the list after the records of rushing TDs by a QB and the soon to be set rookie passing record Cam Newton won the Pepsi rookie of the week for the second time in 2011. While his game against the Houston Texans in week 15 may not have been his best game statisically as a pro, it was by far his best game mentally. Thus far the one thing we'd seen lacking from Newton as a QB was his ability to keep his team together when other phases of the game were crumbling; it's this elite ability that separates the Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady's of the NFL with the Tony Romo's. In a hostile enviornment with his defense faltering Cam Newton managed to put together fantastic drives to close out the win and ensure the Carolina Panthers would get their 5th win of the season.
Thanks to the abnormally long layoff the Falcons are suffering from I didn't get a chance to see Jones last Sunday. We did talk about his excellent game against Jacksonville though. So long as Jones can remain healthy hell be a stud in the NFL for the next decade.
Quietly Clayborn continues to be the only thing worth watching for the Bucs right now. While he may not be getting the notice he deserves on a national level, that doesn't mean he's not having an extremely solid season. Last week Clayborn managed to a sack, a safety and a forced fumble against the Cowboys. If Tampa are able to make the changes they need at the top and bring in a defensive guru then the sky is the limit for Clayborn.
Missed last week's game Ingram has also been bit by the injury bug at times this season, and at other times he's been mediocre. I don't know what the future brings for him, but as it stands it appears the Saints may have given up too much to get a so-so running back.
Is that... wait... a statistic? Thus far Cameron Jordan has looked like a completely wasted pick by the Saints as he hasn't managed to move the needle at all in 2011. Last week against the Vikings though he managed to get a safety, easily his biggest play of the year. Ultimately though it looks like New Orleans may have whiffed on two first rounders in 2011, because neither look like elite players.