Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Both quarterbacks reached the Super Bowl in their fifth season. Flacco won and Newton lost. Which quarterback was better overall through their first-five seasons?
Regular Season -
Joe Flacco (2008-2012): 54-26 record, 18,063 combined yards, 109 total touchdowns, 74 total turnovers
Cam Newton (2011-2015): 45-32-1 record, 21,470 combined yards, 160 total touchdowns, 79 turnovers
Post Season -
Joe Flacco: 9-4 record, 2,764 combined yards, 20 total touchdowns, 11 total turnovers
Cam Newton: 3-3 record, 1,693 combined yards, 10 total touchdowns, 11 total turnovers
Both franchise quarterbacks have proven themselves to be quite durable, with Flacco starting every game in his first 5 season and Newton only missing 2. It is logical that Newton has better regular season statistics but a worse winning percentage than Flacco. The Panthers needed Cam to do more than they Ravens needed from Joe early in his career.
However, there is no denying Newton's dual threat ability. Cam's MVP season was outstanding, he posted a whopping total of 45 combined touchdowns with 4,473 combined yards in his Year 5 regular season. The postseason is where Flacco shines. In his year four and year five postseasons combined, Joe averaged 278 total yards per game with a touchdown to turnover ratio of 15 to 2.
Flacco and Newton each had excellent starts to their NFL careers. In determining who was better, it really boils down to regular season MVP vs. Super Bowl MVP. The choice should be clear.