Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been named MVP and Offensive Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), while Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was selected as Defensive Player of the Year.
Newton is the first Panther to be chosen as MVP by the writers and the third straight quarterback to take home the award, following Aaron Rodgers (2014) and Peyton Manning (2013). The fifth-year player enjoyed a career-best season, throwing for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also led all quarterbacks with 636 rushing yards and 10 rushing scores. Newton became the first player in NFL history with at least 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season.
Watt captured his third PFWA DPOY award and his second in as many seasons. He joins Bruce Smith and Reggie White as the only players to earn the honor three times, and becomes the first player in NFL history to win the award in back-to-back years. Watt led the league in sacks (17.5), tackles for loss (29) and quarterback hits (50). This was his third campaign with at least 15 sacks, matching White as the lone guys to reach that milestone three times in their first five pro seasons.
Both Newton and Watt were named to the PFWA's All-NFL team earlier this week, and also were honored as first team All-Pro selections by the Associated Press two weeks ago. On Tuesday, PFWA handed out its rookie awards.