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Panthers Honors: 2013 Offensive Awards

Posted Jan 28, 2014

With the NFL Honors show taking place Saturday, Panthers.com is awarding some honors of its own this week.

We'll start with the offensive awards for the 2013 season.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Quarterback Cam Newton

A no-brainer, quite honestly. The third-year quarterback displayed notable growth and improvement in 2013 while leading the Panthers to 12 wins and the NFC South title.

He completed 292-of-473 passes for 3,379 yards and 24 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. Newton finished second on the team with 585 rushing yards and scored a team-high six rushing touchdowns.

He completed 61.7 percent of his passes and finished with a passer rating of 88.8 – both career-highs.

Newton also proved he could lead his team to come-from-behind victories in 2013. In his first two seasons, Newton and the Panthers recorded two fourth-quarter comeback victories. In 2013, he engineered four.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tight end Greg Olsen, center Ryan Kalil, left tackle Jordan Gross

Olsen posted another productive campaign, recording 73 receptions, 816 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns – all team-highs. Kalil and Gross anchored an offensive line that struggled through injuries, and the two veterans earned well-deserved Pro Bowl trips.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Wide receiver Ted Ginn

I'm not sure anyone expected Ginn to have as much an impact on offense as he did in his first year as a Panther.

Ginn finished with 36 catches for 556 yards and five touchdowns. In the previous three years combined with the San Francisco 49ers, Ginn recorded 33 catches for 384 yards and one touchdown. It marked his most productive year as a receiver since his second NFL season in 2008.

He was the deep threat he was billed to be, but Ginn also emerged as a reliable, playmaking target on short and intermediate routes.

UNSUNG HERO(S): Guards Travelle Wharton and Nate Chandler  

By Week Three the Panthers had lost both starting guards to season-ending injuries. But with Amini Silatolu and Garry Williams out for the year, and backup Chris Scott battling a knee injury, Wharton – a free agent embarking on his second stint with the team – and Chandler – a converted defensive lineman – stepped up to stabilize the front line.

Wharton started 12 games and Chandler started the first eight games of his career.