Quarterback Cam Newton has been named the NFL's Most Valuable Player.
"It means so much, but not just for myself. To be the first person in Panthers history to win it – that's what I'm most proud about," Newton said. "I've received a lot of awards, but to be able to get this organization here, I'm really proud. We didn't get in this position by happenstance. It took years of hard work and dedication, and now we are reaping the benefits."
Newton, who also won Offensive Player of the Year, finished the 2015 regular season with a league-leading 45 total touchdowns, becoming the first player in league history to compile at least 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season.
In addition to his career-high 35 touchdown passes, Newton posted 3,837 passing yards, 636 rushing yards and a 99.4 passer rating.
With Newton directing the unit, Carolina produced the top scoring offense in the NFL for the first time in franchise history with 31.3 points per game. He tossed five touchdown passes in three games this season – something he never accomplished in his first four years.
Newton orchestrated four game-winning drives in 2015, tied for the most in the NFL, and posted a 106.3 passer rating in the fourth quarter. He executed at an extremely high level in the red zone, tossing 24 touchdowns with zero interceptions.
Newton's performance made the players around him better – the ultimate sign of an MVP.
Tight end Greg Olsen posted a career-high 1,104 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, and despite Kelvin Benjamin's season-ending injury in training camp, Newton brought out the best in Carolina's receiving corps.
Wideout Ted Ginn, Jr. recorded a career-high 10 touchdowns receptions. Jerricho Cotchery, Philly Brown and rookie Devin Funchess all posted at least 30 catches and combined for 12 touchdowns.
Newton is the only quarterback in NFL history with 100-plus touchdown passes (117) and 25-plus rushing touchdowns (43) in his first five seasons.
He's also the only player in NFL history to record five seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards.
"I'm so happy for Cam," said head coach Ron Rivera, who was named Coach of the Year. "This validates him, and deservedly so. He's done the things that we've asked of him, and he's developed into a player that a lot of us believed he could be. But for him, there's still more to come."
View top photos of the quarterback's season.