Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton came out on top against Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer this past Sunday as the Carolina Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 49-15, in the NFC Championship game.
It was the first post-season matchup between starting Heisman-winning quarterbacks in NFL history. Unfortunately, only one could advance to Super Bowl 50 and it was Newton who did so in dominating fashion. Auburn’s 2010 stiff-arm winner completed 19 of 28 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 47 yards and two scores to push Carolina’s record to 17-1 on the season. The victory sets up a matchup with Denver in two weeks.
“We’ve been dreaming about this moment since Day 1,” Newton told the media after the game. “Our pen has a lot more ink left.”
It was a rough ending to a fantastic season for Palmer, who threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted four times.
“I kept digging us in a hole and we just couldn’t come out of it,” Palmer said.
Newton, meanwhile, will be the first Heisman winner to start a Super Bowl at quarterback since Jim Plunkett did so in the 1984 game against the Washington Redskins. When he takes the field against Denver, it will be the 27th time that a Heisman winner has appeared in a Super Bowl.
More remarkably, Newton now has a chance to catch Marcus Allen as the most decorated player in football history.
Allen is the only player to win a national championship in college, a Heisman Trophy, a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP award and an NFL MVP award. Like Allen, Newton already has his college title and Heisman, and he has a shot at claiming the last three milestones in the next few weeks.
Here’s a list of the Heisman winners on Super Bowl rosters:
Heisman winners on Super Bowl rosters
1967 – Mike Garrett (Kansas City), Paul Hornung* (Green Bay)
1968 – Billy Cannon (Oakland)
1970 – Mike Garrett* (Kansas City), John Huarte* (Kansas City)
1971 – Roger Staubach (Dallas)
1972 – Roger Staubach* (Dallas)
1976 – Roger Staubach (Dallas)
1978 – Roger Staubach* (Dallas), Tony Dorsett (Dallas)
1979 – Roger Staubach (Dallas), Tony Dorsett (Dallas)
1980 – John Cappelletti (Los Angeles Rams)
1981 – Jim Plunkett* (Oakland)
1982 – Archie Griffin (Cincinnati)
1984 – Marcus Allen* (Los Angeles Raiders), Jim Plunkett* (Los Angeles Raiders)
1988 – George Rogers* (Washington)
1997 – Desmond Howard (Green Bay Packers)
2000 – Eddie George (Tennessee)
2001 – Ron Dayne (New York Giants)
2003 – Tim Brown (Oakland), Charles Woodson (Oakland)
2004 – Chris Weinke (Carolina)
2009 – Matt Leinart (Arizona)
2011 – Charles Woodson* (Green Bay)
2016 – Cam Newton (Carolina)
* – won Super Bowl