Peyton Manning says Cam Newton is NFL MVP

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Cam Newton is the unanimous MVP selection among NFL Media analysts.

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The Carolina Panthers' dual-threat quarterback is also Peyton Manning's choice for MVP honors.

"He's just had this incredible year. There's no doubt in my mind he's going to be the MVP on Saturday night," Manning said on Opening Night of Super Bowl 50 festivities. "What he's done in the short time being an NFL quarterback, he's been awesome. He's been awesome. That's the best word I can think of.

"He's been a great passer, he's been a great runner, he's been a great leader. You don't go 17-1 as a starting quarterback without being awesome. And that's what he's been this year without a doubt."

For his part, Newton responded favorably to Manning's opinions. "Anything The Sheriff says you can probably ink it in gold," Newton said.

It was not only a classy tribute from one of the most respected athletes of the 21st century, but perhaps also a passing of the torch from one generation of quarterbacks to the next.

"I've never seen one like him," Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips raved. "And neither has anyone else."

If this is truly the year of Cam Newton, he will follow Saturday night's NFL Honors award with an MVP performance in Super Bowl 50.