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3 ways Carson and Cam are alike (and unlike)

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 16:27:00-05

Both men have had MVP-caliber seasons, and both are looking for their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.

The similarities between Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton are definitely there...

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...but when their teams do battle in Sunday's NFC Championship game in Charlotte, you'll notice quite a few differences, as well.

Here are three ways in which Palmer and Newton are alike, and three ways in which they differ.

ALIKE:

1. Heisman winners.

One of the top storylines heading into Sunday's game is this one.

Palmer won the Heisman Trophy in 2002, his final season at USC, while Newton won it with Auburn in 2010 before he led the Tigers to a national title.

2. No. 1 picks.

Both men know what it's like to be the top pick in the NFL Draft. Palmer was selected No. 1 overall by Cincinnati in the 2003 draft and would spend his first eight NFL seasons with the Bengals. Newton was the top pick in the 2011 draft by Carolina.

3. Similarly sized.

With all the talk about Newton's Mack Truck-like physique, you may not realize that he and Palmer are nearly to identical in terms of height and weight. Both men are listed at 6-foot-5, and Newton (245 pounds) is only slightly heavier than Palmer (235 pounds).

DIFFERENT:

1. Contrasting styles.

Palmer and Newton may be similar in height and weight, but their playing styles couldn't be more different. Palmer is the traditional pocket passer who only runs the ball out of necessity, while Newton does some of his best work with his feet rather than his arm.

In fact, Palmer has rushed for just 424 yards and eight touchdowns during his 13-year NFL career. Contrast that with Newton, who rushed for more yards (636) and touchdowns (10) this season alone.

2. Playoff history.

Newton has nine fewer NFL seasons under his belt, but he's already had more playoff success than Palmer has. Palmer earned his first-ever playoff victory in the Cards' overtime win over the Packers on Saturday; Newton earned his second postseason win hours later against the Seahawks.

Newton's first playoff win came last season in a 27-16 home win over the Cardinals -- but Palmer missed that game, as well as the second half of the regular season, with a torn ACL. 

3. Low-key vs. high-energy.

Palmer's drive to win is as strong as any NFL player's, but he doesn't do too much on-field boasting or celebrating -- and when he does, it doesn't tend to end well.

Newton, however, enjoys the occasional celebration...

Or two.