Week 1 Review of the NFL

Cam Newton has arrived
Now I could spout off some of the greatest quarterbacks who have ever played the game.  If I had told you that in their first game in the NFL they didn’t pass for over 400 yards and throw for at least two touchdowns, you might think I was crazy.  Well, it’s a fact that none of those great quarterbacks had the kind of debut that rookie Panthers QB Cam Newton did.  
I’m not saying that Mr. Newton is going to be the next big thing. Far from it.  I’ve made my opinion known that he shouldn’t have been allowed to play in some of Auburn’s games last year based on some information that his dad was being offered money for the services of his son.  Now those allegations were coming from Mississippi State, not Auburn.  That’s just my opinion. 
Do I think any less of Cam Newton as a football player?  No.  Why would I?  You can’t teach the kind of physical ability that he has. Especially for a quarterback.  That’s why he was chosen with the number one overall pick by Carolina.  The Panthers had a dismal 2010 season and Newton brings them some credibility.  Do I think Cam Newton will ever repeat this performance again?  Probably not.  He doesn’t have to.  The Panthers have a good running game that won’t allow for Newton to be throwing the ball down the field all the time.  Also he won’t be playing against the Arizona defense every week.  Leaving WR Steve Smith in single coverage still bugs me as I’m typing this.
Regardless of what anyone thought, Newton had a hell of a game and I will acknowledge that.  Those who thought he wouldn’t amount to anything are eating some crow.  I wasn’t one of them, but I didn’t think that kind of performance would come from his first game.
Saints vs. Packers
The NFL couldn’t have had a better opening game.  Yes, I like so many others don’t like having one game start the season on a Thursday.  Nor do I like having two Monday Night Football games, but that’s beside the point.  Putting the last two Super Bowl champions on display was a stroke of genius by the NFL.  
You have QB Drew Brees playing for the New Orleans Saints and QB Aaron Rodgers playing for the Green Bay Packers.  Of course we think in the back of our minds that with the Packers 4th championship banner being unveiled that they will somehow have a Super Bowl hangover going into this game.  That wasn’t the case.
The Packers had a 28-17 halftime lead.  Although the score indicates the game was close.  It really wasn’t.  It was a one-sided affair.  The Saints are a resilient team though.  Even after giving up a kickoff return for a touchdown by rookie WR Randall Cobb, the Saints still scored two touchdowns in the second half to come within 8 points of taking the game into overtime.  
Two things were proven after this game.  One.  Both of these teams should be forces to be reckoned with this entire season.  As long as they each have their franchise quarterbacks playing in every game, they will be in the playoffs.  And two.  Aaron Rodgers better be in everyone’s top 5 QB list after this game.  If you thought Cam Newton’s game was great.  Rodgers’ stats tell it all for him; 312 yards, 77% completion percentage, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.
A repeat in Dallas?

Last years problems for the Cowboys started during the first game of the season.  They tried to make something out of nothing to end the first half against the Washington Redskins and it resulted in a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.  To make matters worse, they could have won the game at the end, but a holding penalty cost the Cowboys the game.
Isn’t that kind of what happened against the Jets this past Sunday night?  Dallas was in control the entire game.  QB Tony Romo looked great.  He was poised in the pocket and made plays when he had to.  His opponent, QB Mark Sanchez of the Jets was lost for most of the game.  Nothing was working for the Jets as they had hoped.  Then with the Cowboys up 24-17 and at the goal line of the Jets.  Romo decides to run up the middle of the line with no clear sight of the endzone and promptly fumbles the football.  Jets ball.
The Jets couldn’t make anything happen, so the Cowboys did get the ball back.  However, they fell asleep on special teams as their punt attempt was blocked and then returned for the game tying touchdown.  Even with that, the Cowboys still had a chance to win the game.  Driving down the field Tony Romo was trying to find his best receiver Dez Bryant.  But Bryant was cramping up for most of the second half and wasn’t the same.  The Jets had their best CB Darrelle Revis covering Bryant and when Romo threw the ball in Bryant’s direction, Revis intercepted it which resulted in former Cowboys K Nick Folk winning the game with a field goal.
Almost all of it was so similar to last seasons start for Dallas.  I don’t know why Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thought it was a good idea to say that Tony Romo, for 3 quarters, played the best football that he had seen.  Maybe he thinks it would be a morale boost or maybe Jerry just wanted his name in the papers.  I don’t know. What I do know is that this could linger for the rest of the season just like last year.  It’s a new head coach in Jason Garrett, but he was the offensive coordinator last year and this is now his bus.  He has to keep it on the road.

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