A Picture Says a Thousand Words

This is a picture of Cam Newton during the game this past Sunday. Looks like a player focused on one thing: victory.

Here’s some links about the superstar:
-The Challenge of Cam [Chicago Sun Times]
-Cam Newton knows this game in Chicago on Sunday is important. [ESPN Chicago]
-Cam was named rookie of the month. [Panthers.com]
-Jon Gruden loves what he sees from Newton. [Scott Fowler]
-And finally, the local paper wants to know if you’ve seen Cam Newton around town. [Charlotte Observer]

Cannot wait until Sundays to see what this kid pulls off next. I will say this, I would not bet against him on Sunday in Chicago. And if you’re a gambler that +6.5 has to be looking nice right now.

Jerome Brown & Reggie White special airs tomorrow on NFL Network

Tomorrow night’s episode of “A Football Life” on NFL Network is going to be absolutely awesome. This new network series has been great so far, and it’s about to get better. The special about Reggie White and Jerome Brown will take a look at the live of two of the most dominating defensive ends to ever play the position. And it talks about a life ended too soon on both players counts.

The NFL season is starting to kick into full swing. It’s stuff like this that pushes my love for this sport and this time of year into overdrive.

Nothing reminds me of the fall like NFL Films and classic footage of the figures and players I watched when I was growing up as a kid. And the recognizable voice that is Steve Sabol.

I know a lot about Reggie White, but I’ve only read of Jerome Brown. I have no memories of him except that I had his football card, along with all those other late 80’s/early 90’s Eagles like Mike Quick, Mickey Shuler, Randall Cunningham, Keith Byars, Keith Jackson, Eric Allen, etc.

This is going to be really, really good. And a great follow up to the Belichick two-part documentary.

Colt is The Real McCoy in Comeback win vs. Miami Dolphins

That was an amazing win yesterday. That win reminded me so much of back in 2001–a team full of guys who weren’t supremely talented, but they just fought and battled until the final minute and they hung on for dear life to the lead they battled for and took possession of in the final minute. 
One thing that not a lot of people will talk about in this game is the domination by the Cleveland defensive line. Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor had a combined 16 tackles and 3 sacks (1.5 each). Jabaal Sheard got after the Quarterback all day long, down to the final drive it was the pressure that forced throws that sealed the win for Cleveland. I continually saw T.J. Ward emerging from nowhere to clean up hits and tackle guys who were in the grasp. This defense has a nasty attitude, and it’s beginning to show and emerge as the identity of this team. 

One might be able to deduct that Peyton Hillis lost some leverage on a big new contract. Montario Hardesty looked quick, making several one-cut and go moves on the Dolphins and giving the Browns everything he had in the form of 15 or so hard runs, and one huge 4th down catch on the final drive that kept their hopes alive.

I’ll tell you what–I like Pat Shurmur. I think these guys have bought into him. I think he’s going to stick for a while. And I think they’ve got a shot at 7 or so wins this year. They’re in first place for the first time in a long time, and even though it’s week three it’s okay to feel happy or excited about watching these guys again on Sundays.

It would be nice to see Colt McCoy have a game where he throws for 300 yards and doesn’t throw an interception, but you look up and he’s got five TD passes and only two interceptions. The hallmark of a good quarterback is being able to win the game without having your best stuff on a day. Colt McCoy did that this past Sunday. It’s obvious that the best is yet to come from this offense, and one must remember that McCoy has had just 10 games starting now and doesn’t have a game breaking weapon as a receiver and didn’t have Peyton Hillis at his disposal. The Browns have not played their finest football yet.

They welcome the Titans to Cleveland next week–and a lot of mention will be given to the fact that Kenny Britt is out. That said, that’s not what the Browns have to worry about. I think Matt Hasselbeck finally has a very pedestrian day. Thanks to Joe Haden and Dmitri Patterson, the Browns have a good thing going defending the passing game. It’s on the ground where games will be won or lost, in the trenches. Think Oakland Raiders right now. They’re competing because they beat teams up in the trenches on both sides of the ball. That’s how you get an identity when you don’t have playmakers or a star at Quarterback. The Browns have to find a way to do that.

If they can keep Chris Johnson in his proverbial quicksand that he’s been in, it’s going to be a fun Sunday I think. And the Browns will be at 3-1 and start to get just a little national talk. They have to find a way to keep this going at all costs. If they win this coming Sunday there will be a buzz surrounding the franchise that hasn’t existed in a long time–including Eric Mangini’s whole damned tenure, ‘damned’ being the key word.

The magic was back in Cleveland. That last drive gave me happiness and chills that I simply haven’t been able to enjoy in a long time.

Ravens beat the hell out of the Rams 37-7

I really think that Bernie Miklasz sums it up best in his article that breaks down the state of the Rams in the wake of their 37-7 drubbing yesterday and why this team has so much to be questioned right now. Here are a couple of snippets from the article:

* This is Billy Devaney’s third year as the GM, and his fourth year as the top talent scout in the organization. This is Steve Spagnuolo’s third season as the head coach, and he has considerable authority in making personnel decisions in conjunction with Devaney. With the Rams having now gone 1-6 in their last seven regular-season games, there are only three possible conclusions for this wrong-way direction: (1) they’re failing in the important assignment of choosing players; (2) they’re failing to do a good job of coaching, and deploying, these players; (3) a combination of both.

* The Rams offensive line, in my opinion, represents the most significant waste of money on athletic talent in the history of St. Louis sports. That’s not hyperbole. That’s not me trying to be controversial. There have been some bad contracts, but we’re talking about isolated deals for an individual player. And the kind of money given to Kyle Lohse, Mark Mulder, Drew Bennett, Jay McKee, etc. doesn’t really approach what we’re talking about when we examine this Rams’ offensive line. Devaney and Co. have invested tens of millions of dollars in this group, and they have used two premium draft picks on this group, and it is simply incapable of protecting quarterback Sam Bradford. It is simply incapable of standing up and competing in a manner that earns respect. Not to mix politics into this (sorry) but this is like some massive-spending boondoggle that we see in Washington D.C.

* If it continues, Bradford will not be able to hold up to the punishment and abuse he’s faced during the first three games. It’s just a matter of time before he officially becomes a victim of what could be the most overpaid, underachieving NFL offensive line that I’ve seen in more than 30 years of covering the league.

* This is what’s so sad about Bradford: the Rams have a precious asset here, but the people who run the team have done little to provide elite support. The pass protection is awful. Except for the occasional impact delivered by Danario Alexander, no Rams WR is capable of changing a game. It’s really a shame.

Bernie goes on for a lot longer, but those were some scathing comments and I agree with it. I think either Spagnuolo starts winning some big games in St. Louis and avoids a 1-6 or 0-7 start somehow, anyhow or he needs to hit the bricks and St. Louis can go and hire Jon Gruden in the offseason or someone of better caliber and winning pedigree.

Sam Bradford is way too special to continue to screw this whole thing up.

Cam Newton’s Game winning drive vs. Jaguars

Couple of things about this 16-10 win down in Carolina yesterday.
1) Cam Newton didn’t turn the ball over, even in the monsoon conditions.
2) Watch Newton’s athleticism in the pocket at the 2:14 mark. He could have been tripped up by a lineman and it might have stalled the drive and forced Carolina to settle for only a field goal. He hops the lineman that is being pushed into the collapsing pocket and picks up a 7-yard gain.
3) On the final drive he was on the money on every throw, including the game winner to Greg Olsen.

It’s Sunday

It’s time for the happiest time and day of the week. Sunday morning. The coffee is brewing. It’s another chance for some guys in the NFL to become the guys we remember years from now when this Sunday is only a memory. Who’s going to make the biggest play? Who’s going to walk away the unexpected winner?

All the drama, courtesy of a sport.

The Browns host the Miami Dolphins up in Cleveland.

The Carolina Panthers host the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s Cam Newton vs. Blaine Gabbert.

Ravens/Rams in another captivating match-up. Don’t forget about the Jets going to Oakland late or Green Bay playing in Chicago.

It’s a Sunday we can never have back. Soak it in and enjoy yourself.