Cam Newton is a superstar

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Cam Newton is doing it with not much these days. While Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers grab most of the headlines, Newton is my MVP pick right now.

In the Panthers’ 27-22 win over the Saints in Charlotte on Sunday, Newton threw for 315 yards, two touchdowns and ran for another. All this while the controversy arose about Newton not getting a call from famous referee Eddie “Guns” Hochuli.

He’s 15th in the league in passer rating for those that qualify with an 86.5 rating. He has five touchdowns and two interceptions along with two rushing touchdowns. He’s only completing 56.6 percent of his passes. But it’s the cast that he’s doing this with that makes it special, and Carolina is 3-0 so far looking to move to 4-0 in the first quarter of the season with the Buccaneers on the schedule this Sunday.

In total QBR, he’s slightly higher ranking 13th overall with a 60.7 QBR rating.

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Tampa Bay loses a slow one in Houston 19-9

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[Gamebook]

[JoeBucsFan] [TB Times] [TBO.com]

Game Notes:

*Really felt like it was an up and down game from Winston. He made a lot of pretty touch throws which you can see many of here. The interception was a bad one and set up a score for the Texans, who needed every score they could get.

*No, you don’t have the loss solely on Winston. But he just doesn’t seem like he’s going to be a guy who completes a very high percentage of his passes. He does seem to be able to be a winner who can stand in there and make plays. But he doesn’t have the mark of a guy who is going to have pretty stats. That said…

*The Bucs receivers dropped a ton of passes. Mike Evans was targeted I think I heard 17 times and came away with seven catches. He had a few very bad drops. Had one light push off on a long beautiful throw early in the game that was called back.

*Winston seems to be excellent at making touch throws. Like, as good as it gets. Where I don’t see the arm talent is the big-arm zip throws where he needs the RPM to rip it in to a tight window. He’s just ok there. I just haven’t seen it. Maybe I never saw it at Florida State.

*Doug Martin was as expected, a non-factor really. Martin had 14 carries for 46 yards. Sims wasn’t better with six carries for 11.

*Sims did have the headline-grabbing play I guess of the day for the Buccaneers with his touchdown off a short Winston pass. At that point it looked like the Bucs would possibly steal one.

*The Buccaneers defense hung in there all day long. Alfred Blue gashed them a little bit, but they got stops. They didn’t let Ryan Mallett hit things at critical junctures. They played well enough to win a game and just wore down.

*Kyle Brinzda is a problem. He hits a 58-yarder that would have been good from about 65 and then misses an extra point and a couple chip shots. Enigmatic kicker with a huge leg at best I think. Rather have a guy who can hit the ones he should make.

*Austin Seferian-Jenkins being out is going to be a problem. Luke Stocker and Brandon Myers just aren’t able to do the same type of things or take on the same type of role that Jenkins already exhibited, at least through a game.

*Jameis Winston didn’t get sacked today. Encouraging when you think about the heralded pass rush the Texans bring.

Here are the drops, courtesy of Tomahawk Nation.

*Not a lot of wow plays from Lavonte David or Gerald McCoy. McCoy appeared to get knicked.

Bart Scott feels how I do about Chip Kelly

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I’ve really never disliked a coach in the NFL (okay, maybe Eric Mangini) like I do Chip Kelly. It seems like Bart Scott gets it, and recently echoed how I feel about the Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach:

“You can’t win and tell people that you devalue great players and get rid of them just because you want to. So I think there’s a little bit of karma coming back to him. Nelson Agholor hasn’t replaced Jeremy Maclin. Jeremy Maclin was a class act guy. You can’t just replace people like they’re things, you know what I mean? Like they’re toys that you’re tired of playing with because you want something new. So I hope that he loses. I hope he loses every game.”

Yeah, that’s pretty spot on.

I have to feel like the Eagles get the win today in New Jersey and right the ship to get to 1-2. But overall, Chip has bit off more than he can chew. He thinks he’s smarter than the systems in place in the NFL and he is so egotistical he can bring in guys that he deems fit for the system and make it work his way.

I think he carried on in the offseason like a madman who really had no real plan except to shake things up. Nick Foles, Lesean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin should still be Eagles and that should have been a group that should be contending as a core for a long time. Instead, Chip shook it up just to shake it up. And there’s nothing I wait around to see more than a Chip Kelly press conference after an Eagles loss.

It’s Sunday

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Another Sunday is upon us here in the Fall with the Buccaneers in Houston to take on the Texans and Bill O’Brien. The other match-ups that peak our interest are the Carolina Panthers hosting the New Orleans Saints without Drew Brees. The Bengals are in Baltimore to do battle with the Ravens. The Dolphins take on the Bills in South Beach along with the Vikings hosting the Chargers in Minneapolis.

Really need the Colts to beat the Titans in Tennessee.

It’s going to be a great Sunday. A recap post will be done tonight.

Jameis Winston gets first win as a Pro Quarterback in the Superdome

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[Gamebook]
[Joe Bucs Fan] [PFT]
[Jameis Winston Highlights]

I have seen so many football games in my life it seems. The storyline of this one was a young quarterback going into what was once a pretty hostile environment and coming away with his first career victory, a week after being the subject of embarrassment in the media.

It was obvious from the opening gun that the Tampa Bay defense came to play today. They were getting stops, standing up the run, and tackling well. There were some costly flags for sure, but they were forcing punts and held a nice 3-0 lead for most of the first half.

I often think back to Robert Griffin lighting these guys up in the Superdome and how special I thought that was. This was at one point, one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. A win here meant something. You could hear how loud and hostile the crowd was early when the Buccaneers took their first possession of the game deep in their own end. A few Doug Martin runs later, and they wouldn’t be that loud again all day.

The Buccaneers looked like a team that kind of wanted to safe-guard Winston. They tried to run the ball, play defense, get good field position. Winston was I believe 4 of 7 when New Orleans took the lead before the half 7-3.

Winston made the best throw of his career to give the Buccaneers a 10-7 lead before halftime. He hit Vincent Jackson on a throw with such perfect arc and touch on it, the kind of throw scouts raved about him leading up to the draft. It was a throw I’ve seen him make many times at Florida State. It sailed perfectly over the two defenders in front of Jackson for a touchdown.

From there, they began to play add on. I didn’t see the throw live, but the 54-yard bomb to Lewis Murphy showed some pretty good arm strength by Winston. That then probably became the best throw of his career – and if any throws are to grab headlines this week in the local or national media – those will be the two.

They would build the lead all the way to 23-7, including a rushing touchdown by Winston. And the Saints just never really got anything going. They would get within five points, but then Tampa Bay got the turnover to virtually ice the game.

I overall didn’t like how the Bucs didn’t take more shots, but apparently this was because their defense needed a rest.

It’s Sunday

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It’s another Sunday in the life.

Week two brings some great match ups. The Buccaneers are in New Orleans to try to not get blown out by the Saints. The Bengals host the Chargers in a playoff game rematch. The Giants host the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks head to Lambeau Field for the Sunday night game. Cam Newton and the Panthers do battle without Luke Kuechly in Carolina.

It should be another great Sunday.