3 things I learned from NFL Sunday (October 9)

1) IT TRULY ISN’T SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA…..”THE DREAM TEAM” IS ON LIFE SUPPORT

  I am truly in disbelief at the performance of this team 5 games into the season. I realize that the year is young and that they still have a chance at a post-season birth, but I am also a realist and am not brain-washed by the talent and “Dream Team” moniker that this team possesses. I was not so easily swayed at the start of the year by the major acquisitions of the Eagles. QB Vince Young, RB Ronnie Brown, DE Jason Babin and CB Nnamdi Asomugha were all signed this past offseason, adding to what was already a very talented roster. I can see why everyone was jumping on the Eagles bandwagon. With that talent roster, they should be Super Bowl contenders.

However, the number one thing I have learned from watching sports is that talent will always look better on paper than it does on the field, court or mound. Signing all these All-Pro stars is one thing, but how they follow systems and work together as a cohesive unit is another. So far, it has been an absolute failure. No one could have foreseen this 1-4 start. It isn’t just one problem, because this team has plenty of on-field issues that are holding them back. Watching the Eagles/Bills game truly showcased where this team has weaknesses. Don’t let the 31-24 score fool you. The Eagles were never in this one. The offensive line played dreadful and couldn’t protect Michael Vick to save his life. Most of Vick’s 4 interceptions were because of throwing the ball while being hit. Vick got up limping after a majority of the plays. He is only human. You can only take so many hits before your body wears down. At this rate, he will not last the full 16 games. The defense was missing tackles, allowing Bills RB Fred Jackson to rack up 165 yards from scrimmage. The coaching also made some very questionable decisions. The play calling at the end of the half made no sense. With 8 seconds left on the clock, you either have to make quick decisions or get rid of the ball so you can take a field goal. What did Vick do? He held on to the ball for 7 seconds and then threw the ball out-of-bounds, killing the clock. I’m sure Coach Andy Reid truly wanted that to happen.

The Philadelphia Eagles are now 1-4. Of the 239 teams that have started 1-4, only 5 have made the playoffs. The Eagles are screwed.

2) DENVER FANS CAN NOW STOP THEIR WHINING…..TEBOW IS NOW THE MAN IN THE MILE HIGH CITY

Kyle Orton never had a shot with those fans. Denver became Tebow Town the minute the young man from Florida U was drafted. Let’s face it. Kyle Orton was never the long-term solution for the Broncos at QB. He is mediocre at best. In a league where passing has been put at the fore-front of most team’s gameplans, having a great QB is just that much more important. Kyle Orton was never going to take Denver to the promise land. I did believe that if Denver wanted more success, then Tebow was the solution. I didn’t like the way fans were so hard on Orton though. Booing the QB and chanting the backup’s name isn’t going to make things any better. I trust the judgement most coaches have in the NFL. If coach Fox didn’t believe that Tebow was ready for action, then who are we to doubt him? He sees the players on a regular basis and knows what they can and cannot do. It wasn’t Tebow’s time before, but now it is.

During Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers, Kyle Orton went 6-13 for 34 yards, averaged 2.6 yards an attempt and threw one interception. It was pretty pathetic to watch. Coach Fox then made the decision to pull Orton and put in Tebow. Tim is actually #3 on the depth chart, but #2 Brady Quinn was with his girlfriend as she was preparing for surgery. Tim Tebow finished the game with 79 yards passing and a touchdown, as well as 38 yards rushing and a score on the ground. He almost overcame a 16 point deficit. If that isn’t enough proof that Tebow should remain the starter, then I don’t know what it would take at this point. He did things on the field that Orton is incapable of. He orchestrated a comeback, showed good movement around the pocket and showed poise in a dire situation. Fox hasn’t announced whether or not Tim will start against Miami. He has 2 weeks to decide whether or not he will because the Broncos will be on their bye this week.

If Tebow isn’t under center when the Broncos play the Dolphins, then I am afraid anarchy will ensue in Denver. The fans now have had their taste of Tebow-Mania, and now they’ll want more. There is no way you can start Orton after what happened this past Sunday. Let the Tim Tebow Era begin!

3) CAM NEWTON HAS SAVED THE CAROLINA PANTHERS FROM OBSCURITY……YES WE CAM

1610 yards passing, 322 yds/game, 7 passing touchdowns, 160 yards rushing and 7 rushing touchdowns through 5 games.

That sounds like Cam Newton alright.

It is amazing how one player has completely turned this franchise around. Believe me, this team was a disaster one year ago. They were the bottom-feeders of the NFL. When you saw Carolina on your schedule, worry and fear were the furthest things from your mind. The Panthers were considered an automatic win back then. There Quarterback situation was in disarray, starting Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen, both of which are considered some of the worst QB’s in the game today. So the Panthers decided to try their luck in the draft and selected Auburn standout and Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton. I had visions of Jamarcus Russell dancing in my head when that pick was made. Big body, bigger arm and a lot of hype. I figured he would start day 1. No point trying to slowly integrate him into the system, since the system is already tremendously flawed. Give the kid a shot and see where he can take you. Your other options suck anyway.

What did Cam do? He made the Panthers relevant in just 5 games. Yes, Carolina is 1-4 on the year. However, each of their losses have come by one touchdown or less. Cam Newton keeps the Panthers competitive. He already holds a bunch of NFL records in his young career, including fastest player to reach 1000 passing yards, first rookie to throw for 400 yards in their first game, and is only the sixth QB in NFL History to throw for 400 yards in back-to-back games. He has rejuvenated the career of Wide Receiver Steve Smith, a man who was thought to be on his way out of Carolina. The team fired their coach John Fox, they had no acceptable starting Quarterback, and it was starting to make Steve Smith look like a mediocre wideout,  which he is anything but. Through 5 games, Smith already has more receiving yards then he did all last season, with 609 yards, 27 catches and 3 touchdowns. All of this can be attributed to Cam Newtons presence. Smith is a long ball receiver, and with Newtons arm, they have become a incredible one-two punch on offense.

Even against a high-octane offense like the New Orleans Saints, Cam kept the Panthers in the game with 3 touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing) and kept his mistakes and turnovers to a minimum. He is playing like a guy who has been doing this for quite some time. He has proved me wrong, and if he keeps this up, he can finish with one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history. There isn’t a 1-4 team in the league right now that strikes more fear into opposing squads more than the Carolina Panthers (did I just write that?), and it is all because of one man….Cam Newton.

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