Tag Archives: Cam Newton

Seahawks – Critical Games for 2016 Season

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With the NFL pre-season underway, I thought I would take a peek at the regular season schedule and check for 6 critical games for the Seahawks.

Week 2 – at LA Rams

No matter what record the Rams have, they always seem to give the Seahawks fits.  This will be the home opener for the Rams at the Memorial Coliseum.  Rams last played in LA in 1994 so you know they are going to be hyped up.  Jeff Fisher always has a trick or two up his sleeve so Hawks need to be prepared for that.  I think a heavy does of Christian Michael and Thomas Rawls will be on the menu as well as some play-action fakes to keep the Ram defense honest.  As always, the game will be close and a win here is critical for both teams.

Week 3 – San Francisco 49’rs

I do believe the rivalry will be re-ignited with the presence of Chip Kelly, the new head coach for San Francisco.  And I really hope the Seahawks just pound the living snot out of the 49’rs to wipe that condescending and  smarmy expression off Kelly’s face.  San Fran isn’t much of a threat to the Hawks but they still need to remain wary.  Pretty sure (about 90% sure) this will be a win for the home team.

Week 7 – at Arizona Cardinals

A lot of mutual respect between the Hawks and the Cards.  Good, hard-nosed football between 2 innovative coaches who put faith in the players to perform rather than a system.  Toss up as to who will win but it won’t be by more than a field goal.  Depending on the standings, this could decide the NFC West despite having eight games left in the season.

Week 10 – at New England

Seahawks need to control their emotions because if they use revenge as a motive to try and beat New England, that’s just what Bill Belichick wants them to do.  Master of mind games, he will use that motivation to force the Hawks into mistakes.  Hawks defensive line needs to pressure Brady as much as they can and the secondary must have an exceptional game covering those pesky receivers that Brady throws too underneath.  They need to make Brady throw before he wants to.  They may get one or two sacks but if they can pressure him, they can force him to make bad throws.  I, as much as any Seahawk fan, would love if the Hawks can steal a victory here but they have to play smart and not get caught up in getting revenge for them stealing a Super Bowl from us.

Week 13 – Carolina Panthers

You don’t think the Seahawks watched Super Bowl 50 and took notice what the Broncos did to make Newton pout like a baby?  Look for Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to pressure and contain Newton as well as Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel to come up the gut and get in his face.  I also see Frank Clark being a difference maker as he has the speed and strength to deal with Newton if he tries to take off and run.  It will come down to defense vs. defense and a last second field goal.

Week 17 – at San Francisco

One can only hope the Seahawks have secured their playoff spot by the time they get to San Francisco because you know darn well that Chip Kelly will want to end the season with a win over a division rival.  Regardless of where the Hawks are at by the end of the season, a sweep over the 49’rs is always sweet (it was sweetest when Harbaugh was there, right?) and would put a nice finish to the regular season.

Looking forward to hearing a lot of fireworks going off after every game.  The 12’s are some of the greatest fans in the NFL.

Go Hawks!

Denver Wins Super Bowl – Newton Reveals True Self

CryBaby Cam

The Denver Broncos defense played an outstanding game and took poor Cam Newton to the woodshed.  The 24-10 win the Broncos accomplished was perhaps one of the most accurately planned I’ve seen in a while.

Denver knew they could win this game by accomplishing one thing…put a beat down on Cam Newton and never let up.

Cam always said that if you don’t like what I do when I score a touchdown, don’t let me score.  The Broncos must really hate what he does since he barely had a sniff of the end zone.

There has been plenty of Cam bashing prior, during and after the game.  I don’t like to pile on but his actions remind me of a three year old who doesn’t get his way.  I almost heard, when he walked out of his post game press conference, Cam whining to his mother “Mom, they didn’t let me win the game!”

Reading about Cam defending himself for walking out that he admits to being a sore loser, I agree with him saying “Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I’m going to show you a loser. It’s not a popularity contest. I’m here to win football games.”

I’m pretty sure that every football player feels the same way.  It’s not a popularity contest, it’s about winning the biggest game played.  One team wins and another loses.  And while I agree with his sentiment, there is one thing that Cam lacks in all of this and that’s respect.

Respect for the other team finding a way to beat him.  Respect for not recognizing the brilliant coaching job to come up with that game plan.  Respect for his teammates who looked to him to lead and all he could do was blame them for not doing what was needed.

There is an expected classiness between opposing players.  Peyton Manning, despite how I personally feel about him, always, always showed class and respect to the opposing team and QB in particular.

Newton, at the end of the game, did walk up to Manning but failed to take his helmet off and congratulate Manning for the win in what is sure to be his last game.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera attempted to defend Newton when Newton spoke to the media today about his actions: “Obviously somebody had a great conversation with him and explained it to him and he was able to compose himself and speak to you folks,” he said. “That’s huge. What he did today was a part of his growth. He is still growing and maturing as a man in this world.”

Hold the phone here…this guy is 26 years old, been in the NFL for five years and someone needed to talk to him so that he could compose himself?  He still is maturing as a man in this world?

I understand that 26 is still young but I know maturity from 21 years of age to 26 is monumental.  By 26 years of age, most people get how they should act and show some measure of respect to others.

These actions that he does, the dabbing, the temper tantrums, the immaturity of walking out of a press conference, does nothing but hurt what good things that he does do.

Cam does have a passion for helping kids.  He has been known to give $200 dollars to each kid at a sporting goods store during Christmas so those kids could by presents for themselves and families.

Anytime that he scores a touchdown (after the dabbing crap), he seeks out a child to give the football too.

These are fine acts of someone who cares.

But none of this matters because of the lack of respect he shows his team when they lose nor the respect not shown to the opposing team for beating him.  I totally get this is a competitive game and no one like to lose.  but Cam is going to have other opportunities, the least he could have said was “We’ll get you next time.”

Instead, he chose to be selfish.  And that impression will last more than any good that he may do.

Super Bowl 50 – Carolina Panthers Take It, Dang It


So we have the Denver Broncos going up against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

For me, it’s about as much fun as trying to pick the lesser of two evils for the Republican Party.

Neither team catches my interest…I’ve had a dislike for the Broncos ever since John Elway became part of the team. I think it comes from how he kept the Cleveland Browns from getting to the Super Bowl a few times back in the 1980’s.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Detroit Lion fan but back then, the Cleveland Browns appealed to me. They were a good, hard-nosed football team with players such as Bernie Kosar, Ernest Byner, Kevin Mack, Clay Matthews and Webster Slaughter.

But John Elway and those Denver Broncos broke the hearts of Cleveland fans everywhere, not once but twice. 1986 Conference Championship when Elway connected with Mark Jackson for a 5-yard TD to tie the game and send it into overtime. Then he drove the Broncos into Browns territory for a game winning 33 yard field goal.

Then, in 1987, Elway engineered “The Drive” killing perhaps the best chance the Cleveland Browns getting into the Super Bowl to face the Washington Redskins. I truly believe the Browns would have put up a tougher battle than the Broncos did…but I was pretty happy when the Skins trounced them 42-10.

As for the Panthers, there are several reasons why I have an intense dislike for them. One is the fact they dispatched my second hometown team, the Seattle Seahawks, from the playoffs this year. Second is Cam Newton.

Look, you can point to all the statistical information you want regarding Cam. You can point to his size and speed and his ability to throw a solid deep ball. I won’t deny that he is a talented and special football player. I just don’t like the way the man plays the game.

His cockiness and attitude toward opposing teams is bush-league and every damn game, I hope that some huge defensive lineman pops him a good one and shuts him up. He is an attention whore and he looks for people to tell him how great he is. I will admit I don’t know the man but all outward appearances show him to garner attention and be a show-off.

I’m sure those in the Cam Newton camp will have their arguments…but do me a favor and save your breath. There will be nothing you can say that will bring me over to your side. Would I feel the same way if he was on the Detroit Lions or the Seattle Seahawks? Hard to say though I would still disapprove of the way he carries himself and how he calls himself “Superman.” The attention should be on his team, not him…and he certainly shouldn’t call himself out for praise.

Sure, there have been other quarterbacks that have done celebrations. Aaron Rodgers does his discount double-check routine, Tom Brady has his screams, Brett Favre, who enjoyed the game as much as anyone, would run down the field with his hand in the air to celebrate with whatever receiver caught the ball. But for the most part, these were spontaneous, not the premeditated celebration that Cam does. I’m sure he sets aside an hour a day to make sure he gets the celebration down pat.

I have always been a fan who disliked the planned celebrations…even as far back as the infamous Billy “White Shoes” Johnson with his weird little dance that he used to perform when he scored a TD. Hated the Washington Redskins “Fun Bunch” planned group celebrations after scoring. Thought the Icky Shuffle was idiotic. And the worst was my own Detroit Lions celebrations to the tune of “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen in the 1980’s.

All of those cases were a collective “look at me and what I did” celebrations. Selfish and self-absorbed. On the other hand, I don’t want to see robots on the field. Celebrations are the best when the person scoring looks for his teammates to high-five or chest bump and spike the football in warrior style conquest that gets the crowd into it as well as the rest of the team. I would say more so than any planned celebration…because it’s genuine.

But Cam will be Cam and I doubt anything I write will change anything. And before anyone accuses me of being racially biased, stop right there. I could give a damn if the man was white, black, green, purple or orange. If he acts like a jerk, looks like a jerk and smells like a jerk, then he’s just a jerk.

OK, enough of traveling down this road.

Who will be the winner of Super Bowl 50? As much as I hate to say it, I believe it will be the Carolina Panthers. They are just too much in a groove right now and I can’t see Peyton Manning getting the protection he will need to have any chance. And I won’t be surprised if Brock Osweiler comes in to relieve Manning.

Statistically, Carolina has the edge being ranked number 11 for 2015 scoring an average of 31.2 points per game over the 16th ranked Broncos coming in at 22.2 points per game. We need to take into consideration that Manning has not played the full season.

Below is the statistical information for the Denver QB vs. Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton:

Denver QB’s: Yards – 4,126, Avg. per Pass – 7.0, Completion % – 60.8%, TD’s – 19, INT – 23, Sack – 39

Newton: Yards – 3,837, Avg. per Pass – 7.8, Completion % – 59.6%, TD’s – 35, INT – 10, Sack – 33

We also need to take into account Newton’s threat to run…he has 10 running TD’s as opposed to 1 between Manning and Osweiler.

Edge: Panthers

Running Game:

Panthers are geared to run the ball first, pass second. They ranked first in the NFL with 32.9 rushing attempts per game, second with 2,282 yards gained, tied for first with 19 scores and ninth with an average of 4.3 yards gained per attempt. They don’t have a 1,000 yard rusher but between Jonathan Stewart leading the way with 989 yards and Cam Newton adding 636 yards, that’s a combined total of 1,625 yards.

Denver came in at the middle of the pack for most of the running stats. 17th with 22.2 rushing attempts per game, 17th with total yards gained, 12th with 13 scores, 11th coming in with 4.2 yards gained per attempt. Broncos failed to have a 1,000 rusher as well but the combination of Ronnie Hillman (863 yards) and C.J. Anderson (720 yards) put up 1,583 yards to go along with 12 TD’s

Edge: Panthers


If Denver is going to have any chance to win this game, this is where I think they can exploit the Panther secondary, provided their defense can hold the Panthers from starting out too quick.

Panthers are ranked 24th in the NFL in receiving, averaging 242.1 yards per game. Much of that is probably due to the fact they had huge leads and were just running out the clock. Panthers have some weapons so the Broncos need to be careful here. Their top receiver is tight end Greg Olson who finished the regular season with 1,104 and 7 TD’s. He is a clock killer and has a knack for getting open on critical 3rd downs and gains 14.3 yards per catch. Next up is Ted Ginn who is having a breakout year with the Panthers. He’s caught 44 passes for 739 yards and 10 TD’s to go along with his team leading 16.8 yards per catch. The next 3 receivers, Jerricho Cotchery, Devin Furness and Cory Brown have combined for 1,406 yards, 12 TD’s, and an average of just over 14 yards per catch.

Denver came in at 14th in receiving for 2015 with 263.5 yards per game. Leading the way is Demaryius Thomas with 105 catches for 1,304 yards and 6 TD’s to go along with 12.4 yards per catch. Emmanuel Sanders finished with 74 catches, 1,135 yards, 6 TD’s and 14.9 yards per catch. TE Owen Daniels pitched in with 46 catches, 517 yards, 3 TD’s with 11.2 yards per catch average. Vernon Davis, who was brought in to give the Broncos another weapon has virtually disappeared contributing only 20 catches, 201 yards, 0 TD’s and 10.0 yards per catch. If he can return to the player he was while with San Francisco, he could be a game changer for the Broncs.

Edge: Broncos


Where ultimately I think the game will be decided.

Carolina has a pretty stout defense with a strong secondary though they will be playing with second string players at corner opposite Pro-Bowler Josh Norman. In addition to Norman, Panthers have several dangerous players the Broncos will need to account for such as Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Curt Coleman as well as Kawann Short who led the Panthers defense with 11 sacks in 2015.   Because of that rush, Panther ranked first in interceptions with 24 including 4 pick-sixes.

Panthers are going to go after Manning, and why wouldn’t you? He has a 4.8 40 yard time but that was way the hell back early on in his career. I’d be surprised if his 40 yard time isn’t somewhere in the lower sixes with him being 39 years old. He still has a quick release but he really isn’t a threat to go deep anymore. If there is a real advantage here it’s that Manning is so good at reading defenses and making adjustments. He will outthink the defense and get the ball out as fast as he can. He doesn’t take many sacks. In the 58 regular season games he has played for the Broncos, he was sacked a mere 72 times which breaks out to be about 1.24 times a game. The one area that has been an issue of late is his interception rate. From 2012 to 2014, he was intercepted 36 times over 48 games, less than once per game. In the 10 games he has appeared this season, he was intercepted 17 times in 10 games, a rate of 1.7 times. And some of the passes he’s thrown look dreadful. Look for the Panther D-line to get their hands up if they can’t get to him. They will need to force Manning to go deep where his passes will tend to lose velocity and be easy pickings for the Panther secondary.

Denver ranked first in team defense, the first time any Denver Bronco team accomplished that in their 55 year history. They limited offenses to an average of 283.1 yards per game, sacked the QB 52 times leading the league in both categories for 2015 and forced 22 fumbles, recovering 13 of them.

Denver’s defensive coordinator Wade Phillips put together a masterful plan forcing Brady to throw 56 times while limiting the Patriots rushing total to just 44 yards. And you know you are doing well when the leading rusher is Brady with 13 yards. The only rushing TD was by Steven Jackson from 1 yard out late in the first quarter.

Granted, Brady threw for 310 yards and 1 score but he was also intercepted twice, sacked 4 times and the Bronco defense harassed him all day. Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski 8 times for 144 yards and the one score but the rest of the 4 receivers collectively caught 19 passes for 166 yards and no TD’s.

Cam Newton presents a whole set of other issues for the Bronco defense. Granted he’s no Tom Brady when it comes to passing but he also has tools that Brady doesn’t have such as being mobile, huge (Newton is listed 6-5, 245 lbs. and has run a 4.59 40 yard dash time) and very difficult to bring down. He won’t be a sitting duck back there and if he gets flushed from the pocket, he has no issues becoming a rusher. He gained 636 yards to go along with 10 TD’s. When the Panthers get close to the goal or in need of a first down on third and short situations, Ron Rivera has no problem calling Cam’s number to get what’s needed.

Edge – Even

My heart wants the Bronco’s to beat the snot out of Carolina. But logic dictates to me that the Panthers have just too much for Denver to overcome.

Carolina Panthers 31, Denver Broncos 17.

NFC Divisional Prediction: Seahawks-27, Panthers-24

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A lot of my articles are based on a feeling, which is why sometimes I wait to make any predictions until the last minute.  Much of those feelings are based on statistical research and I’ve done my fair share on this game.

Truth of the matter is, I’m not sure who is going to win this game.  My gut tells me the Seahawks are going to prevail only because time and time again, they have proven they can rise up in critical games and win.

The Panthers have played a wonderful regular season, putting together a 15-1 season isn’t anything to sneeze at.  And they have played some good teams, including beating the Hawks in Week 5, coming from behind at Century Link with Cam Newton directing two 80-yard touchdown drives in the 4th quarter after the Hawks and gotten the lead.

But the team the Panthers played then is vastly different from the team they will play on Sunday.  The Seattle offense, led by Russell Wilson, put together an historic second half.  Just in points scored, the Seahawks averaged 11.12 more points in the final eight games of the season over the first eight games.

The defense, while admittedly blowing several leads in the 4th quarter of games, played statistically even over the entire season.  First eight games they allowed 17.50 points per game while in the second half, they allowed 17.13.

The Panthers did better on both sides of the ball in the second half as well.  Offense scored an average of 28.5 points per game in the first half as compared to 34 points per game in the second.  Defense allowed 20.63 points per game in the first half and 17.88 in the second.

These two teams are similarly built, with a run first, kill the clock and force turnovers mentality.

I give the edge to the Seahawks for two reasons:  QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawk defensive front four.

I don’t want this to be a comparison between Wilson and Panther’s QB Cam Newton.  While their personalities and physical traits are polar opposites, their roles with their respective teams are eerily similar.  Use the run to grind down opposing defenses and to set up explosive pass plays.

It’s going to come down how well Seattle’s defensive line can contain Newton and how well Russell Wilson can sustain drives and put touchdowns on the board.

It will be a close game, coming down to Steven Hauschka field goal with no time remaining.

Hawks prevail, 27-24.


Seattle Will Take Care of the Panthers, 31-14

Seahawks Will Have Their Eyes On The Prize!
Seahawks Will Have Their Eyes On The Prize!

All I can say to the members of the Carolina Football team is welcome to the Thunder Dome!

Over the past week, I have had to go thru some rather intense therapy sessions to get over the fact my hometown team, the Detroit Lions, got royally screwed in their playoff against the Dallas Cowboys.

With a lot of alcohol and some really top-notch swearing, I got thru my disappointment and now can focus on my adopted team, the Seattle Seahawks.

This game, while it may start out as a battle, is going to end up a blood bath with the Hawks coming out on top 31-14.

I predict that on Sunday, the media is going to be talking about the offense and how well they were able to distribute the ball to Paul Richardson, Doug Baldwin, Like Willson and Jermaine Kearse.  In fact, I predict that Richardson is going to catch a bomb from Russell Wilson early on and it will go down as at least a 60 yard TD.

I have no worries about that defense, ranked number 1 in the NFL.  They are going to get to Cam Newton…they are going to frustrate him and they are going to contain him.  There will be no “Superman” poses at Century Link.  I’m pretty sure at the start of the fourth quarter, there will be camera shots of Cam Newton on the sidelines with a Gatorade towel over his head so no one can seem…well, you can fill in the blanks on that.

This game will be a message to the rest of the playoff teams that the Seahawks are just getting started.

Bring some earplugs cause the house is gonna rock!

Go Seahawks!