(Image Credit NBCBayArea.com)
Sir Isaac Newton is, even after his death way back in 1727, still considered by some to be the greatest genius who ever lived. In fact among physicists it’s probably neck-and-neck between him and Albert Einstein who’s Smart #1.
Fig Newtons were invented in part because many physicians at the time felt eating biscuits and fruit helped fight off digestion problems, considered to cause most illnesses (…and a shout out to our local native, baker and fig lover Charles Roser who patented the cookie cutter to make ’em way back in 1891).
Yet until several years ago – even after all those years – had you said the word Newton I would have immediately thought of Sir Isaac or Fig.
But now there’s Cam.
If you saw him play at Auburn you were likely amazed he looked like the biggest, fastest and most determined man on the field…and a quarterback at that.
At that time most of his detractors said he would get his comeuppance once he became a pro.
The last time I checked he still looks like the biggest, fastest and most determined man on the field. And still a quarterback…one who should be the shoo-in NFL MVP this season.
Cam Newton has accounted for almost 80 percent of the Carolina Panthers offensive TD’s this season. His ten rushing touchdowns – yep, as a quarterback – were just one shy of the NFL’s leaders…running backs Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman, Jeremy Hill and DeAngelo Williams. He’s a big reason why Carolina has run for at least 100 yards in 31 straight games including post-season play. He’s a big reason why Carolina led the NFL in scoring this season averaging just over 31 points per game. His teammates rally around their bigger-than-life leader, making sure he’s been hit only 61 times this year, the third-lowest total in the league.
I recall telling my wife while watching him in college I’ve never seen a guy like him.
I still haven’t.
I’ll admit Cam’s showboating on the field and the sideline has not been my idea of good sportsmanship or of having respect for the game. I’m a Barry Sanders guy (Google if necessary) – make first downs without creating a scene, score a TD and hand the ball to the nearest official…and show you’re doing your well-paid, highly-compensated job in a professional manner.
But when he’s just playing football…he’s doing his job about as good as it gets in 2015.
The Denver Broncos (14-4) are about to get a full-on view of Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers (17-1) in Super Bowl 50.
Some facts give Denver hope in trying to not wind up like Seattle and Arizona, Carolina’s post-season victims (their chalk lines are still visible on the Panthers’ field in Charlotte). Denver’s defense generated pressure on opposing quarterbacks more than any in the NFL this season. They have allowed opposing offenses to crack 30 points or more just once. Their defense ranks first in fewest total yards of offense allowed. Only seven times this year has a team rushed for over 100 yards against them. They are nasty. They are quick. I noticed some of their defenders looking to not just take down New England Patriots last week but take them out. And…be forewarned whistles tend to stay unused in the Super Bowl.
But alas, there are things that surely give Denver pause…like the not-so-unimportant fact their offense is just not very good. If you can hear this above the violins playing about this being QB Peyton Manning’s last game ever, a huge shout-out to that defense that has been winning games for the Broncos all season long. There is a reason Denver is 11-3 this season in games decided by seven points or less. Their offense simply doesn’t cut it – Manning has been inefficient courtesy in no small part to a confused offensive line and the subsequent lack of a running game – and the Broncos defense often has to ride to the rescue. The pressure on the Denver defense has been relentless this season. They know they’ve got to win games – close games – and they’ve been quite good at it.
Carolina’s defense? They have thrived off of turnover differential, leading the NFL and also factoring into the offense’s success as they’ve been rewarded with favorable field position. But consider this…the Panthers defense on average has given up only about the same number of points per game as Denver. That’s the thing. As good as we know Denver’s D is…Carolina’s at best just a hair behind. Everyone’s talking about the Broncos defense. I suspect the Panthers defenders are a bit annoyed and looking to prove they’re worth talking about too.
And Newton can’t wait to help them out…
So it shouldn’t take a smart cookie to figure out…
Carolina 23, Denver 16.