News and Notes from Around the NFL

 

People who are claiming that Cam Newton “PROVED” he is a Hall of Fame QB with his rookie record 422 yards passing in a loss on Sunday are as foolish as those who claimed he would be a failure. I, for one, would not have selected him as high as he was, but that doesn’t mean the young man can’t be successful.  You saw on Sunday all of the reasons why Carolina took a shot.  In coming weeks, you will see why so many didn’t want to if given the chance.  Whether or not it was the right choice on the field is TBD, but ticket sales alone have given this struggling franchise hope.

 

Speaking of struggling franchises, I think it is safe to say the Lions are no longer on the field in that category.  I saw nothing that changed my preseason prediction that this team is better than 8-8, but I still think next year is their year.  I also saw one thing that really bothered me on Sunday.  On two different occasions Stafford was visibly injured.  He came back, he fought, and played.  The kid is all guts, but his ability to stay healthy is the #1 reason of concern with this team and why I think 8-8 is the right call.  If he plays in all 16 games that is a different story.  It was cramps, but I still worry.

 

Jerry Jones is not known as the most patient person in the NFL.  His patience with Tony Romo has won him immense respect around the league.  With Romo playing the way Cam Newton should have for a rookie is costing the Cowboys a win in the Ryan bowl, how long will that patience last?  One person who was at the game on Sunday night told me, “I don’t know if I have ever seen the anger that I saw from Jerry afterwards.”

 

The NFL Gameday Final crew took the Colts to task for not having a credible backup to Manning.  In fact, they pointed out, why keep Painter if he doesn’t even get a shot.  That type of analysis is why I love the NFLN.  Unlike the BTN that loses credibility for not giving what I think is forthright criticism, the NFL does.  You may not always agree, but they want those guys to speak their mind and on this they are 100% correct.

 

Chicago is a very good team.  Based on your email, many of you thought I would change my preseason Super Bowl pick from the NFC Atlanta.  You would be wrong.  Who cares where they are today.   I make picks on where they are or where I think they will be in January.

 

My good buddy Michael Painchaud who is a world class analyst for high end traders asked me who to start in fantasy football on Sunday, Romo or Cassel?  Playing the famed Jets D I said Cassel.  WOW!  I guess I was Joe Kennedy’s shoe shine boy.  Play the opposite.  When it comes to fantasy football, I am IN NO WAY in his league with advice on the markets.  He is spot on like a financial seer.  He sees things months ahead of anyone. Guess that is why the best consider him the Oracle of Wall Street.

 

Joe Flacco played great on Sunday.  It was a great win for him and the franchise from more than just a W type scenario.  His teammates watched him earn their respect.  Up to this point they liked him, but none of them thought he could carry the team.  Sunday’s win did more than start the season 1-0; it possibly could propel them to a lot more.

 

I saw nothing from Mike Vick that changes my opinion that they are not a dream team, too many risks and too many chances.  He is a super man in human talent, but he has to be smarter or the Eagles will be depressed (as usual) come January.

 

How about Donovan McNabb?  He could have and should have played better.  If you didn’t see the game the stats are confusing at best, but with the way the game played he still should have done a lot more.

 

Dez Bryant has to show that he can play an entire game, forget 16.  All the talent in the world is useless on the bench and combined with his off field troubles is wearing thin in the big D.

 

If you missed Rex and Rob Ryan on Sunday with their legendary NFL father Buddy it was moving.  What a brain trust of football knowledge and to see such a close family is great.  If you have ever met any of the Ryan’s (I have met all three), they are some of the most genuine and kind people.

 

Big shout out to my son Duffy who watched nearly 10 hours of football with me.  He loves every minute and at six is better at picking things up than a lot of people.  His best line?  When Matt Stafford was celebrating and having a good time, “Daddy we want to see him dance all year, that means he is healthy enough to dance.”

 

In case you are wondering, Duffy also thinks the Lions and the Titans make the Super Bowl.  He told me last night, “The Titans are the best team to ever play football because of Javon.  He will run for 500 yards in the Super Bowl.”  OK maybe not as good as most people, I think he let’s his loyalty get in the way.