I think we can officially be call Cam Newton's 2012 campaign a sophomore slump. On Sunday the Panthers quarterback played his worst game as a pro, losing 16-12 to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seattle defense utterly dominated the game, holding the Panthers to 190 yards total offense, and just three points scored by the offense.
Cam Newton put up a monumental stink bomb in the first half, completing just 3-of-15 passes. He finished his day with just 141 passing yards and 42 more on the ground. Seattle's rookie quarterback Russell Wilson played as well as Newton did horribly, completing 12 of 13 attempts in the first half, and finishing 19-of-25 for 221 yards and a touchdown.
Trailing 6-3 in the third quarter, Carolina took their only lead of the game when cornerback Captain Munnerlyn intercepted a Wilson pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. Rookie linebacker Luke Keuchly added a second interception for the Panthers defense.
Wilson responded later in the quarter by connecting with receiver Golden Tate to put Seattle back on top 13-10. The fourth quarter saw Seattle go up 16-10 on a 44 yard Steve Hauschka field goal. Seattle would take an intentional safety later in the game to close out the scoring.
Carolina heads into their bye week a a disappointing 1-4, but still believe they can salvage their season. "This is by no stretch done," Panthers' coach Ron Rivera said. "This is 1-4 and we're not going to quit. We're going to show up and we're going to be back on the job (Monday). We will find answers and we're going to win."
Carolina will have 14 days off to try and figure out those answers before hosting the Cowboys on October 21st.
Falcon's roll to 5-0
Atlanta's Matt Ryan tried to make things interesting for the 5-0 Falcons during their win on Sunday, as the league's front runner for MVP struggled early. Atlanta's Ryan was intercepted by Ryan Kerrigan in the second quarter, who took it to the house and a 7-0 lead for the Redskins.
The Falcons offense could not find any coherence until late in the first half, when Ryan managed to lead them on an eight play scoring drive, culminating in a 1-yard touchdown catch by ageless tight end Tony Gonzalez, who had a spectacular game, hauling in 13 passes for 123 yards and a score. Julio Jones chipped in with 10 catches fro 94 yards and caught Ryan's second passing touchdown in the third quarter.
Ryan threw the ball 52 times in the win, which was sealed by a 13 yard Michael Turner touchdown run with 2:46 remaining in the game. Ryan's final numbers on the day were 34-of-52 for 345 yards and a pair of scores to offset his pick.
Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was knocked out of the game with a mild concussion in the second quarter, forcing backup and fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins into the game.
Cousins would finish 5-of-9, with 11 yards and two interceptions. Cousins connected with Santana Moss for a 77 yard score in the third quarter, but his effort off the bench would ultimately fall short for Washington.
Atlanta takes their 5-0 record back to the Georgia dome for a matchup with the Oakland Raiders next week. The Raiders defense has been making opposing quarterbacks look otherworldly, so expect a big rebound performance from Ryan and company.
Move over Johnny Unitas
Drew Brees made NFL history Sunday night, as his first quarter 40-yard touchdown to Devery Henderson moved him past the legendary Johnny Unitas and into first place for consecutive games played with a passing touchdown. Brees to Henderson made Sunday night the 48th consecutive game with a passing touchdown for the Saints quarterback.
The veteran signal caller would finish the night by going 29-45 for 370 yards and four touchdowns (three to wide receiver Marques Colston who is officially healed form his foot injury) in a 31-24 win. San Diego, the team that drafted Brees, only to give up on him following a horrific shoulder injury could do little to contain the All-Pro quarterback.
While not a "sexy" record, like passing yards or touchdowns for a season, the mark that Brees has achieved is a testament to his durability and consistency. Unitas' record had stood for over 50 years, which in itself is an achievement when one considers all the great quarterbacks to take the field over that span.
Whether or not Brees' streak, whenever it might end, will stand the test of time as Unitas' had, will remain to be seen. But on this night in New Orleans, Drew Brees continued to make his mark on NFL history, and to lay claim to his title as one of the All-Time Greats.
Embattled Saints Interim-Head-Coach Aaron Kromer must have known his bosses were in the building, as he guided the Saints to their first victory of the season, which comes just in time to see Kromer step down and cede the reins to Joe Vitt who will return from suspension for his role in the bounty scandal over the bye. Vitt will have his work cut out for him as he looks to lead New Orleans back to the postseason following their 0-4 start.
Should the Saints somehow rally to capture a Wild Card in the NFC (unlikely given how competitive the conference is shaping up to be), they would become only hte second ream ever to make the playoffs following an 0-4 start. The other team to do so was the 1992 San Diego Chargers.
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