Monday, October 23, 2017
Around the NFL 9/21/11
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published September 21, 2011

Jeff Lewis Photography, Playmaker Images

Tashard Choice and the Dallas Cowboys were training the Carlos Rogers and the San Francisco 49ers for most of the game, but they battled back for the overtime victory.  Photo by Jeff Lewis

By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor

Cowboys find some heart against the 49ers

The DJ at G|S Game Sports Bar & Lounge in Westchester was playing a lot of Bay Area rappers E 40 and Too Short as the San Francisco 49ers were scoring touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys early and often, but in the end Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo finally found some heart and brought his team back for a victory, sending 49ers fans out of the bar unhappy. 

Romo took a lot of heat for failing once again in the clutch last week against the New York Jets.  He earned a few points back by returning to the game against the 49ers with broken ribs and a punctured lung to lead the Cowboys back from 10 points down in the 4th quarter, sending the game into overtime, and eventually to the win.   

Romo still needs a few more clutch performances before he can shake the notion that he flames out when it matters the most, and he needs to do it against a legit team, but Sunday was a step in the right direction to repair his image.   

Newton continues to light it up, but shows he’s still a rookie

Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton is showing no signs of slowing down, as he threw for over 400 yards for a second consecutive week. 

Last week he threw for the most yards by a rookie in his first start when he threw for 422 yards in a losing effort against the Arizona Cardinals. 

This past Sunday he broke the rookie single game record by throwing for 432 yards against the Green Bay Packers.

Most rookies play it safe, and their coaches design plays to hide their inabilities.  But Newton attacks downfield with precise passes, which a lot of veteran quarterbacks do not do.  Many quarterbacks play in dink and dunk offenses, but Newton’s coaches have trusted him enough to let it loose. 

But as good as Newton has looked, he is still just a rookie, and that was evident against the Packers when he threw three interceptions and made a few bad decisions. 

One of those poor decisions came late in the game, with the Panthers down by seven points in the fourth quarter.  On a 3rd and one play from the Packers three-yard line, Newton scrambled and ended up running out of bounds for a four-yard loss instead of throwing the ball away. 

An incomplete pass would have set up a 4th and one play, but instead it was 4th and four, and the Panthers failed to gain a first down on the next play. 

Newton’s upside has been tremendous, and once he limits the mistakes he will be one of the best quarterbacks in the league.  He is not very far away, and that’s only after two games.       

Bears cannot protect Cutler

The Chicago Bears spent two first round draft picks and a lot of money on quarterback Jay Cutler, but it seems like they have no interest in trying to protect him. 

The New Orleans Saints had a field day against Cutler, sacking him six times and getting after him usually before he could complete a simple five-step drop back. 

That led to the Saints 30-13 win. 

The Bears had this problem last season, and they have done nothing to address it.  A better offensive line could put them over the top, but instead they’re getting their quarterback killed.   

Same old Raiders

This is supposed to be a new Oakland Raiders team.  One that is headed in the right direction.  But in reality, they are the same old Raiders. 

Up 21-3 against the Buffalo Bills, the wheels pretty much fell off of the Raiders defense, as the Bills scored five second half touchdowns on their five drives in the half, leading to their 38-35 win

The Raiders had every chance to win the game, and they had the Bills on the brink with a 4th and one play with less than a minute to play.  But a blown assignment left a Bills receiver wide open over the middle of the field for an easy touchdown. 

Thanks for coming Raiders, now take your loss and go home. 

Big games this week

Who would have ever thought that the New England Patriots top competitor would be the Bills?  Well, nobody, and they probably aren’t. 

But through two games both teams are 2-0, and both teams are lighting up the scoreboard.  The Bills are averaging 39.5 points per game while the Patriots are putting up 36.5.

Take the Patriots in this game, but it is always fun to root for the underdog.  Maybe the Bills will prove that they are the real deal.

The Houston Texans look like they want to take control of the AFC South with the Indianapolis Colts in the tanks without quarterback Peyton Manning.  They will be tested by the Saints.

The Packers travel to the Bears for a rematch of the NFC Championship Game.  It’s a new year, but the results will probably be the same.  The Packers will have Cutler running around for his life.   


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