Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera. (USA Today Sports)
You’ve probably heard Chip Kelly say it multiple times by now.
“Cam [Newton] last year was different,” he said. “Cam was coming off an ankle surgery and he wasn’t really running. They weren’t really running him that much. He’s playing different this year. I’ve said it before, I don’t think a lot of the things we did last year are really what we are going to be doing this year.”
But quarterback play isn’t the only reason the Panthers have taken the jump from last year’s losing record to this season’s undefeated start. We talked to several players and coaches this week to get a feel for not only Newton, but what you can expect from their other position groups as well. Read more »
Sorry to be so obvious, but I’d be lying if I said my focus was going to be anywhere else.
Given the evidence presented over the first six weeks, the Eagles appear to be equipped with one of the best defenses in football. The front seven is rock solid, reinforcements could be on the way in the form of Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso, and the back end appears to be steadily improving as the familiarity grows. They might just be good enough to make something of this season.
But they’re going to need the cooperation of their quarterback. The defense ranks second in the league with 16 takeaways. Problem is, the team is just plus-two in the giveaway/takeaway department thanks to 14 turnovers on offense. Bradford has been charged with 10 of those — nine by interception with one fumble lost.
Chip Kelly said that one of the reasons he was interested in Bradford was because of the way he took care of the football. (He had 59 TDs to 38 INTs in St. Louis). So far, Kelly is not getting what he signed up for. The QB needs to snap out of it, and quick, because multiple turnovers on the road against Carolina will probably result in an ‘L’. Read more »
“The strengths are obviously the defense and what they’re able to do with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis at linebacker, Kawann Short at defensive tackle and Josh Norman at cornerback. Kuechly’s arguably the best linebacker in the game and Norman is elevating his game to elite status. And then on the offensive side Cam Newton is getting it done. Last week wasn’t pretty for the first three quarters and then he turned in his best fourth quarter ever to win in Seattle–something no one does. Read more »
Looking at last year’s game, it seems safe to say the Eagles figured out Cam Newton. The Panthers Pro Bowler registered a quarterback rating of just 15.3 against Philadelphia, in part because he was sacked nine times and ran the ball twice for six yards.
But as Newton has led the Panthers to a surprising 5-0 start this season, the Eagles have little reason to reflect on last year — largely because the quarterback had an ankle injury.
“We faced a different Cam,” Chip Kellyreportedly told Carolina media yesterday. “We haven’t spent a lot of time looking at last year just because I don’t think Cam was at 100 percent last year when we played them.” Read more »
Like you, we spent a good part of our Sunday taking in the games. Here are a few notes/thoughts with an Eagles slant:
*The most significant news stemming from Sunday’s action is that the Eagles will move into first place in the division with a win over the Giants. The only NFC East team that played was Washington (the Cowboys are on their bye), which dropped to 2-4 with a 34-20 loss to the Jets. Read more »
While talking about Jordan Matthews at his postgame press conference Monday night, Mark Sanchez joked that he didn’t want too pump up the rookie too much because “he’ll get a big head and his hat won’t fit.”
There were no signs of an inflated ego as Matthews faced the large crowd of reporters surrounding his locker stall, though, and his green Eagles cap with the black brim seemed to fit just fine. He had just busted out on Monday Night Football, snaring seven balls for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help his team improve to 7-2. How did it feel?
“I felt like I was Jeremy Maclin,” said Matthews, drawing a big smile out of No. 18 a couple stalls down. “At the same time, you have to put it behind you. Like I said, I have a bunch of great guys ahead of me who show me how to be a professional. If you take too much time looking at the stats and drinking the Kool-Aid, you lose your appetite. I just try to put it behind me and move forward.” Read more »