Cam Newton gets his shot at revenge against Von Miller and the Denver Broncos right out of the gates. FOOTBALL IS BACK!
Seven months ago Von Miller lived inside Cam Newton’s jersey. Miller spent Super Bowl 50 whispering into Cam Newton’s earhole while pile driving the NFL’s MVP into submission. If you think that statement is hyperbole, I encourage you to rewatch the final minutes of Super Bowl 50. Newton opted out of diving for a fumble, choosing instead to accept his fate as the nail that Sunday. Miller and the Broncos were the hammer.
How much has changed?
Well, the Panthers lost their All-Pro cornerback. Denver swapped out a noodle-armed, savvy veteran for the last quarterback taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. Super Bowl MVP Von Miller became a national sensation, appearing on reality shows while also reeling in a fat new contract. Cam Newton? Well, he started sporting strange hats…
I’m worried about Cam. Following the Super Bowl loss I wondered if he would transform himself into 2012 LeBron James.
Apparently, Newton is sticking with the goofy, fun-loving persona… which is great. His spunk is what makes Newton so lovable. I simply don’t want a Super Bowl/MVP/League’s most exciting player hangover season from Newton. Donovan McNabb did it in 2005 (and pretty much every year after until the end of his career). Colin Kaepernick careened from being what many believed (myself included) was the new QB prototype to nearly out of the league. Andrew Luck was supposed to be an MVP candidate in 2015 before he fell flat on his face. It took Matthew Stafford four seasons to return to his 2011 form. Josh Freeman never found it again. The list goes on and on. Granted, Newton is on a different level than Freeman or Stafford, and he’s better than McNabb or Kaepernick ever were, but my fear remains.
As for the game, I like Carolina’s defense against a rookie quarterback who’s only NFL snap was to take a knee before halftime. PANTHERS If I were Charles Barkley; Panthers -3
[One final note: Allow me to excuse my poor writing over the next couple of weeks in advance… Yes, the NFL season starts every year at the same time. You know this. I know this. Yet, every single year the season sneaks up on me. I’ve been waiting for football to return the moment NBA Free Agency died down, and here I am just hours from kickoff feeling unprepared and scrambling. There are more things I must read. More players to learn. More losing bets to be made. More everything. I’m not sure why this happens, but once I figure it out it’ll probably solve my tardiness affliction.]