- 09/13/2011, 03:47AM ET
Mrlns Fn said 09/13, 03:47 AM
Ok, now that the NFL's first full week is in the books, let's debate which player had the most surprising performance.
For me it's easily Cam Newton.
I'll be honest - after his abysmal preseason performance, I wasn't expecting much at all. Remember, he didn't even complete half of his pass attempts in the preseason.
Not to mention the fact that while in college, he wasn't known as a pure passer. He was known as a guy who was freakishly athletic and could break off long runs and bowl people over, and because of his running ability, he often had wide open receivers to throw the ball to.
But in his debut against the Cardinals, he pulled a pretty good Tom Brady impersonation - 24-37 for 422 yards and 2 TDs, while only throwing one pick. (He also ran for a score, but that part wasn't too surprising)
Cam kept the lowly Panthers in the game against the Cardinals, and while the Cards may not be the toughest team in the NFL, I for one sure didn't expect Newton to play as well as he did, or to finish with such astonishingly good passing numbers.
Cam had Steve Smith looking like a stud again, and I for one was shocked by his passing proficiency.
Hey Urban, You busy next Fall? said 09/13, 04:41 AM
My pick would have to be LeGarrette Blount even though Cam Newton was a HUGE surprise.
I think Blount was a HUGE bust (for fantasy owners)/surprise for everyone week one with his 5 attempts 15 yards and only 1 of those attempts coming in the second half.
**I will use Fantasy Stats in this argument**
Pos. Team Name ESPN Pos Rank ESPN 300/PPR SI Wk1 Rnk
RB TB LeGarrette Blount 24 68 15
Blount had the second most rushing attempts on the team behind FB Earnest Graham who rushed the ball 6 times.
In games that Blount started last year his fewest attempts were 13 for 55 yards against Baltimore. Last year against DET Blount rushed 15 times for 100+ yards and a TD.
*Stole this from NFL.com*
Bucs coach Raheem Morris said he plans on keeping Blount more involved in future games.
"That's not how we want to win games," Morris conceded about the no-huddle attack. "We want to win games with Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and being efficient (in the passing game). When we go to the two-minute offense, you take Blount the game."
Mrlns Fn said 09/14, 12:42 AM
Regarding Blount, this year's Detroit Lions front seven is beastly, and it shouldn't be a surprise that they were difficult to run against.
The Lions D-Line includes Cliff Avril, Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, and Kyle Vanden Bosch, and their LB corps is pretty studly as well, with Justin Durant, Stephen Tulloch, and De Andre Levy all being good LBs who can defend against the run.
It's not much of a surprise that Detroit didn't yield a ton of rush yards, especially when you consider that after the Bucs took an initial lead, they were playing from behind and didn't manage an offensive TD until the game was almost over.
Tampa Bay couldn't afford to run the ball a lot when trying to play catch up with the Lions.
I was a little surprised that Blount only had 15 rushing yards upon first glance, but a closer look shows the reasoning behind him only having 5 carries.
Newton on the other hand was a complete revelation.
No one could've predicted a 300 yard game for him, much less 400.
And it was utterly shocking that he completed such a high percentage of his passes. He only completed 42% in the preseason, compared to almost 65% on Sunday.
Hey Urban, You busy next Fall? said 09/14, 02:12 AM
*I was a little surprised that Blount only had 15 rushing yards upon first glance but a closer look shows the reasoning behind him only having 5 carries*
I don't think anyone is questioning the Lions front 7 they are def full of talent accross the board I think what everyone is surprised about is what you said right here "especially when you consider that after the Bucs took an initial lead" What is a normal game plan for a coach going against an "O" that can put up points in a hurry? THAT WOULD BE TO RUN THE BALL. When you have a RB that can keep the other team off the field and move the chains for you. You need to let him do that, not use a 1 year wonder and try to sling it out against a up and coming "future HOF" You can't even keep the Lions honest if you don't insert a play action pass threat into the mix
*No one could've predicted a 300 yard game for him, much less 400*
He played the Cardinal who were ranked 31 in pass "D" last yr who gave up on avg 403 yrds and 2 TD so at best he did what everyone else that played them last year did. Was it a surprise coming from Cam Newton I can honestly say I was surprised but Idk if it was him I was more surprised by or Steve Smith
Mrlns Fn said 09/14, 03:02 AM
Lol I'm glad you explained the stats you posted were from the Cardinals-Panthers game, because I was sitting here thinking "I know the Carinals D wasn't spectacular, but 403 yards passing a game?!?!" Threw me for a loop with that one.
Anyhoo, the Cardinals defense last year wasn't great; they were middle of the pack, giving up a little over 228 passing yards per game.
So when you consider that Cam Newton, in his first NFL game, scorched them for 422 passing yards, I think that's quite noteworthy.
Cam had a reputation for being a subpar passer, yet he lit up an NFL defense for almost 200 yards more than their average in his first game.
Quite impressive, and very surprising.
Back to Blount, you said it yourself - the Lions have a great front 7. Not only that, but the Lions took a lead in the game, and when Tampa Bay was trying to score their first offensive TD, Raheem Morris clearly thought he had a better shot by utilizing the passing game, and I for one would have to agree with him.
Normally coaches lean on their RBs heavily when they're protecting a lead. TB was trying to catch DET, hence the lack of running. No surprise there.
Hey Urban, You busy next Fall? said 09/14, 04:11 AM
I had to clear that up right away I knew something was fishy about that but it didnt click in until I hit submit but anyways:
I am glad you said this "Raheem Morris clearly thought he had a better shot by utilizing the passing game, and I for one would have to agree with him." Because I can go back to my orignal argument and pull this out even the coach knows he shoulda used him more Bucs coach Raheem Morris said he plans on keeping Blount more involved in future games.
"That's not how we want to win games," Morris conceded about the no-huddle attack. "We want to win games with Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and being efficient (in the passing game). When we go to the two-minute offense, you take Blount the game.
*Cam had a reputation for being a subpar passer, yet he lit up an NFL defense for almost 200 yards more than their average in his first game.*
(YES I UNDERSTAND THIS IS COLLEGE STATS BUT HAVE TO USE SOMETHING WHEN HES A ROOKIE)
I think a lot of us thought Cam Newton was a subpar passer ONLY because his running ability was what stole the SC hightlights BUT he threw for almost 3000 yards, 30 TD and a PR of 182.05, in comparison Andrew Luck has a 170.16
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