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Panthers Win, Panthers Win 

September 11, 2014

It did not look good for the Carolina Panthers when it was announced that Cam Newton would be sitting out the season opener at Tampa Bay. Head Coach Ron Rivera decided Saturday night that it was in Newton’s best interests to have one more week to heal the rib fracture he suffered 17 days earlier in preseason action. 

Rivera handed the ball to backup quarterback Derek Anderson. The same Derek Anderson who had not started a game in 45 months. The last time Anderson did start was back in 2010 when he was with the Arizona Cardinals. The same Derek Anderson who lost his last six games as a starter.

Derek Anderson 

In the end, it was a great day for Anderson. He led Carolina to a 20-14 division win on the road against an improved Buc team. Anderson completed 24-for-34 passes for 230-yards and two scored. He did not throw an interception and he gave the team confidence in the event Newton misses time in the near future. 

Anderson was at his best early as he and the Panthers opened up the scoring after a nine-minute drive midway through the first half. He completed five of six passes during the march that was culminated by a five-yard strike to tight end Greg Olsen for a touchdown. The defense took over from there as Carolina cruised to a six point win in a game that was not as close as the score indicated.   

NFL Week One Wrap-up 

Unexpected was the buzz word around the NFL after the close of Week One. Did you expect the following to take place: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are alone in last place of the AFC East for the first time since Brady took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2001. This supposed great defense was gashed for 191 rushing yards at Miami on Sunday and Brady was shut out in the second half.

The final: Miami 33, New England 20. Every other team in the AFC East won leaving the Pats in the basement. 

New Orleans supposedly improved a defense that already ranked in the top five of the NFL last season. Not so fast. The Saints gave up a franchise-record 445 passing yards in Atlanta. Matt Ryan had his best day in the NFL. The final: Atlanta 37, New Orleans 34. Remember the Falcons lost all their close games last season. 

Buffalo went to Chicago and physically matched up well with the powerful Bears. The final: Buffalo 23, Chicago 20. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler continues to throw the ball to the wrong team in key moments. It also did not help Da Bears that the Bills ran the ball at will during the second half and overtime. 

Falcons’ Matt Ryan

The Packers got physically overmatched by the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. The final: Seattle 36, Green Bay 16. I would say that the Hawks just toyed with the Pack but they must have played hard. Numerous Packers suffered injuries while getting kicked around. 

The Eagles’ turnover-proof quarterback, Nick Foles, (at least in 2013) coughed it up three times in the first half and the Jaguars raced to a 17-0 lead. Reality was restored however in the second half. The final: Philadelphia 34, Jacksonville 17. The Eagles were the lone team to post a week one win within the NFC East, easily the most dreadful division in the NFL.

Alex Smith threw three interceptions. The Chiefs looked downright awful. The final: Tennessee 26, Kansas City 10. Smith must have celebrated too much after signing a huge contract earlier in the week.  

Ray Rice Story Is Back 

The story that will not seem to go away is right back in the news again. The latest TMX video on Rice’s physical abuse of his then fiancee was released Monday morning. The video, though grainy, clearly shows Rice hitting Janay Palmer with a hard left hook, and she hits her head on the side of the elevator before falling to the floor. 

If league officials saw this video before issuing the two-game ban for Rice, all the scorn that’s been heaped on Roger Goodell and his colleagues will be deserved. Goodell admitted he was at fault for misjudging the Rice sanction and 11 days ago issued a re-written domestic violence policy, with a six-game ban for a first offense. 

Roger Goodell

I have two questions. How could the NFL not have known about or not seen the tape? The incident took place in a casino. There are cameras every place in casinos. And the new policy speaks of a six game ban for a first offense. How come Rice received a lifetime suspension? It was his first offense. We all knew he struck her in the head even if there was not a video. The initial video we saw showed him dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. He admitted to hitting her before he received the two game ban. What is so different now?  Just because we saw how he hit her now leads to a lifetime suspension.

I don’t understand the NFL on this one. The league, and Goodell, do not look good.



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