Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is loving his new QB Cam Newton, but it hasn’t changed his attitude.
It was all smiles in the Patriots locker room on Sunday afternoon, as Cam Newton debuted in a relatively sweat-less game, effortlessly carrying the offense downfield whenever called upon to do so. He even triumphantly got to keep his chain.
But if there’s no one in Foxborough to witness a victory over Miami, does it make a sound?
As soon as the final whistle blew, Patriots scribes seemed extra excited for at least one element of the football season to return to normalcy as they hustled to Bill Belichick’s postgame Zoom for some tight-lipped half answering.
Luckily, Belichick didn’t disappoint. After being asked about the elephant in the room — Can you compare this season without fans to anything you’ve experienced in your football life?! — Belichick had a perfect canned answer prepared.
Seriously, we’ve missed this. Clearly, Belichick isn’t too overwhelmed by the constant postmortems on the Brady Era, or COVID-19 protocols, or the opt outs that swarmed his roster about a month ago. Sure, the vibe is different in 2020 without the raging rooters occupying the bleachers, but according to our coach, who cares? It’s practice, but it counts. Not that interesting. Go out there and execute.
Belichick even had enough stamina left to drop jokes on the team’s writers, one of whom tried to ask an honest question about rostering an extra QB for the weeks to come.
Yeah, just put Zolak in. That should do it.
All in all, it was a happy weekend in New England for all parties involved, and the team’s “weaknesses” were easily overshadowed by Josh McDaniels and Belichick’s ingenuity, Cam’s effectiveness, and the defense’s ball-hawking mastery.
Sure, it felt a little like practice. But it was the type of practice tape everybody watches and gets jacked up over for the weeks to come. Not a bad start.
Atlanta Falcons: Entire franchise has to be turned upside down
The Atlanta Falcons product is unacceptable.
This is the first time since the dumpster fire in 2007, the Atlanta Falcons have started this season 0-3. Back then, they had a legit excuse, however, for this team to start the season like this is inexcusable.
What’s wrong with the Atlanta Falcons?
Everything is wrong with the Atlanta Falcons. From the front office to the coaching staff all the way down to the players. The Falcons have issues at every level. You can’t have these kinda issues if you expect to be a top tier team in this league.
What they didn’t address is the cornerback position. While they did sign Darqueze Dennard, there were better options out there for this front office. Now they’re struggling to stop anyone and it’s been that way for a while.
The Atlanta Falcons have become complacent with the status quo.
Dan Quinn has been the head coach since 2015. While he did lead this team to the Super Bowl in 2016, what did he do to try and get back? Absolutely nothing. An even better question is this, what has he done to change things up? Absolutely nothing.
The Atlanta Falcons have had numerous coordinators on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and yet it seems like all these teams look and play the same. Quinn is the only constant in this all and because of the complacency that had plagued this team, his job is in jeopardy.
Everyone thinks that this offense has the talent to be consistently elite. Matt Ryan is at quarterback. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are the best receiving duo on the NFL when healthy. The offense can put up points at any given moment.
The defense has always found a way to spoil those moments. When the defense does decide to show up, the offense for some reason just goes stagnant out of nowhere. It’s hard to recall the last time the Atlanta Falcons put together a complete game from both sides. Some of that falls on coaching but there are also moments when these players don’t execute when they need to.
If you need an example, look no further than the Cowboys game when the Falcons special teams have a brain fart and forgot how to do their job.
Falcon fans are irate because this team is 0-3. There is way too much talent on this team for their record to be what it is. No one will be surprised if the Falcons are at the bottom of the power rankings once they come out after week three.
This isn’t a situation where the finger should be pointed at one person. Just like win teams win, when a team loses, it’s a team effort. Every level in this franchise has played a part in this abysmal start. It’s not a good feeling when and except for this kind of thing to happen but that’s currently the case. Dan Quinn should be done and TD should be given his walking papers as well.
2021 NFL Draft: Panthers kiss Trevor Lawrence goodbye in latest mock
Which incoming NFL Draft prospects might be on the Carolina Panthers in 2021?
The Carolina Panthers managed to pick up their first win of the season at the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, which might have hurt their potential chances of drafting a high-end quarterback prospect.
There is a large section of the Carolina Panthers’ fanbase who are clamoring for the team to struggle so they are in a position to take Clemson’s standout signal-caller Trevor Lawrence, who is now the consensus No. 1 overall pick. This might seem like a bizarre way to approach the 2020 season from a supporter perspective. But it is somewhat understandable after a significant period of frustration for the franchise.
It already appears highly unlikely that the Panthers are going to possess the NFL’s worst record when it’s all said and done.
The New York Jets are an absolute mess and wouldn’t hesitate to take Lawrence if given the chance. But what might be more concerning for Carolina is they might not even be in a position to take someone like Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, who could be the heir apparent to Luke Kuechly if he ended up on the Panthers.
The Draft Network’s mock simulator has the Panthers selecting at No. 7 overall at the present time. This was where they picked in 2020, which they used to take Auburn defensive tackle, Derrick Brown.
Let’s take a look at which way they might go next time around in our first mock draft following the SEC season openers last weekend.
Packers show Super Bowl potential with huge win over Saints
The Packers won a shootout against the Saints to remain undefeated.
Led by Aaron Rodgers at his MVP-best, the Green Bay Packers offense proved their recent performances were no fluke, taking down the New Orleans Saints on the road in Week 3.
Even without Davante Adams, the offense didn’t miss a beat, picking up where it left off last week. With a near-flawless performance, Rodgers looked in control all night, firing to nine different receivers to the tune of 283 yards and three touchdowns.
In need of a pass-catcher to step up in the absence of Adams, Allen Lazard took on the task as he so often has, catching six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Not just the numbers, but also the timing of some of Lazard’s catches stood out. It was a career-day for the Packers’ talented receiver.
Aaron Jones looked like Aaron Jones — efficient with the ball in his hands. He didn’t have his biggest performance, but Jones stepped up when the Packers needed him and found the end zone once.
We also saw more from the tight ends at long last. Robert Tonyan led the way with five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, while Jace Sternberger put last week’s drops behind him, catching all three of his targets for 36 yards.
The Packers will want Adams back as soon as possible, but they’ve proved time and again under Matt LaFleur that they can find new ways to win. They’ve won all five games without Adams since the start of 2019.
Packers defense struggles but makes big plays at key moments
This was set up to be an offensive battle between two great quarterbacks, and the Packers defense struggled. Six defenders missing tackles on Alvin Kamara’s 52-yard catch-and-run touchdown is one they’ll want to forget about quickly, but for the most part this was again a disappointing performance.
When New Orleans opted to run the ball, it did so with success, averaging 6.1 yards per carry from 20 attempts. The biggest problem was trying to stop Kamara through the air; he caught 13 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
However, when it mattered most, the defense came up with some key plays. With the game tied at 27-27, the Saints had former Packer Taysom Hill in at quarterback. Za’Darius Smith made one of the plays of the game, forcing a fumble and then recovering it. After the Packers put up a field goal, the defense forced a three-and-out to ensure the momentum, and the game, was Green Bay’s.
The game was won by the offense, but the defense made some key plays along the way.
With this win, the Packers move to 3-0 and earn a vital tiebreaker over the Saints. With one game left before the bye, Green Bay hosts the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field next Monday night.
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