By Marc Lawrence — Cam Newton’s addition makes the New England Patriots better than they were last week with presumed starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham. But better than they were last season? When they won an 11th straight division title? With Tom Brady? Crazy talk Or not? Not according to NFL Insider Chris Simms. Account for a strong defense, a run-oriented offensive line and a stable of backs. Simms told the New York Post, “I honestly think the way the team is built right now fits more to Cam Newton football than it does to Tom Brady football.” The NBC Sports analyst went on to say, “People are sleeping on this guy. That’s just tailor-made for Cam, and now you have the ability to do more creative things within the running game. Now you have one of the greatest play-action offenses in football.” Remember, NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner underwent a similar situation when he went through a similar experience, cut by the St. Louis Rams after winning an MVP and reaching back-to-back Super Bowls. He proved the doubters wrong to restore a Hall of Fame career with the Arizona Cardinals. While there is no putting anything past the creative minds in New England – a two-quarterback rotation or a Taysom Hill-like specialty role to limit Newton’s injury exposure, for example – the fact remains that former MVP players with a chip on their shoulder are often most dangerous. “When you have to re-prove yourself, you relish that,” said Warner. If it works, the AFC landscape just changed. For more on Newton’s signing with Pats click here.
When the NBA makeshift season resumes, the Denver Nuggets have a mathematical chance to win the No. 1 seed in the West, albeit most unlikely. They would need to go 8-0 and the Lakers 0-8 for that to happen. As Tony Soprano would say, “fuggedaboutit”.
Grinding Out The Profits
2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine reports: The Steelers were without a first-round pick in this year’s draft after trading what became the 18th overall pick in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick. It’s hard to think that they’re regretting that decision too much at this point. Fitzpatrick is still just 23, and he brought a much-needed dose of playmaking to the back end of Pittsburgh’s secondary. Over the first two weeks of the season, the Steelers ranked 27th in team coverage grade, but they improved to second from Weeks 3 to 17 after trading for Fitzpatrick. I’d call that a Steeler coup.