SBM Sports: A Tale of Two Quarterbacks From Last Sunday’s NFL Games

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Cam and Matt

Week 16 in the NFL is an important day for most (real and fake) teams. It’s Super Bowl week in most (well-run) fantasy leagues. And it’s do or die time for actual, real-life teams. Division championships, seedings, and playoff berths are all on the line. A few teams control their own destiny, and what they do in Week 16 can tell you a lot about them.

I’m a Lions fan. It’s a curse my Dad bestowed upon me at birth. It really isn’t my fault.

That said, I have watched Matt Stafford closely since he was drafted in 2009. He was the prize QB with the Golden Arm that was supposed to rescue us from the bottom of an 0-16 grave.

Week 16 showed me he’s not the franchise player I thought the Lions drafted…and extended in July of this year.

As many of you know, I’m a supporter of Tony Romo. He’s a guy whose talent has been hidden by the ineptitude of his coach and GM/Owner in my opinion. Stafford had that same excuse for years. A team doesn’t go 0-16 because it’s stocked with talent after all.

matt-stafford-eats-grass

Anyway, this year it was all in front of Stafford. A 6-3 record. A devastating injury to Aaron Rodgers. A season sweep of the Chicago Bears (to his credit). AND games against smedium competition (Steelers, Buccaneers, Packers, and Giants since that 6-3 record). Stafford managed a 1-5 record since. Throwing out the game against the Eagles (because it was in a blizzard), Stafford has still been inaccurate and turnover prone.  And now he’s cost his team a postseason berth.

As bad as it has been for Lions fans, I was intrigued by the rise of Cam Newton as Stafford wet his pants in Detroit.

For some reason…

Cam had the weight of the world of his shoulders since he was drafted in 2011. Despite also being a number one pick (i.e. drafted to a terrible team), Cam had an unprecedented rookie year, seemingly shaking off the criticism he received ahead of the draft…for some reason…

Cam battled a monsoon and a tough New Orleans defense to lead his Carolina Panthers to a late win and playoff berth. His  achievement was highlighted by a priceless set of tweets by noted gasbag reporter Peter King. Here they are, read from bottom to top:

pkcam-600x293

This Tale of Two Quarterbacks was fun to watch unfold on Twitter.

Let’s see, two quarterbacks drafted first overall to bad teams. Both had ups (Cam’s rookie year, Matt’s 5,000 yard season) and downs in their young careers. And both had games in Week 16 that had perception-altering stakes. So why does Cam’s success get marginalized with a patronizing pat on the head while Stafford’s flop goes largely unmentioned.

I think we know the answer.

But tell me anyway, I’m curious how you’ve perceived Stafford’s career arc thus far. What about Newton? Feel free to write your comment while sitting in that chair outside the dressing room in the mall. I know you’re doing your last minute shopping.

Happy Holidays!

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  • Mr_SD

    Cam is what RG3 is going to be if he pays close enough attention and stop trying to be the Lebron of Football. I'm a Niner fan and Carolina kicked our arse this season but I'm proud of Cam.. He's really matured into a good quarterback

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    Theres the obvious elephant in the room but its also backwards logic the media has, the look at the stars to show and prove and hold no one else accountable. Phillip Rivers may never win another playoff game in his career but if RG3rdstring doesn’t bounce back next year they’ll be hell to pay. Matt Stafford, Matt Ryan get passes because the league is big with or without em, the spotlight is on Romo and Brees because they need them to be in the mix

    • Joe Sargent

      Interesting take. It reminds me of the ESPN criticism. People get mad at them for covering Yankees/Red Sox/Tebow/Duke/etc…but they watch. So does ESPN make these teams/players big by giving them attention, or are they just reporting what people want to see?

      I tend to think the latter, based on the historical success of those teams. I do think Tebow was a media concoction though. I certainly fall into it in debates I have in-person and online about the horribleness of NY teams or the struggles of the Lakers.

  • High_Five_Ghost

    Ok…I’m starting to see your plight

    This seems so similar to the Cowboys….of the 10 year past

    High potential, high talent and putrid results.

    I still contend that your Lions (though disappointing), can turn it around.

    Schwartz gave ‘em swag and that was good for when they were 0-16. But now he’s gotta go. That said, the Lions are the most attractive coaching job available. I can’t speak for the organization; you’d know that better than I. But, it seems like you guys are a coach away.

    • Joe Sargent

      Agree 1000000% that Schwartz must go. I also would love to see Stafford replaced, but I'm not jaded enough to think any old replacement (Cutler, Bridgewater, Cousins, any other hot backup or free agent) would come in a be 100x better.

      Based on track record, I would bet that Schwartz keeps his job. The Lions have a history of hanging onto people a few years too long. I like that in the sense that you can't keep changing coaches and expect sustained success IMO (the Pistons would be a good example of this…five coaches in six years off the top of my head). But Schwartz has had enough time to show you who he is. I'd replace swagger for discipline at this point with the talent on the team.

      • Joe Sargent

        Aaaaaaaaand 4 minutes later, I see that Schwarz has been let go. CALL LOVIE SMITH!

        • Peter Parker

          Yeah Joe, he had to go. A talented team such as the Lions there needed to be a change. I will always respect Schwarz esp. when I found out he coached a year at a HBCU "NCCU" Anyways, who ever is the new coach is in motown, good luck.

  • http://www.opinionatedmale.com cortonio

    well the cowboys spit the bit again, I don't know when jerry jones is going to wake up…but at the same time he's made so much money he probably doesn't care about the franchise who knows?
    If the lions can get another receiver to take pressure of johnson and if reggie bush can duplicate what he did they should be okay. stafford relies on johnson way too much
    My recent post Killer Shoe Game: New Jordans Are To Die For…Literally

    • Joe Sargent

      The Lions have been looking for that other receiver for a few years now. Their Alshon Jeffery if you will. Nate Burleson is the best they've come up with…which says a lot.

      Titus Young had some issues. Ryan Broyles isn't good. Kris Durha-LOL! They've swung and missed recently. Glad to see Reggie Bush live up to expectations, but I agree, they need that second banana.

  • http://www.kvalsoren.net/north-face-hommes-down-jacket-c-17.html http://www.kvalsoren.net/images/large/11northfr/TheNorthFaceMensWindstopperJacketDodgerBlue-215_LRG.

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