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Weekly Reactions: Preseason Week Two

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Aug 17, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) and running back Jonathan Stewart (28) celebrate after a touchdown by Stewart during the first half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Starting QBs (Newton, Brady, Romo)
Cam Newton for two seasons has shown his NFL critics that he can be one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league. Coming from ankle surgery and injury, Newton was still fresh, but still played in week two. The Panthers took on the Kansas City Chiefs who happened to take two interceptions to the house against Jason Campbell and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Against the Chiefs, Newton struggled at first, missing multiple throws and going three and out. In his final two series though, Newton did not have a problem in getting his team down the field. During his time under center, Newton was able to lead the Panthers down the field for two touchdowns, both coming on runs by Johnathan Stewart. Despite getting sacked twice for -19 yards, Newton was able to hand the ball off and lead his team to touchdowns. While his 4-9, 65-yard stat line is not the greatest, I’ll admit it’s justifiable. Newton was coming back after ankle surgery and was throwing to an entirely new receiving corps. His ability to string together back-to-back TD drives and bounce back from early disappointment is something that should not be taken lightly considering his injuries. What we should see from Newton in these coming weeks is more of an emphasis on pass completion. Once he masters passing with his receivers, I believe that is when we will see Newton take off for some designed QB keepers.

For Tony Romo, this past game against the Baltimore Ravens was a huge stepping stone. This game for Romo signified the first game since he received treatment on his lower back. The Cowboys lost 27-7 week two against the San Diego Chargers. This week the ‘Boys played Baltimore and the Ravens’ defense and looked good. Other than an unfortunate fumble on his first series, Romo was able to make key passes and lead the offense down the field. Three of Romo’s four completed passes (out of five attempted, 80% completion) went for 20 yards or more. One of those passes included a 31-yard strike from Romo to stud WR Dez Bryant for a touchdown. Considering that Romo received back surgery no more than a year ago, last Saturday’s game was a success in my book. His three passes for 20+ yards is what really surprised me. I believe that once Romo gets some more practice reps and preseason action under his belt, he will be back in great QB shape.

In week two’s game against the Redskins, New England Patriots’ back-up QB Mallet  played lack-luster football, completing just five out of his 12 passes for 55 yards (41.6% completion). On the other hand, rookie Jimmy Garoppolo impressed, completing nine of his 13 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown (12.1 yards per attempt). Starting QB Tom Brady sat out, watching his two back-ups show their stuff.

This past week the Patriots will took on the Philadelphia Eagles and a pass defense that allowed the Chicago Bears to pass for 399 yards and four touchdowns during week two. Tom Brady started the game for the Pats and proved that he still has what it takes to be the starting QB in Boston. Although his sixth pass was returned 77 yards for a touchdown by Cary Williams, Brady was able to come back and march 74 yards down the field and score. At the end of the drive, Brady stepped back and passed to WR Kenbrell Thompkins for a 15-yard TD. Although his pick six was not Tom Brady-esque, Brady still was able to complete 8 of 10 for 81 yards for a touchdown. We all know that Brady is going to be a week one starter, now is a time to evaluate his current health and see if he truly has enough in the tank to make it through this season.

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