Do you remember what a big deal some of you made about the towel Cam Newton wears on his head when he’s on the bench? I didn’t. Men’s headwear rarely concerns me. Also, the towel had nothing to do with football. But many of you manufactured reasons to criticize Carolina’s quarterback, and this was one of them.
If you need to, you can question Newton’s first down celebrations and his trademark Superman pose. But you can’t question his courage. He took a huge hit from New Orleans defensive end Turk McBride Sunday, the kind that looked as if it would knock him out of a game. Newton injured his left ankle and was on his stomach for perhaps two minutes. He rolled over and finally rose, walking slowly off the field without help. The ankle was taped and six plays later Newton returned. Why did he come back? Why wouldn’t he? When hasn’t he? This was not a game you walk away from, even if it is with a limp.
• Wonder how many French Quarter visitors wake up Sunday morning and promise they will never drink again?
• I told you the trade to acquire Armanti Edwards would pay off. All right, it hasn’t -- yet. But Edwards has moments. Most games he simmers. Is he in uniform, on the bench, in the huddle? Then, there he is. On Sunday he returned a punt 69 yards and the Panthers scored on the next play. Yes, Edwards was pushed out of bounds by punter Thomas Morstead. But when people gather to discuss the speed of punters they usually rank Morstead as one of the five fastest in all of the NFL. And if he’s not in the top five, he’s almost certainly in the top 10. If punters had a 4x100 team, Morstead might run the final segment. I’m serious.
• The Saints have given up more yards than any team in NFL history, and against Carolina it was as if they wanted to ensure nobody would break it. The Panthers gained 530 yards, picked up 28 first downs and converted 10 of 16 – 63 percent – of their third-down opportunities.
• Wonder how many French Quarter visitors change their mind Sunday night?