History is being made every day by these talented young athletes who are playing large and taking charge. Carolina is 14-0 and is chasing history — over the last two years they have won 18 straight games. That’s the third longest winning streak in NFL history. Quarterback Cam Newton, the son of a Baptist preacher, is orchestrating this remarkable season.
For the third time in five weeks, Newton threw five touchdown passes Sunday in a game mired by Giant Odell Beckham, Jr.’s over-the-top confrontation with Carolina’s cornerback Josh Norman and a complete loss of poise and respect for the game. Newton, after watching his Panthers collapse in the second half and blow a 35-7 lead, delivered his team to victory 38-35 over the New York Giants.
Those same Giants (6-8) will be in Minneapolis for a critical Sunday Night NFL Prime Time game on NBC against the Vikings.
Newton is the clear leader in the NFL MVP race with 33 touchdown passes, 19 in the last five weeks. The Seattle Seahawks, the back-to-back NFC Champions, have won five straight, and quarterback Russell Wilson has been incredible also.
Wilson is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw three or more touchdown passes in five straight games without an interception. He has 29 touchdown passes this year, and his team, the Seahawks, have clinched a playoff spot for the fourth-straight season.
The Vikings Sunday scored a season-high 38 points and dominated the Chicago Bears 38-17. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was sensational after being criticized by some for not delivering enough down-the-field passes. He threw four touchdown passes and ran for another. It was a magical day for Bridgewater — he completed 17 of 20 passes for 241 yards.
The Vikings are now 9-5 after ending a two-game losing skid. Bridgewater’s quarterback rating was a career-best 154.4! He has the Vikings on the brink of clinching a playoff spot with two games to play.
Five Black starting quarterbacks for Carolina, the Vikings, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Buffalo have combined to boast a 44-24 record. Newton, Wilson, Bridgewater, Jameis Winston, and Tyrod Taylor are all Black quarterbacks. All have been labeled running quarterbacks.
These guys are proving they can be athletic, mobile quarterbacks. That can produce like the great ones. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer and Phillip Rivers are White and have all been great and certainly get the credit for their career success.
However, Newton is marching on a perfect season pursuit only achieved by one team, and it took two quarterbacks, Bob Griece and Earl Morall with the 17-0 1972 Miami Dolphins, to achieve the only perfect season. We have a long way to go, two weeks in the regular season and then the playoffs. But these young quarterbacks have proven that they matter also.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.