The State of Alabama's Heisman Trophy showdown between Mark Ingram and Cam Newton makes its NFC South debut today when the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers meet at noon in Charlotte. Newton is 1-0 in the lone showdown between the Heisman winners leading Auburn back from a 24-0 defecit to win 28-27, solidifying his hold on the Heisman race en route to Auburn's National Championship. With his impressive early season passing numbers, Newton has even exceeded the early high expectations that come with being the #1 overall NFL draft pick. Today will be the Saints first match up against him and as the AP article below from the Baton Rouge Advcoate indicates, Newton looks like he will be a long term challenge/headache to the Saints for years to come.
Former Alabama Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram has also been a bright spot for the Saints, showing the same type of burst of explosiveness that we saw during his college career and picking up the tough inside yardage that Reggie Bush was so often unable to get. With the Saints running back trio of Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, don't expect Ingram's rushing statistics to be on the same level as Newton's passing numbers. However, the Panthers biggest weakness is their rushing defense and a big reason while improved, they are still just 1-3. So, look for the Saints' pass-happy offensive attack to be a little bit more run balanced today, which will help eat up clock and keep Newton off the field.
Even though I am not an Alabamian, I have watched every single Iron Bowl that I can remember. I've never had a dog in that fight, but have always been highly entertained by the close contests and heated rivalry. Today I do and I'm rooting for Ingram to settle the score.
WHO DAT BABY!!
Saints begin era vs. Newton
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton is learning how much he hates losing. He doesn't like it, either.
Carolina's rookie quarterback sat stewing in front of his locker at Soldier Field following last Sunday's 34-29 loss to Chicago. When a teammate tried to approach him to offer encouragement, Newton shrugged him off and went back to his slow burn.
The Panthers (1-3) have fallen short in three of their first four games, leaving Newton and many of his teammates aggravated over their inability to close games out.