By Danny Cox
At this time of year, the NFL is usually watching the elite teams rise to the top while the faltering teams keep falling. With only four weeks left to go in the 2012 season, Sunday’s action was expected to be one of predictable games, but that was the farthest thing from the truth.
Sure, there were a number of blowouts and big wins on Sunday, but not all of them came from the teams that many fans and experts were expecting them to come from. Upsets galore filled this late weekend of the NFL year, and it made for some great football.
Panthers down Falcons 30-20 as Cam Newton dominates
Cam Newton finally showed up for the first real time this season as the Panthers totally decimated the NFC South-leading Falcons. Newton has had an overly sub-par season, but this was his breakout game of 2012 and it showed in every aspect imaginable.
Newton passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns, and that’s great for his game as a quarterback. It was his ground game that really showed promise though as he ran for 116 yards on nine carries, including a 72-yard sprint for a touchdown as the Falcons just looked bad.
Rookie David Wilson has three TDs as Giants down Saints
First-round running back David Wilson shined on Sunday as the Giants downed the Saints 52-27. Wilson had 100 yards rushing on 13 carries, and that includes a late fourth-quarter run of 52 yards for a touchdown that ended the scoring for both teams.
New Orleans started things off with a brilliant 73-yard pick six by Elbert Mack in the first quarter, and it seemed like momentum was on the side of the Saints. On the ensuing kickoff though, Wilson returned it 97 yards for a touchdown and thus began the rout.
Eagles score on final play of game to crush Bucs’ hopes
Philadelphia was in the middle of their longest streak in 42 years and up against the playoff hopeful Buccaneers. They put all their hopes on the arm of rookie quarterback Nick Foles and it paid off greatly.
Foles threw for 381 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and tossed the winning score to Jeremy Maclin as time expired for a 23-21 victory over Tampa Bay. Instant replay was needed and it caused some anxious moments, but it was all over, the Eagles had finally won a game again.
Cardinals turn ball over eight times in 58-0 loss to Seahawks
Matt Flynn finally got to see some playing time for the Seahawks after being brought in as the proposed starter during the offseason. Unfortunately for him though, his playing time only came because the Seahawks had a lead that even the 49ers of the eighties couldn’t have come back from.
Seattle forced eight turnovers in a 58-0 rout of the Cardinals in what was the fourth largest shutout in the NFL since 1940. The Seahawks had 493 total yards as opposed to only 154 for the Cardinals, but it was the turnovers that really did Arizona in.
Four lost fumbles and four interceptions would make a long afternoon for anyone and everyone.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.