Apples = Oranges. Gonzales is a baller, a hall of famer that was part of the change at the position. The re-awakening of what was once one of the best positions in football for a mismatch,.the offensive guard who could pass catch and pull to block, the big body who could bowl over someone yet turn and make the catch. Gronk may have more talent then Gonzales but when you look at what Gonzo has done and done over and over again you cannot even compare them. Gronk can't block to save his life, well Brady's. But, he can hold his own and make up for it having an amazing QB.
Posters like you are amazing and make me smile. You call BS, but choose not to enlighten us why... class act, so I will engage. Why BS? Do you know more about the Patriots then I do? Maybe, but doubtful. Do you know more about defense then I do? Maybe, but doubtful. I do not have a long tenure here, but elsewhere I have a body of work I can stand behind and actual merits to stand behind. So, step up to the plate with your petty "BS" and lets hear your call.
Touchy subject here and I will piss some people off, but as an outsider I see things differently. I have tried and failed before to get in to it, so I will only mention it this one time because there is no sense in rehashing it. I am a horrible speaker/typer/whatever - but Cam Newton has a lot of limitations right now. I like analogies. Cam Newton has a 50 lbs. tool bag. Some times he has to put a hole in to concrete and instead of choosing to concrete bit he'll take a hammer and chisel. Some times it is a 5 lbs. hammer some times it is a 12 oz. hammer. He has the athletic strength that some times it does not matter, he's good enough he will succeed. He makes bad choices and he makes misjudgements and errors. Not like in the past but he still is prone. And...when he is prone, he's prone. 3 INT days, taking horrible sacks because of not having awareness, etc. Not all of those are his faults, but still things he needs to overcome to make it to the next level. I do not care about his awesome stats, how he has lit up all the record charts and everything. When I look at QB I look at what they add to their team. Cam Newton is one of the Panthers best players, no doubt about it. However, his proneness to mistakes, which is dwindling, can break down any chance the Panthers have in winning. That is not happening as much this year as in the past because the Panthers have got better. They don't give away those close games like they did in years past, or even earlier this season...LIKE BUFFALO! Seriously, what a joke of a game. Both teams were just piss poor so much there it was laughable, no one won that game but the victory had to go somewhere.
Hopefully, you're still with me and don't want to mangle and give me bodily harm yet because its about to get ugly. Newton struggles with many things that will frustrate the piss out of me and many others. When you knock him from the pocket he just loses his focus and he is a different QB. I do not have the stats in front of me to back it up or rely on them. You'll just have to trust it is in my trained eye I do have. If you flush Cam Newton he is not at the same level as the Newton who has the same ability elsewise. Now, mind you I am seperating that he can shift in the pocket or move in the pocket without being flushed but when he feels pressure he can cave. He is prone to it. The shaddow at the back door, the DE breathing down your neck on the blindside, it's hard for any QB to do. Trent Edwards in Buffalo was never the same after getting rocked in Arizona a few years ago. Cam tries to cover this aspect of escaping the pocket relying on his legs because that's what he has been good at all his life, his natural instinct - being an elite athlete. You really can't fault him for that. Dorsey has worked well with Newton because it seems he has been learning to step up in the pocket, and move before the pressure is on him to get flushed. To sense the pocket much like Peyton Manning does - but he is a cerebral QB who is other world in his gifted abilities. He doesn't have the athletic talent that Newton does.
If I am Belicheck I am going to play rush 2 men up the middle on Carolina, much like Buffalo did. I am going to make Newton go outside and then get Chandler Jones to clean up what comes his way. I am going to use my strongside defenders to keep him from running and I am going to not let him see downfield. I won't worry about throwing it back across the field - and that's where I look foward to this game. Newton in strong enough that he can stand on one side of the hash marker and throw it 40 yards downfield to the other side boundary. But, again, where I am Belicheck, I know that Carolina's WR's have struggled. I know my defenders can keep inside control and will eliminate those types of routes - a CB on inside containment wins that.
In other word, Newton is going to have to play incredibly smart football to be successful. I don't know if he has it in him to beat Belicheck, but worse teams have beat him. I will now use Mark Sanchez as an example. He is a joke, I really liked what he could do on the football field until he actually took it. The guy just confounds many people, he didn't pan out. Yet, he has lead teams that can beat the Patriots countless times in the past many seasons despite being the weakest link. That's because the Jets teams have been very good and Rex Ryan has Belichecks number come up in his powerball once in a while. The Panthers are a good enough team that as long as Newton doesn't completely poo the bed Monday they can win it. If I am Rivera I have a tall task ahead of me and I look at limiting some things Newton does. Beating the Patriots requires you score more then they do and play smart football. Pretty simple, right? If Newton can at the very least manage the game the Panthers can win this. If he can rise up a little and get some of the 30 yard bombs then he is going to have an effect. If he can do that, limit mistakes and not produce a turnover he will be a difference maker. If he can do all that, avoid the sacks, distribute the ball past his 3rd read and read the Pats defense he will be the reason the Panthers win.
But, he doesn't have to do all that IMO because the Panthers are a good team this year...finally. A lot of rebuilding and a lot of work went in to fielding this team. It's been fun to watch.
edit: I did not say it flat out. You're right he has not regressed in the last __ games (sorry, I can't keep count of all the past Sundays - as a Bills fan I have spent them crying, drinking, and cursing). But, he has the potential to regress that quickly, drop of a hat come Monday night. Until he proves otherwise and has a long stretch of consistent play - I'm talking limited mistakes, smart football - I do not think, anyone here even can say in the back of their mind they 100% confident Newton won't throw 2 INT's and have a fumble Monday night. He just brings that to the table, it's always a factor. It sucks. But, at least he's not Jeff Tuel...
Which is what I got in to above. If Newton scores 3 TDs you know there will be at least 1 TD on the ground by a RB. If he goes in the air for 3 and adds one on the ground I will be impressed.
I would not hold my breath that he will get 4TD's...but I would not be shocked if he pulled it off.
There was that whole Spygate thing, too. Yeah, that was a pretty big deal. fug New England. I like to hate on South Carolina a lot, but at least its not Boston.