NFL Picks Week 2: Cam Newton's Law, What Goes Up Must Come Down

John SzurlejAnalyst ISeptember 14, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11:  Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is sacked by cornerback Richard Marshall #31 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter of the NFL season opening game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Week 1 saw Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton throw for more than 400 yards in his NFL debut against the Arizona Cardinals.

Newton displayed the ability to be a productive NFL quarterback and silenced his critics with his athletic ability and cannon arm as he torched the Cardinals secondary and provided the fountain of youth that Steve Smith had been searching for.

Smith had more than 170 yards receiving and looked to re-emerge from the paradox of fantasy has-been with his impressive performance.

The Panthers showed the NFL that Newton was the future and the future was bright.

On the other hand, another Newton also had a brilliant contribution to the way we can view an outing such as Cam's. You may have heard of him—Sir Isaac Newton.

"What goes up must come down" is a widely-used saying that could fit the bill for Cam Newton as he faces the defending-champion Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Week 2.

Although this is a general saying, Sir Isaac Newton actually managed to disprove the theory, as it showed the higher an object is projected upward, gravity manages to lose control over pulling it back down. Here lies the perfect description for the Green Bay Packers offense.

In Week 2, the high-flying Packers offense takes on a Panthers team that may feel like those kids trapped in a Nightmare on Elm Street movie, as I doubt they're getting much sleep thinking about how they will cover all of the Green Bay weapons.

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 08:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints during the NFL opening season game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Saints 42-34.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This game is severely lopsided and should be over quickly, providing the Packers defense doesn't have another showing like in Week 1.

The Panthers' ability to exploit a secondary with the deep ball is something that the safeties of Green Bay must be ready for. If Steve Smith manages to beat the cornerbacks on a seam route, they must be ready to come over the top.

Although I doubt that Smith will be able to make many plays against players like Charles Woodson, the lack of the Packers' pass rush from their defensive lineman may be enough for Cam Newton to exploit by running and extending plays.

This is the only surefire way that Smith would be able to create an issue in the secondary, and if Cam has enough time to see the big play develop, he will hit it.

There should be a lot of attention to press coverage and bumps from the line of scrimmage to try and disrupt the Packers receivers and force Aaron Rodgers to throw prematurely.

Even if the Panthers are successful in disrupting the wideouts, the fail-safe Jermichael Finley will be able to release cleanly and shred the linebackers for big gains.

Tho only concern that I have for the Packers is, again, if the offensive line can protect Rodgers from a blitzing defense and open lanes for the running backs.

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 08:  Tracy Porter #22 of the New Orleans Saints tackles Jermichael Finley #88 of the Green Bay Packers during the NFL opening season game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Sai
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The efforts of the linemen in Week 1 showed some poise compared to the preseason's efforts, but it remains a big question for this Green Bay team.

If the offensive line is successful, they will be able to execute plays at will without interruption.

The Packers look to continue to enhance the running game and should have no problems with either Grant or Starks opening this area up, allowing them to keep the defense honest.

Green Bay has the potential to average 30 points or more a game if they continue to play like they did against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, beating the record held by the 1999 St. Louis Rams.

Defensively, the Packers must keep Carolina in long third-down situations to avoid giving up the cheap quarterback scrambles for conversions, and they must make the Panthers a pure running and passing team.

The Packers cannot afford to let Cam Newton become the "X-factor" in this game and will also need to find ways to contain him for future games against mobile passers like Vick.

In the NFL there are no absolutes. That's why we still play the games Sunday.

But it is highly unlikely that the Packers lose this one.

Look for a Packers-dominant performance and a return to Earth from Cam Newton.

Packers 38, Panthers 17