Following the stunning victory by the Buffalo Bills that saw them erase a 21-point deficit, shut out their opponents in the second half, and score five second half touchdowns, the initial reaction was common throughout Western New York.
Elation set in for Bills' fans.
But then, the realization came crashing through. Carolina is making a direct path to the first overall pick, and there's other teams that look worse than the Bills do ten games in to the season.
That realization included fans waving goodbye to drafting Andrew Luck in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Well, have no fear, because I'm here to lead you out of the abyss.
There's hope yet, Bills fan. Because in my humble opinion, Luck is not the only answer at quarterback through the draft.
'BLASPHEMY YOU SPEAK!'
But consider this, there's another college quarterback out there not named Andrew Luck that could have the type of impact you're looking for. ::GASP::
His name isn't Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker or Ricky Stanzi, either.
Ladies and gentlemen, get cozied up to the idea of Cameron Newton as the Buffalo Bills potential first round draft pick.
There are plenty of reasons to consider Newton ahead of Mallett, Locker and Stanzi. The most important?
Newton is a winner. Flat out.
He guided the Blinn College Buccaneers to the 2009 NJCAA National Championship and an 11-1 record. He threw for 2,833 yards and 22 touchdowns, and rushed for another 655 yards and 16 touchdowns.
He parlayed that in to a scholarship at Auburn, and promptly one-upped most of his statistics through just 11 games this season against much, much harder competition.
While leading the Tigers to a perfect 11-0 start and in contention for the National Championship, Newton has thrown for 2,038 yards and 21 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,297 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Either way you shake it, that's 38 touchdowns per season in two straight years.
The fact that he's had so much success against the most NFL-ready conference in college football will surely put your "Let's see him play real competition!" criticism to bed.
Consider this as well:
Auburn wouldn't even be close to undefeated if it wasn't for the play of Newton. He has single-handedly won them games, and brought them back in clutch situations.
There's some perceptions that his arm may be too weak for the windy Buffalo air. Those are misconceived and misinformed. If you watch Newton throw the ball down the field, the velocity on it and placement are right up there with all the other quarterbacks.
He's a playmaker, and a game changer. That's the type of personnel you need on an NFL roster to get over the hump.
And his size? How's 6'6" and 250 lbs. sound to you?
Now yes, I know, there are some legitimate concerns about Newton.
On the field, his footwork on shorter throws leaves a little to be desired, causing him to be inaccurate at times. That's an easy fix for quarterback coaches.
But the real problems that will be reviewed over and over again come April are these:
1) What exactly happened at the University of Florida?
2) His involvement, if any, in the pay-to-play allegations?
Now as far as the laptop miscue, he's owned up to that and is willing to accept any blame thrown his way for it.
But to be perfectly honest, I can't see either of these things being placed in the way of a team wanting to draft Newton.
We see it time and time again. Talent wins out. If he's a winner on the field, then teams will see to it to potentially bring him on the roster.
I'm not dismissing the claims against him. NFL teams should and will do their homework on who did what.
But when push comes to shove, and you have a potential game changing talent on the board at one of your biggest positions of need. You take that player.
Let's be real here. Before some of you go all high and mighty on me, how many of you would trade for Michael Vick RIGHT NOW if presented the opportunity? I'd be willing to bet that percentage is around 90 to 95.
People will overlook the bad if it leads to good. It's just a fact of life.
It's a quarterback driven league, and the skill set of Newton fits EXACTLY with what Chan Gailey does on offense.
Don't believe me? Take it from the National Football Post's Wes Bunting who took the time out to explain why he's perfect for Gailey and Buffalo:
"Newton gives the Bills the kind of unique skill set you need to be successful in Buffalo right now. He has the kind of arm to make all the throws and spins a clean football which will allow him to cut throws through the windy conditions up there. He's a gifted athlete who can buy time in the pocket, escape pressure and create when asked to improvise, which is a key at this stage behind that O-line."