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Auburn's Cam Newton, the Patriot reign and a big win for Big D's new coach.
Yes We Cam
Auburn won the SEC West and clinched a spot in the SEC title game for the fourth time (1997, 2000, 2004, 2010) in school history with its 49–31 victory over Georgia in the south's oldest rivalry.
The Tigers were carried once again by embattled quarterback Cam Newton, who completed 12-of-15 passes for 148 yards, two TDs and one INT, while rushing 30 times for 151 yards and two trips to the end zone on the ground.
After crying "War Eagle" en route to Auburn's third 11–0 start (2004, 1993), the Tiger faithful must now survive an off week of questions surround the eligibility of Newton before a showdown with Alabama in the Iron Bowl. But as the sellout crowd of 87,451 proved on Saturday, Auburn is standing behind its smiling Heisman Trophy contender quarterback — who is the first player in SEC history and the eighth ever to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
"Cameron Newton is one of the young men on our football team that has not only excelled as a tremendous athlete, he has done everything we have asked him to do since the day he stepped on campus at Auburn," said coach Gene Chizik.
"I'm wasting my time addressing allegations that completely, to be frank, blow my mind that they're even out there. … I'm standing up here on a very important week trying to defend something that, quite frankly, is garbage.
"Is there a wizard behind the curtain? I don't know. Is there one, is there two, are there 10? I don't know and I don't care. But what I do care about is coming to the defense of not only a great football player, but a great human being who comes from a great family."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady improved to 6–1 all-time against the Steelers, winning his fourth in five trips to Heinz Field, 39–26, on Sunday night.
One week after an embarrassing loss to Cleveland, an emotional and noticeably more vocal Brady completed 30-of-43 passes for 350 yards, three scoring strikes and zero picks, while avoiding being sacked by the Steel Curtain defense.
New England now owns a league-leading 7–2 record and appear to be a serious Super Bowl contender after many predicted Bill Belichick's team would take a step back this season.
Boy, Oh Boy
The Cowboys turned the lights out on the Giants in New Jersey, with a 33–20 victory in interim coach Jason Garrett's debut on the sideline.
After being outscored 121–59 over Wade Phillips' final three games — losses to the Packers, Jaguars and Giants — the Boys bounced back with their second win of the season on Sunday. Although Dallas is still among the bottom of the barrel in the league standings, the NFC East victory over rival New York was a major move in the right direction for Garrett and the new regime.
"This was a little step. But it sure was timely," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "It is more timely, I think, than it is big. We needed this and our fans needed it."
"Cousin Carl" Edwards back-flipped off the 99 car after ending a 70-race winless drought at the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix, while Chase leader Denny Hamlin fell short on fuel after leading a race-high 190 laps.
Hamlin finished a disappointing 12th and watched his lead over Jimmie Johnson shrink from 33 to just 15 points heading into Homestead for what will be the closest Chase for the Cup finale in the playoff format's history.