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NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora Talks With The Drive

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The Drive Tuesday 10-16-12- Jason LaCanfora, lead NFL Reporter for the NFL Network, stopped by “The Drive” to talk to the guys about Peyton Manning’s incredible comeback and other headlines emerging around the league this week.

It looked like vintage Peyton Manning Monday night when he rallied from 24 down in the second half to beat the Chargers, but how was impressive was the 47th comeback of his hall-of-fame career?

“To be down 24, and having nothing going for you (in the first half)… It just didn’t look like he had another miracle in him.  But you never count Peyton Manning out.  He was outstanding.”

As good as Peyton Manning was, Philip River was on the other side of the field, and his performance deserves the same amount of criticism as the credit Peyton will receive.

“We’ll see what happens in his career. He’s still got a lot of years left.  He’s done some phenomenal things… but he has ultimately underachieved on the biggest stage, as have the Chargers.  They kind of go hand in hand there… This is all the fodder his critics need.  In my estimation, he’s certainly a Top 10 quarterback.”

Not unfamiliar to criticism, Jay Cutler has been highly scrutinized in his career.  LaCanfora said that the comparisons with one another is definitely a fair one.

“I think that’s maybe the person he’s compared to most, because of the body language and the lack of those real signature, big-time playoff wins.  And they are guys some love to hate… They’re both fiery.  They both wear their emotions, or lack thereof, on their sleeve at times, and I think those two will probably be compared to each other for a long time until one or the other wins a Super Bowl.”

Michael Vick has been a turnover machine this season and LaCanfora wonders if his clock might be winding down.

“Andy Reid really hasn’t supported him to the degree that Norv Turner has supported a Philip Rivers, or even to the extent Lovie Smith has defended Cutler at times… You don’t see that coming out of Philadelphia… Their problems extend beyond Michael Vick, though… And I think it would take a lot for Reid to turn away from Michael Vick.  But could it reach that point?  If the turnovers continue… Andy Reid’s hand might be forced.”

With Cam Newton also under fire here in Charlotte, and with all the success some of the rookie quarterbacks are achieving, a lot of people are wondering if Cam is still the franchise QB he was once thought of.

“I still think (Cam) could be the best of all of them if he can put it together.  With the season he had last year, I can’t think that was a fluke… I don’t think that just happened, and then you lose it.  I think that’s who he is and right now they’re going through some things as an organization that’s testing everyone’s resolve, but I don’t think this kid’s a quitter.  I think he’s a winner.  He’ll persevere and find a way to get things going.”

Listen to the rest of the interview to hear what he thought about the Panthers disappointing season so far, and what problems have led to these struggles.

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