It was a day not fit for man nor beast, and that was just the yellow flags that were raining down on their heads. A plethora of personal fouls ruined an otherwise boring game but in the end the Carolina Panthers did something no one thought possible a few short weeks ago and that was matching last year’s win total.
Defense has not been a trademark of the 2012 Raiders, having given up 402 points in 14 games, so it will be no surprise if they add to that inflated number this weekend. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour has somehow stayed on the active roster all season, despite missing the last six contests, and he will be out again when his team tries to slow down the recharged Panthers.
The world did not come to an end as the Mayans had predicted, so that is good news for the Panthers as they get to play a downtrodden Raiders team on Sunday to close out their home schedule. After a brutal start to the season, Carolina is one win away from matching their record from a year ago and have a chance to better it with one game remaining on the docket.
The Panthers are playing the way many expected them to early in the season so one might say it is better late than never. If fans thought their team played a well rounded game against the Falcons last weekend, the whooping they put on the Chargers on Sunday was as good, if not better.
The way they have been playing of late the Panthers were probably looking forward to taking on the reeling Chargers. That is, until the Friday injury report put them behind the eight-ball with eight starters on it, three definitely out and possibly two more ready to join them.
Not many people knew what to expect when the Chiefs hosted the Panthers on Sunday, because there was nothing to compare it to, but right from the opening drive there was a sense the home team was about to play their best game of the season. And they did, despite the horrific murder-suicide that took place a little more than 24-hours earlier.
Head coach Ron Rivera pretty much put the kibosh on running back Jonathan Stewart being available to play in Kansas City but with the ground game the way it has been all season, quarterback Cam Newton will more than likely lead the team in rushing once again. DeAngelo Williams wilkl be hard pressed to match him yard for yard.
It’s 3-8 against 1-10 this Sunday. This is an important game for the Panthers––a loss to the Chiefs would just about signal the end of Ron Rivera’s run as head coach. All things being equal, this is a winnable game for Carolina despite playing in Kansas City, where a lot of teams have had trouble doing just that.
The Panthers have had their fair share of injuries this season, so once again they have to reach into their bag of reserves and pluck out second-year tackle Sione Fua to take over for Ron Edwards, who is gone for the season with a dislocated elbow. Meanwhile, running back DeAngelo Williams is getting the reps while Jonathan Stewart nurses his second high ankle injury of the year.
It is safe to say that the mere mention of the word Manning around the water cooler these days might just get you uninvited to the Christmas Party after Peyton duplicated what his younger brother Eli did a number of weeks back, hang 36 points and a loss on the Panthers. Even with six prior losses, this might just be Carolina’s low point of 2012.