The Carolina Panthers have been on a downward spiral the past two weeks, and the first half against the Chicago Bears made it seem like that would continue. Then, they got back on their horse and turned things around to make it a game throughout the second half.
The Chicago Bears are sitting at 2-2 as are the Carolina Panthers, but there are some big differences. Chicago has beaten two strong teams, lost once in overtime, and got beat by a good Packers’ team. Now, the Bears are visiting a Panthers’ team that is fading out of the NFC race fast.
Hey Panthers, The Broncos Are Coming, The Broncos Are Coming (And So Are John Fox And Peyton Manning)
The Broncos and Panthers hook up for just the fourth time ever this Sunday and it should be a memorable day. John Fox returns, the only head coach to lead Carolina to a Super Bowl, and QB Peyton Manning, who won the big game in 2007, visits as one of his final stops before landing in Canton when his Hall of Fame career is over.
There is a big difference in the Panthers’ defense that opened the season and what they look like now. While injuries have played a role in the roster shuffle, Greg Hardy has emerged as a threat to be one of the finest sack masters in the game.
The Panthers are 1-6 but you cannot blame defensive end Dwan Edwards who has been everything – and more – since being picked up before the start of the season. Having already set a personal best in sacks, Edwards is just one behind team leader Charles Johnson in that department.
It was hard to believe the Panthers team that took the field on Sunday was 1-5 because they gave the Chicago Bears and their quarterback Jay Cutler fits throughout. But the Monsters of the Midway prevailed on a last second field goal which handed Carolina their fifth straight loss dropping them even further into the cellar of the NFC South Division.
Panthers Hope To Give Their Record A ‘Healthy’ Boost In Black And Blue Division Contest Against Bears
The Panthers have battled two foes this year, the opposition and the injured reserve list. Both have shared in the team’s 1-5 start and with the Bears up next, Carolina can only hope the Monsters of the Midway don’t knock any more players out of the lineup.
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They say there are no moral victories when you have a losing record. but for the Panthers, getting a win against the Bears may not be as important as how they play. Chicago has the top rated defense and the 8th best offense – a lethal combination for anyone – so Carolina needs to keep it close and let the chips fall where they may.
Even the most optimistic Panthers’ fan will look at the upcoming schedule and probably think, “No way they can win the next four.” Those games are outside the NFC South and each team has their own agendas when it comes to making the playoffs. It could prove difficult for Carolina to begin turning 2012 around.