You can call him short, stout or thick, but one thing you can’t say about Mike Tolbert is that he is greedy. The Coastal Carolina University standout reportedly left more than $1 million behind in San Diego when he signed with the Panthers as a free agent, and he could be one of the most underrated players on the team.
As a season winds down, you can always count on someone saying, “If the season ended today …..,” but in the Panthers’ case, it would be “If the season STARTED today …..,” as in six weeks ago. Over that span they are 3-3 and coming off a solid win against a division rival while Cam Newton is looking more like he did last year than in the first seven games of 2012.
In a season filled with injuries, the Panthers are very used to saying, “Next man up.” This week is no different as they have to replace their number one back and number two receiver as they host the 11-1 Falcons who are in a lot better shape, physically.
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.
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.
Eleven. That is the number of Panthers on injured reserve–an average of one per game. Now, Ron Edwards is the latest to join the not-so-exclusive club. But through it all, head coach Ron Rivera has tried to hold his team together while doing his best to help his young quarterback get through the trials and tribulations of a sophomore campaign.
In any other season it might have been a good game but when the Panthers and Eagles square off Monday night the only people that might be interested in turning on their televisions are those in the Philadelphia and Charlotte markets. That’s provided they haven’t already lost interest in their home teams.
They Panthers had their foot on the neck of the Buccaneers but somehow they let them slip out from under it.Carolina may be gasping for air at 2-8 but they may now be turning their attention to grabbing the best possible position in the 2013 NFL Draft after another crushing defeat.
The Buccaneers come to town on a roll and want to head back to Tampa Bay with their first four-game win streak since 2008 even though they have dropped three of their last four at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers, on the other hand, simply need a victory if they hope to make some lemonade out of what has been a lemon of a season.