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.
On the field, Thomas Davis stares down the opposition, but off it the Panthers’ linebacker has had to stare down something much scarier: the surgeon’s knife. In two years Davis has torn an ACL three times, and despite those injuries, he has come back to play the game he loves in the town where his heart is and everyone, save his opponents, is glad he did.
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.
So what if Cam Newton was the leading rusher – again? Who cares if special teams was a disaster – again? The Panthers did what they were supposed to and that was hand the Eagles their seventh straight loss and keep some hope alive to at least reach last year’s win total.
The Carolina Panthers flashed back to a year ago to do something had not done in 2012 and that was put together a complete game from start to finish. The Washington Redskins were flat and Ron Rivera’s team took advantage at every opportunity to pick up just their second win in eight tries.
The dictionary says the word “tackle” is to seize, stop, or throw down (a ball-carrier), something the legendary Deion Sanders allegedly did 492 times. Luke Kuechly has just 34 through his seven-game NFL career but he might have more of the definition-type than the Hall of Famer.
The Panthers played one of their better games of the year but in the end they came up short against another struggling team, the Cowboys. The 19-14 loss drops Carolina four games under .500 after just six games and any hope of a postseason berth might have just gone up in smoke.
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers looked nothing like the team that was crushed on national television ten days earlier, and came within five seconds of their second win of the season. The Atlanta Falcons were not sharp but they were good enough to come away with a two-point victory courtesy of a 40-yard field goal by Matt Bryant.
Luke Kuechly may be the most polished linebacker to come out of Boston College or anywhere else for that matter. Aggressive yet technically sound, Kuechly stepped right in as a starter for the Carolina Panthers when they opened the 2012 regular season in Tampa.
The Panthers and Buccaneers each have top players banged up, but it’s Tampa Bay thats feeling the pain, especially at cornerback. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had a record setting rookie campaign passing the ball, and could have a field day to start his second year against a secondary with little depth.