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.
If the Panthers are to get their third win of the season this may be the weekend to do it even though they will be playing on the road. The Eagles are arguably the worst team in the league and things don’t get any better for them with two of their offensive stars sitting this one out.
Injuries should not play a major part in the final meeting of the year between the Buccaneers and Panthers this Sunday at Bank of American Stadium as only one player is listed as out. However, the Buccaneers have a concern at guard with starter Jamon Meredith hobbled with an ankle injury.
Jeremy Bridges has yet to play a game this season but Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera believes he is exactly the right man to plug at least one hole in a porous offensive line. If the name sounds familiar, Bridges was a member of the Panthers from 2006-08 and if he is good to go, he could slide right in as a starter.
Cam Newton may have caught a break when he faces the Broncos this Sunday as starting cornerback Tracy Porter will miss his fourth straight game due to an illness. The Panthers may have to open up the playbook to keep pace with Denver QB Peyton Manning and Newton could take advantage of Porter’s absence.
Despite their win over the Redskins, the Panthers took their lumps last Sunday which included kick return specialist Kealoha Pilares being lost for the season. Once again it is next man up and this time it is David Gettis who will see his first regular season action since 2010.
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.
The way things are going for the Carolina Panthers they might be hard pressed to equal last year’s 6-10 record. With the offense sputtering, a quarterback that hates to lose but continues to do so and a defense that is better but not elite, how close are they from thinking about next season?