Wrapping up the draft for the AFC and NFC South

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

This week I’ll be looking at the AFC and NFC South and how they did with their drafts.  I’ll ask 3 questions about each team.  Did they address their biggest need? Who will have the biggest impact? What could 2019 look like?

Let’s start with the Indianapolis Colts. After having a pretty strong offensive line, quarterback Andrew Luck, and Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron, the Colts focused on defense.  7 of their 10 picks were defensive.

Who could have the biggest impact? Former Michigan State safety Khari Willis.  He worked hard and was an impact player.  I think he’ll fit in nicely.  2019 for the Colts?  If their defense lives up to its potential, it could be tough sledding for the rest of the AFC South.

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The hype of the 2019 NFL schedule release

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @Clvlndk8

I don’t believe any entity in sports knows how to create hype for seemingly innocuous events quite like the NFL.

This week they released the 2019 schedules in prime time. Social media was on fire with love/hate from each fanbase. And some teams spared no expense on video excellence in sharing their schedule with everyone.

Perhaps it’s just because so many teams don’t have a first-round pick in next week’s draft – Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, New Orleans – or maybe fans are just so hungry or anything football related, but the excitement surrounding this year’s reveal was amazing.

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Checking in on the quarterbacks in the NFC South

Sonja Greenfield, OTFB Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //  @Mom23RN

I’ve hit the NFC North and NFC East.  This week, I head down to the durrty south.

These quarterbacks are about as stable as they get, outside of Tampa Bay, and even that’s not that truly unstable.   Despite quarterback Jameis Winston‘s issues, he’s still in the mix.

So, lets look at Winston, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Cam Newton and ask the question, “What will 2019 look like for these quarterbacks?”

Since I’ve mentioned Winston, let’s start with Tampa Bay.

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Football is more than just a game

Sonja Greenfield NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

On Friday, Feb. 15th, the NFLPA released a statement saying that the NFL has reached a settlement with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid in their collusion case against the NFL.

The almost 3-year saga has, for all intents and purposes, has come to a sort of anti-climactic close.

Regardless of if you support Kaepernick and Reid or not, it opened up dialog.  Or at least attempted to.  I had a hard time finding people who could civilly discuss this online, but hopefully more civil discussions were had in “real life”.

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Looking at the Panthers loss to the Lions

Cindy Davis, Carolina Panthers Reporter

By Cindy Davis // @XO_CindyDavis

Detroit Lions 20 – Carolina Panthers 19

The Carolina Panthers have lost their last two games in heartbreaking fashion. First came the embarrassing blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on primetime. If that wasn’t already devastating enough for fans, the Panthers followed that game with a loss to the Detroit Lions Sunday by one point, 20-19. This loss marked the Panthers 4th loss, all of which have come on the road.

One of the most frustrating things about the Lions game was the fact that the Panthers had 10 days to mull over their embarrassing loss to the Steelers, and they still showed up to Detroit with an underwhelming and lackluster performance. There were so many missed opportunities in this game that it seemed as if the Panthers found a way to lose rather than finding ways to win.

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The cardiac cats strike again as the Panthers beat the Eagles

Carolina Panthers Reporter Cindy Davis

By Cindy Davis // @XO_CindyDavis

Carolina Panthers 21 – Philadelphia Eagles 17

 

The Panthers managed to defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in Philadelphia in an amazing 4th quarter comeback, 21-17.

After sitting through three grueling quarters of frustrating football, the game felt hopeless and like a sure loss. Then suddenly, in the 4th quarter, the Panthers took over and the team managed to find their rhythm. Down 17 points and with their backs against the wall, the Panthers found a way to win.

Before today, the Panthers have never come back from a 4th quarter 17 point deficit to win a game. With 10:41 left on the clock, quarterback Cam Newton tossed a trick pass to wide receiver Curtis Samuel who ran it into the end zone for the first Panther points of the game.

Following the touchdown, kicker Graham Gano missed the PAT further emphasizing that nothing in this game seemed to be going right for this team. Little did viewers know that this touchdown gave the cardiac cats the momentum shift they needed.
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The Carolina Panthers come up just short

Cindy Davis, Carolina Panthers Reporter

By Cindy Davis // @XO_CindyDavis

Redskins 23 – Panthers 17

The Cardiac cats struck again for the second week in a row on Sunday as the Panthers game came down to the wire. Unfortunately, this game did not have quite the happy ending that the Giants game had. 

With under 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Panthers had a chance to defeat the Redskins and score a game-winning touchdown but they were out of sync and unable to convert.  

There were many frustrating scenarios in this game that led up to the nail-biting finish.

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New face on Carolina Panthers defense leaves lasting impression

Cindy Davis Carolina Panthers Reporter

By Cindy Davis // XO_CindyDavis

Panthers 31 – Bengals 21

The 2-1 Carolina Panthers defeated the now 2-1 Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 31-21. The Panthers recorded a great team win heading into their bye week, and redeemed themselves following a disappointing defensive performance that lead to a loss last week.

While quarterback Cam Newton and running back Christian McCaffrey both had impressive days on offense, there was one new name that especially stood out on defense.  That name is linebacker Efe Obada.

If you’re like me, you have never heard Efe Obada’s name until yesterday. That’s because yesterday was Obada’s first NFL start. Despite that, number 94 looked like a veteran and went on the field with the intention to make a name for himself.

Despite only playing in 29% of the team snaps, Obada recorded one sack for a loss of ten yards and caught one interception during the game. He also tackled  QB Andy Dalton as he was throwing, forcing what at first look appeared to be a fumble. The fumble was then reversed and called an incomplete pass, but Obada was left applying pressure and recording a QB hit. In the locker room, 94’s performance impressed his teammates and coach so much that he was awarded one of the game balls.

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Defensive woes surprise the Panthers

Cindy Davis Carolina Panthers Reporter

By Cindy Davis // @XO_CindyDavis

The Panthers lost a nail-biter to their division rival Atlanta Falcons Sunday in their typical cardiac cat fashion.

With the game on the line at 24-31 and 5 seconds on the clock, quarterback Cam Newton launched a 30-yard bomb into the end zone to his new, speedy wide receiver DJ Moore. Unfortunately, under pressure and in the face of two defenders, Moore was unable to reel the catch in for a chance at overtime.

The offense overall did what they were supposed to, by putting 24 points on the board.  However, the Panthers struggled for four quarters in an unexpected phase: Defense.

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Cam Vs Kelvin

Cindy Davis Official Panthers Reporter

By Cindy Davis// @XO_CindyDavis

 

Anyone who is a Carolina Panther’s fan has more than likely heard by now that wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had some harsh criticism for quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers as a whole on Saturday.

Benjamin, who publicly spoke out for the first time since his trade, commented to The Athletic that “had he been put with an accurate quarterback, like [Aaron] Rodgers or Eli Manning” or a quarterback with “knowledge”, he would have been in a better position for success as a wide receiver. Not only were his comments seemingly out of left field for his former teammate and friend, but there are many reasons why these statements are simply not true.

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