What an interesting week it has been for Panther players and fans.
First, there was news that linebacker Shaq Thompson is getting sued for a 2016 car accident he was involved in. Then, there was panic surrounding the news that quarterback Cam Newton got in another car accident and somehow collided with a dump truck (Thankfully, he is fine).
But perhaps the most devastating news of all, came two days ago: that LB Thomas Davis will serve a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy performance-enhancing substances.
It didn’t take long when the news broke for Davis to post a heartfelt and apologetic video on Twitter addressing Panther fans and the situation. In light of this recent news, I wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on the amazing player that Davis has always been, on and off the field for Charlotte and surrounding communities.
On Friday, it was announced that the Carolina Panthers are trading cornerback Daryl Worley to Philadelphia, in exchange for wide receiver, Torrey Smith. Many fans are understandably already skeptical of this latest transaction from now official general manager, Marty Hurney.
While it is undeniable that the Panthers need to get quarterback Cam Newton some offensive weapons, it is unclear that Torrey Smith was the best option, or is going to be able to fill the shoes of WR1. It is yet to be seen what other free agent wide receivers will be getting paid around the league, but Smith comes with a $5 million price tag for the next two years, while Darryl Worley would have cost $650,000 in 2018. For many fans, that is a tough pill to swallow.
For me, waking up on football Sunday is equivalent to a kid waking up on Christmas morning. Football has always been my favorite sport and a pretty big part of my life. I was Born in San Diego, CA but bred in Charlotte, NC, which is how I developed my love for both the Chargers and the Panthers. My dad has always been a huge Charger fan, so I was born into the fanbase. My family also quickly adopted the Panthers as a second team after settling in Charlotte. The older I got, I learned more and more about football, and I was hooked. My love for football was taken to a whole new level in 2008 when I started regularly attending Panther games with my boyfriend. Since that time, I have very rarely missed a home game and I have even traveled to several away games!
The Chicago Bears locker room must have been electric. Players who were told they were finished rose up to the challenge and balled out better than they had in years. Coaches who wondered if this team would ever win were finally seeing progress in themselves and the players. A change swept through the air and it started with the swagger of a pretty boy assassin.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky came in against the Baltimore Ravens with one goal in mind: win at every cost. And with the help of a defense that resembles that of the monsters they once were, last Sunday’s win is just the tip of the iceberg.
But, can the Bears make it two wins in a row, especially against a tough Carolina Panthers defense? Well, according toNFL.com, the Panthers are 4th in defensive power with the Bears a few notches below, ranked 6th in the league. This could very well be a defense-driven game, but it all rests on how well the rookie can connect with his receivers, and how well the defense can expose quarterback Cam “Superman”Newton’s weaknesses.
Result: Eagles – 28, Panthers – 23 Frustrating game to say the least. I knew it was going to be a physically gritty game, but I did not expect the referees to get in on it, too. Anyone who watches and understands football knows that this Thursday night’s game was unfairly called.
I mean, the Philadelphia Eagles were called on what were (mostly questionable) 10 fouls for 126 yards, while the Carolina Panthers had ONE penalty for ONE yard, with multiple obvious missed calls. Carolina had the advantage by not only having home field on their side, but the refs as well. It’s discouraging when the officiating crew is not fair to both teams; it sends the wrong message. Players lose confidence because they’re not being allowed to play and fear that any more penalties called could cost them the game.
The Detroit Lions had come off of a great victory over their division rival, Minnesota Vikings and were feeling pretty good about themselves. But so were the Panthers, who defeated the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots in Week 4.
In a week full of distraction for the Panthers, the Lions were thinking they had them right where they wanted them. In Ford Field, with a healthy rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis back from a concussion. He was missed these last two games.
The Panthers, one of the least penalized teams in the NFL, had 11 penalties for 100 yards, and most of them happened in the first quarter. The Lions were able to capitalize and went ahead 10-3. But Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton remembered he was Cam Newton and the Panthers then scored 17 unanswered points. However, the Lions weren’t all the way done.
There was a time when a victory at Gillette Stadium for quarterback Tom Brady was almost guaranteed. That time has passed. Brady’s record at home before this season for regular season games was 101-16. So far this season, the Patriots have played at home 3 times – and lost twice. They lost their second home game of the season to quarterback Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers doing what Brady normally does: running out the clock and putting his time in a position to win the game in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
After a disappointing, dismal appearance in a week three loss to the New Orlean Saints, the Carolina Panthers seemed to get it together against the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots in week four.
Film study, stout defense, and a patient offense proved to be a difference maker on Sunday. The Patriots entered the game as the worst defense in the league and likely remained the same. Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula showed balance with his play calling, 29 rushing attempts and 29 passing plays.
Quarterback Cam Newton dissected a struggling Patriot defense going 22 of 29 passing, for 316 yards, four touchdowns touchdowns (including one rushing), and one interception. Running backs Jonathan Stewart, and Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Damiere Byrd along with Newton himself added another 140 yards on the ground.
On a day when hope seemed to slip away, hope peeked over the clouds at Bank of America Stadium and turned on a dime. There were dark whisperings; the Panthers’ offense was sputtering but none knew how much until it was exposed in a familiar matchup.
The Saints defense took advantage of the Carolina offensive struggles and absence of strategic players. But the surprise of the afternoon was how the dominance of the Saints offense (sans their strategic players) held sway over the vaunted Panthers’ defense. Continue reading “Watch Out For The Saints”→