Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cam & Company--- A Perfect Ten

    A bowling strike.   Bo Derek.   The Carolina Panthers.    All examples of a "perfect 10."    On any day but Sunday (if she were available), I might be tempted to choose Bo Derek over the Panthers.   But today--- no one beats the Panthers.   Absolutely no one.

Panthers Roll over the Skins
   Cam and Company rolled over the Washington Redskins today 44--16-- to go 10--0 on the season. The Panthers were good in almost every area.   They dominated the running game.  The Panthers outrushed the Redskins 142 --14, with Jonathan Stewart leading the way. Carolina out--yarded the Redskins 368--186.   

CAREER DAY FOR NEWTON _________________________

    QB Cam Newton had a career day, hitting five different receivers for a record five touchdown passes.   As usual, Newton's yardage stats were not astronomical, but he made it count whenever he got in the Red Zone. Rookie Devin Funchess made several impressive catches today, as did Ted Ginn, Jr. , but today's receiving was balanced among several Panthers players.

Cam Newton & Panthers : Perfect Ten
      The Panthers defense dominated  the Redskins offense.    When they weren't sacking the Redskins QB, they were hurrying him.   The Panthers also won the turnover battle, forcing four fumbles and an interception.  Carolina held the Redskins to only 14 yards on the ground. Most of the Redskins production came in the first quarter, or at the end of the game when it no longer mattered.  The Redskin scores came on an interception, a kickoff return, and a safety in the final seconds.

WHAT NEXT? __________________________________

   Okay--- so what for an encore?   We're 10--0.   That "10" looms large, but to me, it's also the Big Zero.   We have NOT lost yet.    The last time the Panthers lost was in the preseason, and before that, in the divisional playoffs against the Seahawks.   Going back to last season, the Panthers have actually won 14 straight regular season games (and still counting).

       We look invincible.  Undestructible.   Unbeatable.   Wait a second--- unbeatable?   No one (theoretically) is unbeatable.    What about that old adage--- any team can beat another team on any given day?     Go back and read my blog "Smooth Sailing"--- the best thing going for our Panthers team is NOT their record--- but their attitude.   They insist on taking this season "game--by--game".   The veteran leaders on the Panthers--- both long--time Panthers and NEW Panthers--- are leading the locker room and practices--- and not allowing the rookies and others to get lackadaisical or overconfident.

   Next up-- Dallas.  With Tony Romo back.   Should be a good game.  Will we win?   I hope so. If we continue fielding the same type team that manhandled the Redskins today, then I think we'll keep on winning.   Going unbeaten is NOT unattainable.   It's just improbable.  The reason is-- at some point, a team usually will have a letdown.   If we DO have one, oh God, let it come during the regular season.   I hope we save our BEST football for the playoffs--- and--- dare I say it?--- 
The Super Bowl ?

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Blessing of Mediocrity

    The Panthers went to Nashville and came back with yet another win for a perfect (and counting) 9--0.  QB Cam Newton had an extraordinary game, completing his first eleven passes and 21 out of 26 for the game, and both threw and ran for a touchdown.   He is chasing Steve Young's record of 43 running touchdowns by a quarterback.    And while the offense overall wasn't dominating, they were efficient enough, while the Panthers defense continues to overwhelm the opposition, allowing only 11 first downs and 10 points.

    My friend and I were just having a conversation tonight about how the NFL's overall strength has somehow deteriorated, and this year especially.   The concept of parity among teams seems to be lost.   In a record--breaking season in which there are THREE (count 'em) teams in the league with undefeated 8--0 or 9--0 records, the majority of teams are experiencing subpar records and seasons.

    Cases in point--- We find losing or barely .500 teams leading their divisions, like the Giants and the Colts.   On the other hand, there are also teams like the Patriots and Broncos leading their divisions by three and four games at the midpoint of the season.   

    Teams have lost starting quarterbacks (Dallas, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Indianapolis) and have struggled during the first half of the season.   Teams that were excellent last year have turned mediocre this season (Green Bay, Seattle).  Other teams just seem to have completely fallen apart (Atlanta, Washington, San Diego).

    There are eight teams (New England, Cincinnati, Carolina,  Denver, Minnesota, Arizona, Green Bay, & Atlanta) that are a combined 58--12 this season.   The rest of the league (24 teams) are a combined 86--132.

    I've NOT downplayed or spoken negatively about the Panthers season or team.  However, they have no doubt benefited from this season's disparity of teams.  Eight of Carolina's nine wins have come against losing teams, having a combined record of 28--43.   Only Green Bay currently has a winning record (6--3).   In Carolina's last seven games, they will meet teams with a combined record of 31--34.

    The Panthers are undoubtedly a very good team.   They may have also struck gold in playing their best football in a year in which the rest of the league is on a downturn.   If there's a sour note in the chord, it's that the Panthers have played their best games against the best teams.  In several games against mediocre competition, Carolina has barely squeaked out victories.

     Whatever you may say about it--- it's all good.    The worst thing that can happen is that the Panthers could meet an equally tough team in the playoffs or Super Bowl that may be more game--tested than our team.  

     Could there possibly be--- two 18--0 teams in the Super Bowl this year?   Maybe.   I believe by then, our team will be sufficiently strong to weather that storm.

    Hey--- our Panthers are Super--- one way or another.   It looks like a banner year.   A Super Bowl year.   Jerry's dream may come true.   What better year to do so than in the Super Bowl's 50th Anniversary year?   Let's stay on the bandwagon and ride it to the end of the road.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Does It Mean to Be 8--0 ?

     Going 8--0.   Wow !   Yay !    We're rocking the NFL--- right ?   Well--- SORTA--- KINDA.

Don & Mike Shula--- circa 1972
     This is a first-- for the Carolina Panthers franchise-- and frankly, for EVERYONE-- players, coaches, fans, sports writers-- all of us.  There is literally NO ONE -- well wait, I take THAT back--- maybe offensive coordinator Mike Shula--- but he was only seven years old when his dad Don Shula's Miami Dolphins team went 17--0 in the 1972 season and beat the Washington Redskins 14--7 to win the Super Bowl.

    I'm NOT a big fan of statistics.   I probably would be-- if most of them held true.   But it's a FACT-- not a statistic-- that statistics usually lie or deceive.   They do NOT always paint the true picture.   But here are a few of them for you to consider, and if you choose, to throw away--- like I always do.
     There have been 21 NFL teams to start the season 8--0.   100% of them made it to the playoffs.   57% (12) made it to the Super Bowl.   But only 38% (8) won the Super Bowl.   What about the other 13 teams?    In just a minute, we'll take a look.

      When the Panthers were 7--0, my friend and I were talking and he said, "You know what going 7--0 guarantees you, don't ya?"   And he answered his own question, "It guarantees that you'll be at LEAST 7--9".    Wow--- Most of us Panthers fans are probably in orbit now.  It takes an honest perspective like his to really center you and take you back down to reality.

      What do I think?   I've seen people asking, "Do you think the Panthers could run the table?"  That is--- go undefeated--- 16--0.   It doesn't take a wizard to look back and remember the 2007 New England Patriots.   They were touted as the supreme team of the decade.  They won all sixteen regular season games and two playoff games to enter the Super Bowl at 18--0. 

Unhappy Tom Brady at 18--1
     There were practically no oddsmakers favoring the New York Giants, although just over a month before, the two teams had met in New York and the Patriots had just squeaked by the Giants, 38--35.   It would've appeared at that point that the two teams were almost equally matched.  But the Patriots undefeated record stood in the way of anyone looking at the game in a logical way.  Every football fan knows what happened next.  The Giants narrowly defeated the Patriots in the final moments of the game to spoil their undefeated season and this game has been mentioned in the greatest upsets of all time, right up there with the Jets' 1969 victory over the Colts.
           Here's a LOOK back in time--- to other near--perfect teams ---
  • The 1967 Baltimore Colts went 11-0 (with two ties) before losing their final game to the Green Bay Packers and not qualifying for the playoffs;
  • The 1969 Los Angeles Rams went 11--0 -- before losing their final three games and finishing 11--3, not making the playoffs;
  • The 1973 and 1975 Minnesota Vikings went 9--0 and 10--0 and both years lost in the playoffs or Super Bowl;
  • The 1984 Miami Dolphins went 11--0 but lost in the Super Bowl;
  • The 1990 San Francisco 49'ers went 10--0 but lost in the playoffs;
  • The 2005 Indianapolis Colts went 13--0 but lost in the playoffs;
  • The 2007 New England Patriots went 18--0 but lost in the Super Bowl.
  • The 2008 Tennessee Titans went 10--0 but lost in the playoffs;
  • The 2009 Indianapolis Colts went 14--0 but lost in the Super Bowl.
  • The 2011 Green Bay Packers went 13--0 but lost in the playoffs;
  • The 2012 Atlanta Falcons went 8--0 but lost in the playoffs;
  • The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs went 9--0 but lost in the playoffs;
     Only the following teams have gone 8--0 or better during the regular season and won the Super Bowl----
  • Miami Dolphins (1972)
  • Dallas Cowboys (1977)
  • Chicago Bears (1985) 
  • New York Giants (1990)
  • Washington Redskins (1991)
  • Denver Broncos (1998)
  • Indianapolis Colts (2006)

      What does ALL of this prove?   Absolutely NOTHING.   Before you label me a traitor or a naysayer, I'm NOT.   I'm just as much a Believer as anyone else.   I firmly believe that this ---could be--- our year to go ALL the way.    But if we do, it won't necessarily be because we went 8--0.  You can see that by how many other teams have fallen by the wayside over the years.

     What is positive from ALL of this is that we don't have to be like ALL of the other teams.  We can continue playing well --- and get even better.   We can cut down on our mistakes and make even more big plays.   The Panthers players can ALL be clutch performers and do what they need to do to take us to The Big Game--- and win it.     Wouldn't it be something if our Panthers got to play in (and win!) the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl, and  Jerry's prediction can finally come true-- ten years later.

    Just remember the age--old cliche-- don't count your chickens before they hatch.  We've got a ways to go.   Hey.  I remember my past blogs.   (HA HA)    
  • The Highs and Lows of 4--0 --- in which I said that the supreme test of our season would be the next four games against the Seahawks, Eagles, Colts, and Packers (we ran the table) 
  • Smooth Sailing--- in which I said that after the Seahawks win, the Panthers' road to the playoffs would be easy from here on out--- as long as they didn't know it.
     I still maintain all of the things that I said in both of those (and all my other) blogs.  I'm just saying that ALL of these things are --dependent-- on us playing up to our potential.    We also have to avoid late season injuries and mistakes.    We can keep up this momentum and maintain our advantage.  But as they say, you still have to PLAY the game.

     Right now-- I'm a fan who's wishing that he might have took the Vegas odds in August and bet on the Panthers to go to the Super Bowl.   Hindsight is 20/20.    But just because we are on the bandwagon and it's playing our tune-- we've still got some serious games to play over the next couple of months.

     Let's hope we defy history and become one of those 38% that didn't let down but took it to the max and went all the way.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


   Hey-- I've got Papa John's pizza On--the--Way and gametime is in about 20 minutes.

Panthers Pizza Promo
   What more could I want?   well--- a WIN  against the Packers would do just fine.

    FoxSports analyst Terry Bradshaw was asked if he thought the Panthers could make a run into the playoffs, and he answered, "No, I don't think so".---well-- that's what he's paid to do.  Give opinions.  Whether they're good ones --- or NOT.
Pizza & More Pizza!
            The media has also tried to paint ONE or TWO players as the stars or cornerstones of the team.   Of course, QB Cam Newton on offense.   On defense, first it was LB Luke Kuechly.   Now it's  CB Josh Norman.   Later, it might be somebody else.  

      The bottom line is-- whether on offense or defense, the Panthers are a TEAM.    Sure, on a given day, someone may rise above the crowd and have a great game.   There will be standouts.   But their mindset is that everyone contributes and everyone is important to the team.

(sorta kinda)

    I decided that it might be fun to write a running summary of the game.   NOT that anyone is going to be reading THIS during the football game (HA!)
       The Panthers got the ball first, went down the field, and I thought they would score. Well-- they did score, but  NOT a touchdown.  We just let the Packers move the ball down the field, and then score on a really flaky pass play.   It's NOW the end of the first quarter, and it's 7--3 Packers.   We are looking pretty good on both sides of the ball, but we've gotta do better than THIS.  On a couple of occasions, the Panthers defensive players had their hands on the Packers quarterback or runner and let them get away.   We have to wrap them up.   Like a package.

     Good News!--- at the beginning of 2nd quarter, the Panthers got a clutch catch on a 3rd--and--16 play by WR Jerricho Cotchery and then Cam hurdled into the end zone to make it  10--7.   After holding the Packers, the Panthers got a 52--yard pass play from Cam Newton to rookie WR Devin Funchess and then capped it off with a 7--yard TD pass to TE Greg Olsen, (which was the 500th pass reception of his career) to make it 17--7.

    After a field goal and a missed field goal, the Panthers got the ball back in the last minute of the half and Newton connected on a long touchdown pass to WR Corey Brown to make the score 27--7 at the half.   Wow!   Looks like most of the pundits and predictors (including myself) will have to reevaluate the situation.    I got the TEAM right but I had it being a LOT closer.

    HAPPY @ the HALF---  It's amazing to me, NOT that the Panthers are playing well, but that they seem to be forcing the Packers into playing so poorly.   I haven't seen the first half stats, but if the rest of the game is like this, the Panthers are going to NOT only out--score the Packers, but out--perform them in almost ALL categories-- first downs, overall yards, running and passing.  They are dominating the game on both sides--- offense and defense.  And the Panthers are even out--doing the Packers on special teams.

       Early in the second half, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hit a perfect pass over a Panthers defensive back to WR Randall Cobb for a long, touchdown pass to close the score gap to 13 points at 27--14.   The Panthers immediately went 3--and--out.   They are looking listless and lethargic after playing almost a perfect first half.

    Hold that thought.  The Panthers just sacked Rodgers twice in a row-- the second one was called back on a penalty, but they still held the Packers and forced them to punt the ball on fourth down.   Let's see if the Panthers can restore their "mojo" of the first half.   I'd hate to see them pull another meltdown like they did in the Colts game and make this game a close one.  At halftime, it appeared to me-- and probably almost everyone else--- that this game was over.

     I've heard a lot of talk about "all the Panthers have is Newton and Olsen" on offense, and at times, I've been tempted to believe them, especially when receivers like Corey Brown  and  Devin Funchess and Ted Ginn Jr. drop passes that are right in their hands.   Yes--- Greg Olsen has played well-- and today again-- but Brown and Funchess both caught incredible passes today, and are coming into their own.  And WR Jerricho Cotchery caught a great pass today.   Newton often goes to Olsen as his favorite target, but I don't think it's a one--man receiving operation by any stretch of the imagination.

Win-- Win-- OR-- Win :  We're a Team
     They also say that the Panthers defense revolves around Luke Kuechly.  I think he would be one of the first to tell you, this is a TEAM defense.   He and Josh Norman may be a couple of the leaders, but everyone is contributing to this season's success story.

    The Panthers answered the call-- and the Packers score--- in the third quarter, by marching down the field to the four--yard line, but had to settle for a field goal when Newton misfired on what looked like an easy touchdown pass to Cotchery.   Still--- we look safe at 30--14.   Ya know-- the Panthers have already scored the points that I predicted-- 30-- but they may need more before it's over.

     Carolina kept Green Bay in check for several minutes, until the Panthers got another break with a 34--yard pass interference penalty call that took the ball to the Packers 15--yard line.  Two plays later, Newton hit Funchess with a 14--yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers a 37--14 cushion with just about 9 minutes left in the game.   Panthers fans can all breath a collective sigh now.   I do think it's pretty much over now.

     Uh--ohh!   Green Bay put the ball in the end zone on a short drive.  A couple of plays-- and poof--   eek!   I still feel like we're safe.   A 23--point cushion has become 15 (with a touchdown PLUS a two--point conversion).  But the clock has also ticked off a few minutes in the process.  Keep on clicking, clock---let's get this thing over. 

Cardiac Cats Do It Again !
     Folks--- I thought my blog was over for the day.  With another quick touchdown, the game got close at  37--29 and then the Panthers did something I find just mind--blowing.  Cam Newton threw a sideline pass which was intercepted by Green Bay deep in Panthers territory.  

    The Packers now have the ball at the two--minute warning at the Panthers five--yard line, but it is now 4th--and--goal.   A do--or--die situation. Wow !!  Thomas Davis  intercepts (see picture) inside the five--yard line to save the game !  Another hard--to--believe ending to an up--and--down " fairy tale & nightmare" type of game !


     We NEVER had to get to this point. 

 I cannot believe that we've allowed this to happen two weeks in a row.  We will win this game, we will be an unbelievable 8--0, and yes-- it will be unbelievable-- we just don't seem like an undefeated team, the way that we seem invincible, and then tend to squander big leads and try to give games away in the last few minutes.

Nov 15
Carolina Panthers
Tennessee Titans

Don't forget-- to take 

"Will The Panthers Go to the Super Bowl this Year?"

Saturday, November 7, 2015



     The Panthers game with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday will be the toughest game they have played so far this season.   It could very well also be the most important game that we will play all this year, including our division games with the Falcons.  Fan and media buzz is that this game will have playoff implications, perhaps deciding a playoff seeding or a home field advantage.  

     So what's the big deal?   The main thing is that Carolina MAKES it to the playoffs, right? Maybe.  Maybe not.   You might point to the fact that in 2008, the Panthers went 12--4, won the NFC South, got a first round bye, and played the Cardinals at home in a divisional playoff.  And they LOST 33--13.  Yes-- anything can happen.   Playing on your home field doesn't ever guarantee a win.  The game still has to be played, and the team still has to execute and play well to win.  But still--- these things do matter.

Possible Preview ?
     Think about this scenario-- the Panthers win a playoff game (or two) and wind up in the NFC Championship Game-- one game from the Super Bowl.   But they ended up TIED in the regular season with the Packers-- let's say, with identical 14--2 records-- but one of the Panthers' two losses was to Green Bay.   The head--to--head matchup would determine playoff seeding and the home field advantage.  So, instead of playing at home in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, where we'd be playing in milder 40--ish degree weather, the Panthers would go all the way to Green Bay's infamous Lambeau Field, the site of the 1967 "Ice Bowl" (with temperatures below freezing )

     So a loss on Sunday won't have immediate negative impact.  It won't eliminate us from playoff contention.   But it could have some playoff ramifications for January.

     The Packers' loss to the Broncos last weekend showed that the Pack is not invincible.  They are beatable.   But it also possibly gave Green Bay an added incentive against the Panthers. They are not wanting to go from a 6--0 undefeated team to a 6--2 team with a two--game losing streak.   There's a certain amount of pride involved.   But there's also the surprising Minnesota VIkings at 5--2, sitting just a game behind the Packers, and waiting to take over the division lead.   Yes-- the Pack is a good team with great motivation to win this game.

    What is the best scenario for Sunday's game?   Well-- the keys to the Packers game are much like any other.   I'm sure that Carolina has a more specific game plan designed just for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay team.   But there are a few basics that must happen for us to win this game-- or even stay in this game.

  • FAST Start.   Carolina needs to score first, or at least get out to a good start in the first quarter.  We cannot afford to get down to a great team like Green Bay.   It will help us if we can build a lead and maintain it throughout the game. 
  •  POSSESSION.  We need to win the time of possession battle.  In other words, our offense needs to "take their time" marching down the field on most drives, and keep the ball away from the Green Bay offense.   If the Packers don't have the ball, they can't score.
  •  RUN the Ball.  The Panthers running backs (plus Cam Newton) must have a good day.   Carolina has been averaging 145 yards per game on the ground.   We must gain at least 75--100 yards or more rushing.   This doesn't appear too difficult when you see the Packers are #25 in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing almost 125 yards per game.
  • NO Turnovers.  Carolina must NOT give up the ball to the Packers.   We've had a tendency to lose the ball a few times a game, but be able to bounce back from those mistakes.  We mustn't expect that level of resiliency against this Packers team.
  • BIG Plays.  In particular, the Panthers receivers cannot drop big--time game--changing catches in the open field, like they have done occasionally against other opponents.   Ted Ginn's drop on a potential touchdown pass in the Colts game comes to mind. Also, Carolina's defense cannot drop interceptions that literally slip through their fingers.   We must take advantage of every opportunity given to us. 
  • HANG in There.  The Panthers have already been doing this for as long as I can remember.  They never give up-- they "keep on pounding."   This game may come down to the wire, just as the Saints and Colts games did.   Our team will have to show poise and patience in grinding out another win.

       I've seen some predictions saying that the Panthers are ripe for a whipping, and the Packers are motivated-- after their first loss-- to give it to us.   But I don't see either team dominating the other in this game.  I think this will be a close game.  It could go either way.   As was the case in the Colts game, it may be the last team to have the ball that will win the game. One team or the other may get ahead by a touchdown or two, but I see both teams coming back from any deficits to make the game close at the end.

    MY PREDICTION--- Panthers 30, Packers 27

     Even if we don't win against the Packers on Sunday, the season's not over by a long shot.  We still have many more games and more chances to prove ourselves.   Unless we completely fall apart, we seem destined for a playoff berth and run this year.   We are looking like a team of destiny.  Maybe this could be our year to go all the way.   Anyone else feel THAT way ?

Don't forget-- to take My PANTHERS POLL
"Will The Panthers Go to the Super Bowl this Year?"

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cardiac Cats Squeak By Un-Luck-y Horseshoes

Panthers Win in Overtime

    Carolina Panthers fans were given much more than they bargained-- or asked --for on Monday night-- more ballgame and more breathtaking action as the Indianapolis Colts came back from a 17--point deficit to send the game into overtime.  

     The Panthers looked invincible for three quarters, their defense holding the Colts to only six points on two field goals, while the offense racked up 23 points on three touchdowns and a field goal.  At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Panthers held a comfortable 23--6 lead, and it appeared as though they would coast to an easy victory.  

     But things soon changed dramatically and unexpectedly.  The momentum suddenly shifted in the fourth quarter.   The Panthers defense, which had kept the Colts out of the end zone, suddenly loosened up and became less stingy, allowing two long drives.  The Colts offense, which seemed hapless and lifeless until then, seemed to ignite and take control of the game, scoring two touchdowns and then kicking a last second field goal to force the extra period.

    The overtime period was a heartstopper, as both teams had opportunities to pull out the win.   In the end, Carolina made the bigger plays when they counted to force the outcome, beating the Colts by 29--26..

     This game was also a showcase of redemption for several Panthers players. 

  • WR Ted Ginn, Jr. missed a perfectly thrown, wide open pass from QB Cam Newton that should have been the winning touchdown, but later caught a first-down pass that helped get the Panthers into field goal position to tie the game during the first overtime period---
  • LB Luke Kuechly missed making an end zone interception which would have also sealed a win, but later collaborated  with  S Roman Harper to make an interception to halt a Colts drive and put the Panthers in position for the winning field goal---
  • K Graham Gano, who missed a crucial extra point which proved to be a deciding factor in the game going to overtime, also ended up kicking the winning 52-yard field goal.

     The Panthers came out of a hard fought, imperfect game with a perfect 7--0 record -- another first in the history of the Carolina Panthers franchise.  The team will enjoy this victory for a day or two, but will soon be allowed to look forward to hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, who lost to Denver on Sunday night and are now 6--1.   With a win over the Pack, the Panthers could go up two games over BOTH the Packers and Falcons in the NFC playoff race and be on the road to a top berth and first round bye in the NFC Playoffs.

        Next Game : Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers  

Sunday Nov. 8 --- 1:00 pm EST

Sunday, November 1, 2015


      Since the Panthers didn't play this Sunday (our game is on Monday Night Football on National TV), I got a chance to watch some other teams play--- in particular, our rival Atlanta Falcons.  They played the "lowly" (last place) Tampa Bay Bucs. 

    The Bucs got up to a 20--3 lead, due in large part to multiple Atlanta turnovers, and then the Falcons roared back to tie the game at 20--20 in the closing minute and send the game into overtime.  After a Bucs field goal, the Falcons (under the "new" overtime rules) got a chance to score, but came up short, 23--20.

     This is what I would've dreamed on happening, but didn't think in a million years that the Falcons, who've been playing so well lately, would lose to the miserable Tampa Bay Bucs.  Guess I could say something lame like, "Well-- this is proof that there's a God"--- but I already knew God exists without this game's outcome.

     All I know is--- this is just what the doctor ordered for the Panthers--- just hope with the division lead in our laps, we don't stop playing like we played to get to this place.   I'm hoping that we will even turn it up another notch or two.  As many of the Panthers players and coaches have said, I don't believe we've played our best football yet.   But I'm hoping it will come soon.  We'll need it for the playoffs.

     Okay--- ATLANTA fans and players-- can you say--- umm---