|Turnovers were the Difference|
|The Wrong End of the Stick|
How true this held out in this game. I'm also reminded of the recent NCAA college Championship Game between Ohio State and Oregon, in which OSU committed four turnovers, but yet still won the game convincingly. I don't know if it's the Seahawks or the NFL in general, but this type of scenario does not usually take place in pro playoff games.
Still, the Panthers held the ball at the Seahawks 13-yard line, with about six minutes to go in the game, just a short distance from making the game close. It was 24-10, a two touchdown advantage, but with the Panthers knocking at the goal line's door, it would've brought the score to 24-17, with plenty of time to force a tie and overtime. Even with all of the other mistakes in the game, two fumbles and an interception, our team still had a great chance for a comeback. One errant throw made all of the difference.
If you look at a replay, right after the snap, as QB Cam Newton is preparing to deliver the fatal throw, RB Jonathan Stewart (#28) drifts into the left flat. Newton briefly glanced in that direction, but it was apparent that he was not throwing to him. Instead, he
|Cam to Kam|
But apparently, this is the difference between a good team and a great team. We hung tough for three quarters, but in the fourth (and decisive) one, we fell apart and made the pivotal mistake. On the other hand, Seattle was patient, making good plays, but waiting for that one opportunity that would make the momentum shift toward their team. This reminds me so much of the 1960's Green Bay Packers. Coach Pete Carroll seems to be a much more mild mannered man than Vince Lombardi, but still he gets the same type of results. I used to hate Green Bay with a passion, while I still admired them greatly. My favorite team was the New York Jets. In the 60's, they were still part of the old AFL. But in the NFL, I liked teams like the Baltimore Colts, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, and Dallas Cowboys. And whenever Green Bay played one of these other teams, I always pulled for their opponent. I remember games like the "Ice Bowl" (Dec. 1967), and there was the game with the Colts one year before (Dec. 1966) where the game (and the season) was decided on what was called "the million-dollar fumble" (by Johnny Unitas).
NFL DYNASTY TEAMS
So much for nostalgic, archaic NFL trivia. Suffice to say-- each decade has had at least one dominant team, and Seattle is now a dominant team, in the mold of the 60's Packers, the 70's Steelers, the 80's 49'ers, or the 90's Patriots. Can anyone unseat them? Maybe, but it won't be the Panthers (at least at this particular moment).
|Yep --it happens|
Lately, there is talk about Salary Cap room and landing one or more franchise type players, particularly another receiver. I'm not sure what will transpire, but one thing should be clear : it's not time to overturn the apple cart. We seem to be on a positive upswing, having won our division two years in a row. It would be unprecedented to win the NFC South a third straight year, but we have as good a chance as any of the other three teams in our division. So what's the big beef with the status quo? We're not standing still. The management is looking at making positive changes, while still trying to maintain the core nucleus of our team. We may need a new receiver, or defensive back. But we don't need a whole new team, or new staff.
|Yep, it was a Pretty Good Year... after all.|
Good luck to the Seahawks. Actually, I'm pulling for Green Bay this time. (believe it or not) But Seattle's favored, and if they win, I may pull for them in the Super Bowl. No grudges or bad feelings. They deserved to win. So-- maybe next year? We'll see. Time will tell.
NEXT GAME-- Sunday, Sept. 13
UNTIL THEN-- I REMAIN-- A PANTHERS FAN FOREVER (PFF) !