Apparently, memories did not fade fast, as Smith publicly stated that he was going to "pay back" his old team when they came visiting this season. The outcome must have been sweet for Smith, as he caught seven passes for 139 yards and (more importantly) two touchdowns. The two TD catches were dramatic and climactic, as they captured the momentum before halftime and kept it for the rest of the game, beating the Panthers, 38-10.
To add insult to injury, Smith was seen on the sidelines mocking his former team by "putting nails in their coffin" and later remarked that they could go home and "mow his lawn." A few days after the game, Smith called in to a Charlotte radio station and proceeded to verbally shoot down the Panthers coach and general manager for letting him go, stating that he was "left out of the loop".
My own opinion is that the Panthers could and should have done whatever was necessary to keep Smith on our side. I heard one TV sports analyst remark that the Panthers would've been nearly unstoppable if they had rookie Kelvin Benjamin (#13) on one side, and Steve Smith on the other. I have to agree with him.
Will the Panthers get over this humiliating game that put them back at Square One (2-2), and move forward for a successful season? Not sure. But for many, the unpleasant memory of what might have been still lingers on.
NEXT UP : Sun Oct 5 vs. Chicago