Thursday, October 29, 2015


    The Carolina Panthers hiked their record to a perfect 6--0 for the first time in franchise history this past Sunday by trouncing the Philadelphia Eagles, 27--16.   Even though QB Cam Newton suffered three interceptions (two on balls tipped by Panthers receivers), the Panthers defense held the Eagles to two field goals off these turnovers, sacked the Eagles quarterback five times, and also held them scoreless in the fourth quarter.  The consistent Panthers offense scored in every quarter, ran for over 200 yards, and averaged an amazing 6.8 yards per play.

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog entitled "Surprising Stat"-- in which I told about the phenomenal Carolina Panthers defense achieving the #1 position in the NFL Stats for lowest number of points allowed.  At that time, they were allowing about 18 points per game.  Their stat is still around that figure-- but now, the Green Bay Packers have taken over that #1 spot, allowing about 17 points per game.  

Who'd-a Thunk It?--Not Me!
     It is no secret that we play these Packers in another week. As I previously mentioned, it is possible that we will meet Green Bay with both teams being 7-0-- which is a very rare oddity in the NFL.  Oddly enough, Green Bay will meet Denver this weekend, with both teams at 6--0, and will have to beat the Broncos to get to 7--0.   We meet the 3--4 Indianapolis Colts on Monday night. It would appear that we have the easier game.  But the Panthers are NOT taking the Colts lightly, as they won the AFC South last year and are leading their division now. 

Panthers #1 in Rushing
    This week's blog is entitled "Surprising Stat-- Part Two"--- because lo and behold, the Panthers offense is leading the NFL-- yes #1 this week in an offensive stat --- rushing yards per game. The Panthers ran for over 200 yards in the Eagles game, and are now averaging an amazing 145 yards per game, and 6.2 yards per carry.  And this week, the running game was NOT led by #1-- the rushing was spread out among three players--- RB Jonathan Stewart,  FB Mike Tolbert, and QB Cam Newton.  Even WR Ted Ginn, Jr. contributed this week with a 43--yard end--around run that set up a touchdown.

Stewart & Tolbert
     Tolbert gave the Panthers a two--touchdown cushion at 21--6 when he scored in the third quarter on a phenomenal two--yard pass play in which he literally carried four Eagles defenders with him into the end zone. analyst Mike Craft compared this play to the equally amazing four--yard touchdown run by DeShaun Foster in the NFC Championship game in January 2004 vs. the Eagles that sent the Panthers to the Super Bowl.

One Game at a TIme
     Perhaps another interesting (and surprising) stat is that there is only ONE  Panthers player who is in any Top Five category in the NFL--- that would be CB Josh Norman, who is tied at #1 with four interceptions.   The Panthers defense is rated #9 in Total Defense, allowing about 339 yards per game.  The best defensive stat is one that is neither computed nor recognized, and that is allowing fewest points when it really counts.  The defense seems to bend but not break, and always seems to stop the opposing team at crucial points in the game.

     It is only natural that a team in our position (undefeated at 6--0) would be tempted to look ahead to a huge game like the Packers next week, but I don't think that Coach Ron Rivera and the Panthers team will do that.   They've been emphasizing the "one game at a time" approach ever since he came to Charlotte.    And I believe that he and the other coaches and veteran players on this team will "keep pounding" that message into everyone's heads.

      I think that we will probably lose a game (or two) this year, but it will NOT be this week, or next. I'm going out on a big limb this time & predicting that the Panthers will beat BOTH the Colts & the Packers, and go to  a perfect 8--0 at the midway point of the season.

     This past week was miserable, waiting an incredibly tough 14 days between games.  This week is almost as bad, as we have to wait eight days until Monday night's game.   Getting to Sunday and NOT having a Panthers game is like a kid going to a front door and NOT getting any Halloween candy !

           Next Game : Carolina Panthers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Monday Night Football -- Nov. 2nd

No comments:

Post a Comment