Archive

Archive for November, 2009

Foxism of the day: 11/30/09

30 November 2009 2 comments

John Fox is doing what he does best, making absolutely no sense.

Rotoworld: (emphasis mine)

Panthers coach John Fox admitted he thought about benching Jake Delhomme in favor of Matt Moore during Sunday’s loss to the Jets. “There was discussion about it,” said Fox. “But overall, we felt like Jake was the best guy to be in there for what we were doing in this game, and that’s what we did.” Really? Delhomme posted a 12.7 passer rating and Fox is under pressure to make a switch for Sunday’s game against the Bucs.

So Jake was the best guy to be in there for what we were doing in this game? Actually, when you sit down and think about it, he’s right. Jake is the best guy to put in there when you want to pull off a choke job, which is what the Panthers did yesterday when they blew a totally winnable game against the Jets.

If Fox sticks with his boy Jake against the Bucs next Sunday instead of going with Matt Moore (or A.J. Feeley), I can’t wait to hear his explanation. I can’t see any logical reason to explain why a quarterback who has led his team to a 4-7 record and out of the playoff race, has 18 interceptions, and is coming off a game with a 12.7 passer-rating should get any more action on the field.

Get with the program Fox: it’s time to put in Matt Moore, and it’s time to give Jake the old yeller treatment — Jake doesn’t have it any more, so please put him out of his misery.

If you won’t do it for Jake, then please do it for the fans.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

The Panthers are playing for pride now

29 November 2009 Leave a comment

After another mind-numbing loss today, the Panthers have nothing to play for other than their own personal pride for the remainder of the season, because the playoffs are officially out of reach1.

And, as it always seems to be the case this season, the loss can be laid squarely on the shoulders of Jake Delhomme and Jeff Davidson. Gump had the statue throw 34 times, even though everyone on the planet who follows the Panthers knows that when statue throws 30+ times, the Panthers rarely win.

D-Will and J-Stew were non-factors all afternoon2, and Gump allowed his quarterback to throw the game away3 and prevented any chance of the Panthers winning with his atrocious play-calling.

But I’m not going to rehash the game details. There’s no point. They lost, and are now out of the playoff picture. What they need to do now is look to the future, and give Matt Moore a chance to play. If the Panthers are going to have a successful draft, they need to know what they have and what they need, and keeping Moore on the bench isn’t going to do anything to help figure that out.

If the Panthers plan to draft a quarterback in the draft, they need to know if they need a 1st/2nd round type quarterback, or if they can buy a few years with Moore and wait until the later rounds of the draft and get a less-known guy to be the quarterback of he future4.

Either way, it should be blatantly obvious that Jake Delhomme’s best days are behind him, and he should find a comfortable seat on the bench to sit back and enjoy the last few weeks of his career, because there should be no reason to keep trotting him out on the field week after week. The Panthers are out of the playoff race, and Delhomme has had ample opportunity to recover his career5.

It’s time to let Matt Moore start a few games to establish himself as either (a) the quarterback of the future, or (b) a career backup. Regardless of what kind of quarterback he is, it’s time we get the chance to find out. Besides, things couldn’t be much worse for the Panthers with Moore in the lineup6.

———————————————————————————————————

1 – Okay, they’re not officially out of the race. But, the Panthers have to win out (with games against the Vikings, Patriots, Giants, and Saints remaining on the schedule) and have to get help from other teams in the playoff hunt — so, while it’s still possible, it’s highly unlikely they will make the playoffs at this point.

2 – Some credit should go to the Jets defense, because they did a good job with their containment of Double Trouble.

3 – Literally. Delhomme threw 4 interceptions today, including a pick-6 in the first quarter, and had a passer rating of 12.7 (I wish I were making this up).

4 – My short list of who I would like the Panthers to draft:

  • Tony Pike, Cincinnati
  • Max Hall, BYU
  • Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan
  • Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State
  • Jevan Snead, Ole Miss

5 – And has failed miserably.

6 – Obviously it could be worse. I mean, we could be the Browns, Raiders, Bucs, or Lions.

Panthers prepare to face Jets

28 November 2009 Leave a comment

Author’s Note: Please notice that I have started using footnotes instead of a * symbol to denote “hey, I want to talk about this more” in my blog. I discovered how to use superscript font with HTML today, so some of the footnotes are probably excessive and will be toned down once I am over the newness of my discovery.

This Sunday, the Panthers will try once again to climb back into playoff contention when they travel to the Meadowlands to take on Dirty Sanchez1 and the New York Jets.

Carolina got some desperately needed help from the Broncos on Thanksgiving2, and look to help themselves by defeating the Jets and moving to 5-6 on the season. For the Panthers to have any realistic chance at making the playoffs, they are going to have to win at least 5 of their final 6 games, or will have to rely on several other NFC teams3 to go on losing streaks and end up with sub-.500 records.

The Jets will be a formidable opponent for the Panthers, primarily because they feature a strong running game led by running back Thomas Jones. The Panthers have been noticeably weak in their run defense since losing OLB Thomas Davis to a season-ending ACL injury4 three weeks ago, and teams with strong running games have had success against the Panthers’ defense all season long5.

If the Panthers want any hope of making the playoffs, they must start winning games. It can almost be taken as fact that if they lose to the Jets on Sunday they will have no chance at making the playoffs, because out of their final five games, only one can be considered truly winnable6.

No one knows how the events will unfold on Sunday, but hopefully the Panthers can put another win on the board and get back into the playoff hunt. They’ve come roaring back to make a playoff run in the past7, so it’s not impossible for them to do it one more time.

After all, we don’t call them the Cardiac Cats for nothing.

———————————————————————————————————

1 – Jets QB Mark Sanchez. Dirty Sanchez is explained in graphic detail here.

2 – Denver defeated the Giants 26-6 on Thursday night.

3 – Teams that the Panthers have to pass to get a playoff spot: Giants, Eagles/Cowboys, Packers, Bears, 49ers.

4 – They really haven’t had a great rushing defense all season. They lost Ma’ake Kemoeatu in training camp, and until the acquisition of Hollis Thomas a few weeks ago, haven’t really had a stout-enough defensive line to prevent the run this season.

5 – Atlanta, Dallas, & Miami have had the most success running the football against the Panthers so far this season. The Saints beat them with their passing attack, the Eagles relied on a turnover-laden performance from Jake Delhomme, and the Bills just got lucky and caught the Panthers on a bad day.

6 – Their final five games: Buccaneers, at Patriots, Vikings, at Giants, Saints.

7 – In 2004, the Panthers started 1-7, but won 6 of their final 8 games to finish 7-9 and narrowly missed a playoff spot in the final week of the regular season.

Another one bites the dust

25 November 2009 Leave a comment

Sometimes, teams just face seasons where they can’t catch any breaks. That’s been the story for the Panthers this season, fighting off injury after injury in a season that has been well below the team’s (and the fans’) expectations after the 12-4 NFC South Championship season that the team enjoyed in 2008.

The 2009 campaign has been far from what the Panthers wanted it to be. Sitting at 4-6 and on the outside looking in to the NFC playoff picture, this team, already making ends meet with spare parts that were cast away from other clubs during the preseason, couldn’t afford to lose any more depth on special teams or defense.

But, lo and behold, the Panthers have yet again placed a defensive player on injured reserve. This time, the victim is LB Landon Johnson (who was moved up to starting LB after Thomas Davis went down with a season-ending ACL injury earlier this month).

Rotoworld:

Panthers placed LB Landon Johnson (knee sprain) on season-ending injured reserve. Johnson is the second Panthers’ starting WLB lost to injured reserve in three weeks. Dan Connor, last year’s third-round pick, is the favorite to take over for Johnson, though he’s spent much of his time with the Panthers practicing inside. James Anderson is also a candidate.

Hopefully this will be the opportunity to get a look at James Anderson and see what he brings to the table (if for no other reason than to evaluate what the future looks like).

Meanwhile, the Panthers had to replace Johnson on the roster, and to do so, they brought in someone who should already be familiar with Ron Meeks’ Tampa 2 defensive scheme.

Rotoworld:

Panthers signed LB Jordan Senn. Senn spent time with the Colts earlier this season when Gary Brackett was injured. He’ll add depth at linebacker, with Dan Connor and James Anderson needed on the weak side.

I’m not familiar with Senn, but I trust that he is the right player for the position (or the only one left who could even do a respectable job). Hopefully Senn will make an impact on special teams and provide some spark off the bench, and hopefully he will be able to contribute to the roster by doing something that many players haven’t been able to do this season: stay healthy.

I don’t know how this move will work out for the Panthers, but I hope it helps in some way, because at this point in the season the Panthers can’t afford to lose any more bodies.

Did franchising Peppers hurt the Panthers?

23 November 2009 2 comments

There is an interesting article over at Cat Scratch Reader by CSR moderator Jaxon that discusses recent comments from Panthers’ beat writer Darin Gantt suggesting the Panthers are struggling this season because of the team’s decision in the offseason to apply the franchise tag to Julius Peppers.

From Darin Gantt’s blog:

Where keeping Peppers mostly hurt them this year was in the way it robbed them of their depth … Without funds to adequately fill the backup positions, the Panthers are filling kick coverage and return units with odd parts, and guys who were never good special teamers to begin with. The fact that an undrafted rookie receiver such as Charly Martin can go from practice squad to active roster in a week speaks to special teams coach Danny Crossman’s desperation. He essentially is trying to play high stakes poker with Old Maid cards, and not surprisingly, it ain’t working.

I personally (like Jaxon says in his article) disagree with Gantt on this one. I think that the Panthers’ problems have little or nothing to do with Pep’s franchise tender. The only thing that signing Pep could have had a negative impact on would be the potential to sign or trade for a quarterback, but with Delhomme signing a 5-year extension in the offseason, I don’t think that was in the team’s plans for 2009 and beyond anyway.

My comments on Jaxon’s post at CSR:

I may be in the minority here…

But I actually wish we could have pulled off a trade for Cutler. He’s young, and is a definite upgrade over what we have now. I know that right now he’s sucking like a whore with a rent payment due, but he’s in Chicago with absolutely NO offensive line and no one to throw to other than a decent TE and a punt returner who decided that he wanted to try being a WR. Add in the fact that Forte has had a down year and it further compounds Cutler’s problems — he feels he HAS to make high-risk throws to make something happen, and he has failed this season.

(But when you think of it, Jake has done almost the exact same thing because of the poor play calling)

But, if you put Cutler behind our offensive line (obviously it would be even better with False Start Gross still in there — but it’s still better than what they have in Chi-town) with Smitty and Moose to throw to and Double Trouble to hand off to, and we have a completely different season right now — we’re probably sitting at 7-3 or 8-2 with a realistic chance at catching the Saints for the division — at least I think so.

So, I think the franchising of Pep was a bad idea when we could have possibly worked out a deal and got a franchise QB. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Denver play the 3-4? And Pep said he wanted to play for a team that uses the 3-4 — so Pep for Cutler would have been within the realm of possibility.) But, I do not think it is why we are 4-6 and on the brink of missing the playoffs. That, like has been stated already, is because of poor execution by the guys we do have, and the horrid coaching (particularly by everyone’s favorite offensive coordinator) that we have endured this season. Losing several key players (Kemo, Davis, Gross) to injury hasn’t helped matters much either.

Gantt is usually spot on in his analysis of the Panthers, but in this case I think he’s wrong. I think the fact that the Panthers didn’t go out and get a franchise quarterback (or a new offensive coordinator), along with the team’s lack of execution are the two main causes of the 4-6 record we have at this point.

But, I could be wrong. It’s not like I haven’t been before.

Categories: Regular Season

Jordan Gross broke his leg, not his ankle

23 November 2009 Leave a comment

We all thought that False Start broke his ankle against the Falcons on November 15, but it appears that we were wrong.

According to Rotoworld, he suffered a broken leg, not a broken ankle.

Rotoworld:

Panthers LT Jordan Gross revealed that he actually broke his tibia and fibula in his right leg. It was originally thought that Gross broke his ankle, but that joint was not damaged. He has screws and plates holding his leg together, but this development shouldn’t affect Gross’ timetable for return. The Panthers’ best offensive lineman should still be fine for next season’s training camp.

I don’t know if this is good news or bad news, because in reality False Start is still out for the season. I guess it’s a good thing, otherwise I can’t see the need in it being a story.

Same old song and dance

20 November 2009 Leave a comment

Numb. That’s all I can feel. Everything is a blur.

After seeing the Panthers lose to the Dolphins 24-17 last night for the same reason they have lost every game this season, it gets old. Consistently inconsistent. That’s been the name of the game for this team for a long time, but the blame for this loss lies on the shoulders of one person — our favorite offensive coordinator, Mr. Gump Davidson.

How can Gump not figure out what to do? It’s a simple game plan. You use the best players you have, and you put them in the situations that work best for them, and you give your team the best chance to win the game.

It’s not rocket science. (Or running a shrimp boat, to keep the Gump reference.)

Yet, Forrest can’t figure out what everyone who has seen the Panthers play a game this season already knows — run the football and stop throwing it 35-40 times per game.

It’s insane. The Statue shouldn’t have to throw that many times. Give the ball to D-Will and J-Stew and let them chew up the defense, because believe it or not — we do have two of the best running backs in the league, and they know how to put the ball in the end zone.

You would think that Gump would have listened to Jenny now — RUN FORREST, RUN!

It just doesn’t make any freaking sense.