Monday, September 15, 2008

Panthers-Bears Fallout

Better look up the number of your local cardiologist, Panther fans. Looks like it's going to be a long season. Not a bad one, just a long one.

2 completely different Panther teams against Chicago. The JV in the first half--the ones that couldn't keep from moving before the snap, couldn't line up properly on a great punt from Jason Baker. The Varsity in the 2nd half. Bruising runs from rookie Jonathan Stewart, solid play from the offensive line to move the pile, a defense that got mean and nasty when it mattered most.

Carolina willed themselves to victory on Sunday, while the Bears came apart at the seams. Chicago held a 14 point lead, when they did the unthinkable--the took a shot at a fiery quarterback who had scrambled and then made the usual QB slide to surrender the play. 2 Bears unloaded on Jake Delhomme, leaving the QB a little wobbly. Once he came to, he grabbed his headgear which he had taken off, and began unloading language that would have made a trucker blush. All of it directed at the Bears defense.

It reminded me of Rocky III. Apollo Creed is deceased, Balboa agrees to fight the mighty Russian, and is getting pummeled. Rocky's trainer says to Paulie, "he's getting killed." Paulie replies, "he's not getting killed, he's getting mad."

Same thing.

That shot on Delhomme (which wouldn't be a shock if the NFL throws some fines at Chicago for), woke the Panthers up. All of them. Offense, defense, and special teams. The o-line blocked harder. The defense pursued harder. They played with a passion and intensity that was absent in 2007. Not a coincidence that also missing in 2007, was Jake Delhomme.

This is a Panther team, that 2 weeks in, is 2-0, and both wins come against good teams, and without their best player on the field. Steve Smith's suspension is now over. he'll be a part of the Panthers again, as they prepare to travel to Minnesota this week. Indoor game, artificial surface, and the Vikings coming off of a tough 18-15 loss to Indianapolis, after holding a 15-0 lead on the Colts.

It's hard not getting excited about this team, so if you are fighting it, don't.

Just have your heart doctor on speed-dial before you give in.

Mike Solarte

No comments: