Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hours before kickoff

Gonna be heading over to the Stadium for the showdown in a little while. Just some passing thoughts before the Panthers and Cardinals mix it up:

  • Rain a possibility for game time. While our Weather on the Ones forecast team has fallen off of my Christmas card list as a result (kidding guys), any rains would seem to favor the Panthers. They are more equipped to deal with the wet stuff by using their running game. I was actually tired of listening to the Cardinal faithful, as well as some media outlets, spraining their shoulders as they patted the Cards on the back for getting Edgerrin James over 70 yards on the ground against Atlanta. Slow down there, gang. A whole 70 yards? I don't remember what he finished with, but 70 yards on the ground against Carolina won't amount to much. The Giants went over 300, and needed overtime to beat the Panthers. Next case, your honor.
  • I am expecting the Panthers runners to have a nice game--perhaps even a big one. The bye week got Jeff Otah back healthy, and if Geoff Hangartner is unavailable, there isn't much drop off to Jeremy Bridges. Full speed ahead for DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. One of those guys will break 100 yards, and they could combine for 3 scores. Or more.
  • Jake Delhomme holds the 3rd highest post-season passer rating for his career in NFL HISTORY. Only Bart Starr and Joe Montana are ahead of him. Translation: the Cajun QB can flat out play in the playoffs. Look for Jake to have a good game, protect the ball, and do his job. Rain or no rain, Delhomme should have roughly 20-30 passing attempts in the game--if the ground game is rolling up yardage, that number will drop.
  • There is one thing that concerns me about this one is the "Cinderella Factor." All due respect to the NFC West champion Cardinals, they are a decided underdog in this one (Vegas has Carolina a 9.5 point favorite). The Cards are also feeling disrespected as a result. The Cards played their first home playoff game since the Truman administration (1947) last week. They COULD be the team that America is pulling for, as the USA loves themselves an underdog. The best thing the Panthers can do is start fast, keep the hammer down, and send the Cards back on a plane to the desert with a thorough beating. Let them hang around, and Cinderella could have her dress pressed for the NFC title game next weekend.

Prediction: Cinderella's dress has seen its last dance after tonight. The carriage turns back into a pumpkin, and the Panthers await (they hope) an Eagles win on Sunday.

Carolina 3o-17

Enjoy the game!

Mike Solarte


Nathan said...

Wow....not only did Stewart or Williams not get 100 yards...they didn't get 100 between them. Great call on Jake being a good playoff QB. 5 INT's.....more history was made tonight....only Bart Starr isn't in this group. Tim Hightower had more rushing yards than both Carolina RB's combined. Way to show up at home Panthers!!! Congrats to the Panthers LB's and guys did a good job shuting down Fitz!!

Mike Solarte said...

In a perfect world, I would have been correct. What a bummer.