Monday, September 12, 2011

Confused by Panthers Euphoria in Wake of Loss

Excuse me, but I don't understand the Panthers euphoria over Sunday's game.  Yes Cam Newton was spectacular (a rookie debut record 422 passing yards and 2 touchdowns; & rushed for 18 yards and a TD), but last I checked Carolina came up 7 points short and lost the 2011 season opener.  If I may borrow a line from former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, "You play to win the game!"  And after a lackluster 2-14 season, winning should be all that matters to the Panthers and those that cheer for them.  There are no moral victories in the NFL.

Look, I get it, Panthers fans are enthralled with Newton and they have every right to feel that way.  This team didn't score 21 points in a single game until week 7 last year when they got their first win versus San Francisco 23-20.  But Carolina was up 21-14 in the 4th quarter and couldn't hold on.  Not only that, they lost to a team they beat last year without Cam Newton.  Yes, fans want to see improvement, but when you have a chance to win -- especially on the road in the NFL -- you need to take advantage of it.

That is why I was so surprised by the excitement of the fans and even the media that cover this team in the wake of Sunday's defeat.  I can guarantee you no one in the Panthers locker room is patting themselves on the back after the loss.  Not the coaches, not the players and especially not Cam Newton.  A die hard Panthers fan told me he hoped the Panthers could win 6 games this season.  Certainly and improvement from last year's 2-14 campaign.  Well guess what, Sunday was one of the winnable 6.

--Jason Brown

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