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January 10, 2008

Future math: What follows 7-9?

The Carolina Panthers have been in existence now for 13 seasons, and have finished 7-9 in six of them, making that record easily their most prolific. That includes this season. So what happens after this 7-9? We thought we’d look back at the previous 7-9s to see if we could deduce a trend.

1995: The first season, and first 7-9 finish. The Panthers followed it with a surprising 13-5 record and a loss to Green Bay in the NFC Championship game.

1997: A disappointing collapse to 7-9, the year that Kerry Collins resigned as quarterback. Followed by a 4-12 mark in ’98, coach Dom Capers’ last season.

2000: Yet another 7-9 in coach George Seifert’s second season. That wasn’t exactly the start of something good, though; 2001 was a great movie and Carolina’s worst season ever, at 1-15.

2002: Coach John Fox’s first season, and a sign of good things to come when the Panthers won four of their past five to finish 7-9. The following season, they went to the Super Bowl.

2004: With 14 players on injured reserve, Carolina started 1-7 before finishing strong to again end at 7-9. With many observers predicting another Super Bowl trip the following year, the Panthers stumbled to 8-8 in 2005.

2007: Yet another 7-9, but one reached with two wins in the team’s last three games.

So do we have a trend? Two of the first five 7-9s were followed by long runs into the playoffs. Two others were followed by utter collapses. And one, 2004’s effort, brought mediocrity.

It’s obvious that some of the 7-9 units were on the way up; others, on the way down. They are only numbers of course, but which way will they go in 2008?

Posted by Observer Sports on January 10, 2008 at 05:02 PM | Permalink


does anyone see us going after a quaterback within the first two rounds i believe dennis dixon would benefit this team alot a mobile quaterback, is what this team really needs and he can throw the ball to, and maybe trading for a deangelo hall, to help the secondary or signing a a lance briggs to help our linebacking core out, ponit blank I like alot of faithfull panther fans are tired of singing the blues whern it comes to this team, we need a big free agent or trade and a pick draft pick to get this city once again excited about its panthers.

Posted by: truthbtold4 | Jan 10, 2008 5:43:36 PM

truthbtold4, you are so right. I watched Dennis Dixon and he looked unbelievable in the college season. Infact Stewart Mandell did a little article on Dixon and telling how good he was. If Dixon does not go to Baseball, he will be an asset to any team he joins. With his injury late in the season, he is flying a little under the radar. Brain Bohm, Matt Ryan ,Andre Woodson, Colt Brennan are hogging the limelight. But Dennis Dixon is just so mobile. All the games he played in were high scoring. He lost only one game to Cal, because he threw his first interception. He even beat USC. But, no idea what Fox thinks.

Posted by: Panther_fan | Jan 10, 2008 6:01:43 PM

Didn't we make it to the Championship game in 2005, and stumbled to 8-8 among Super Bowl predictions in 2006? Not that such esoteric knowledge is really needed to be a beat Panthers writer for the Observer.

Wow - well played.

Posted by: did_i_miss_something | Jan 10, 2008 6:06:40 PM

Stan, just go on ahead and get Ted to change the web page for you so you don't look silly. Then you can delete the comments about you being high on cough syrup for forgetting about 2005 and posting this blog.

Posted by: Patty Yas | Jan 10, 2008 6:13:09 PM

Better yet, just get old man McClatchy on the phone and have him tell somebody to erase the whole page and we can forget this ever happened.

Posted by: Patty Yas | Jan 10, 2008 6:15:29 PM

Besides being aghast about missing a perfectly good season, my next reaction is: The point of this blog entry was ... ???

Perhaps a better posting would have been, "Nothing new to report. Check back when its a little closer to the Senior Bowl and something is actually going on." This smells like a "we better post something up there" effort.

Come on guys, you're better than this. Aren't you?

Posted by: Johncm | Jan 10, 2008 6:37:13 PM

Dixon would not get us to the Super Bowl now,maybe in the 3 years,We all know the Rookie ruotine,Come on now-lets wake up,JAKE NOW IS OUR BEST OPTION,This team will fight for Jake in this next season,With Matt and then Brett behind him,Fox has no choice,This team will be fixed,GO PANTHERS! GO GET'EM!

Posted by: #1 Fan | Jan 10, 2008 7:15:39 PM

I think Dixon would be nice pickup but not in the first 2 or 3 rounds, he have much larger issues than drafting a backup qb, but if for some odd reason he is around on day 2 then yes, grab him up.

As far as '08, it is entirely too early to make any judgements. It mostly depends on how they approach their personel this offseason. Who they resign, who they let go, who they draft, etc...

Posted by: mattdaddy | Jan 10, 2008 7:20:59 PM

ur wrong; after 7-9 in 2004 we went to the nfc championship game against the seahawks in 2005.

Posted by: john | Jan 10, 2008 7:41:55 PM

How in God's name can you screw up and say we went 8-8 and missed the playoffs in a year where we went 11-5 and went to the NFC title game?

Posted by: Vanilla Bear | Jan 10, 2008 7:52:17 PM

Two errors in that post Stan. The 7-9 season in 2004 was followed by an 11-5 regular season record in the 2005 season and a trip to the NFC Championship game, where we lost to the Seahawks. And, Kerry Collins did not quit during the 7-9 1997 season--that didn't happen until the 4-12 season in 1998.

Posted by: Brad | Jan 10, 2008 8:02:40 PM

We will see what this team is made of against a tough schedule next year.

We need the return of a defense that puts fear in the hearts of QB's.

The D-line & CB's seem to be the biggest concerns on defense. We won more games at the D-line and with good DB's that can cover in recent years. We've had more recognition at the CB position than safety over the years. I know safety is important but how about stopping the short passing game too.

Are Gamble & Lucas good enough to get it done this coming season? That's the questions the coaches need to ask before taking a safety.

Then the D-line did not create enough pressure. Don't we need a DT that will wreak havoc with Jenkins & give Peppers more oppurtunities for one on one match ups?
Our sack totals sucked this year?

Who is more likely to get to the QB on defense? Think about that.

Finally, I'm just glad we got it right at LB with Beason. Also having Marshall, Peppers, Jenkins, & an emerging Harris gives this team a lot of hope. We need one more defensive All Pro/Pro Bowl type player to make this defense great again.

Posted by: CEREBRUM | Jan 10, 2008 8:27:48 PM

dixon? yeah, he could run.... but what about now?

Posted by: Chris Norman | Jan 10, 2008 8:52:50 PM


Posted by: Old Man McClatchy | Jan 10, 2008 8:53:20 PM

Jake is our best chance next year. Our best chance to be mediocre on offense again. But still Jake is one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the league.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 10, 2008 9:13:17 PM

Please people Dennis Dixon???? wtf, Dennis Dixon's little tooth pick legs make Byron Leftwhich's leg's look like they are made out of Iron.I see the stupidity never stops........

Posted by: STFU | Jan 10, 2008 10:07:00 PM

Jake maybe mediocre,BUT,There's not many QBs that arnt"!(What other NFC teams has been to the Super Bowl again with the same QB sense Carolinas been?)There is only 2 teams that can do that,Both are AFC,We All Know Who They Are.

Posted by: #1 Fan | Jan 10, 2008 10:22:56 PM

I think the defense needs a little tweaking, but overall it is still very good. We just need to fix the pass rush and get a better safety to play alongside Chris Harris (who was a great personnel move by Fox and Hurney).

What we need to make a deep run in the playoffs next season is some playmakers on offense. We need a RB that can run with power up the middle to pick up those tough yards. Also, we need at least one big name/playmaking reciever to play opposite Steve Smith that is worthy of being a #2.

I will rip all my hair out if we re-sign Keary Colbert... he has to go. And I'm about to give up on Drew Carter as well. If we keep him around, he should only be used as a #3 or #4 reciever at best. I say we either pick up a big name WR in free agency (which there aren't very many), or go after a great WR early in the draft (maybe a Mario Manningham or DeSean Jackson). And for heaven's sake get a competent Left Tackle, then maybe we could run for more than 1 yard on a running play.

Posted by: appgrad08 | Jan 10, 2008 10:43:16 PM

2007 - A very disappointing 7 - 9 followed by a losing record in 2008, coach Jon Fox's last season.

Posted by: Matt West | Jan 10, 2008 10:55:08 PM

They got rid of Dumb, then hired Dumber. The brilliance just keeps on keeping on.

Posted by: Ben | Jan 11, 2008 2:25:52 AM


Posted by: kidzplay9 | Jan 11, 2008 2:33:01 AM

Alas a mediocre team again shows its stripes! The Panthers are a team in need of talent and energy not only on the field but off as well. With the challenging schedule for next year my hopes for a better season are low given the track record of Mary Hurney and company for picking talent and Coach Fox's record of conservatism on offense.

Posted by: AlasMan | Jan 11, 2008 4:35:20 AM

There is no doubt in my mind that with a healthy Jake Delhomme and Dan Morgan back next year the Panthers can easily equal the Pats and go 16-0, but I'm predicting 14-2, with losses to San Diego and Atlanta. Now, for a bold move this offseason the Panthers could attempt to convince former Bobcat great Primoz Brezec to switch sports and come play. He would make an excellent TIGHT END. I sense greatness with Coach Fox and Hurney back.

Posted by: Michael Aaron Procton | Jan 11, 2008 6:52:40 AM

colbert does indeed suck outloud, and venus de milo has better hands than drew carter. i like our new tight ends fauria and dawson and their impact this past year. we need a big target at WR and not sure if jarret is going to be yet another USC bust

Posted by: 309-18-1-2 | Jan 11, 2008 7:01:54 AM

Drafting a QB would be retarded when Carolina already has 2 young QB's with promise. Delhomme, Moore, and Basanez is what it is going to be. I could have seen adding Derek Anderson as the #2 but he will be resigned. The only logical draft move is to to Phillips at 13 and if he isn't there, get the best offensive tackle. There will be some slow bus folks who say to get a DE or OLB but that will probably result in another guy we have to school all season.

Posted by: Brainiac | Jan 11, 2008 8:03:53 AM

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