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December 12, 2010

Expect dousing from Turner the Panther-burner

If today's forecast holds, the rain will let up shortly before game time, the clouds will part and the sun will finally shine on the Carolina Panthers.

OK, not really. But the rain is supposed to give way to partly cloudy skies through the rest of the afternoon, with highs in the mid-40s.

But given the overnight and morning rain, it will still be a wet track at Bank of America Stadium, so expect to see a lot of Atlanta RB Michael Turner – and at least a couple of bobbled snaps by Panthers QB Jimmy Clausen, who is good for a couple of those even on dry days.

Turner has burned the Panthers since arriving in Atlanta two years ago. The 5-10, 247-pounder has rushed for 100 yards or more in three of his four games against Carolina and averages 4.9 yards a carry against the Panthers.

Turner's four touchdowns in Atlanta's 45-28 win vs. Carolina in 2008 – when the Panthers were still relevant – are the most by an opponent in the Panthers' 16-year history.

Carolina's run defense has been suspect all season – the Panthers are 27th in the league in that category entering the game. And they'll be missing a couple of their weakside linebackers: Jason Williams (knee), who has played well of late, and Nic Harris (head) are out.

The Panthers, of course, will also try to establish the running game with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson. The Falcons have been much more stingy defending the run than Carolina.

The chink in the Atlanta defense has been against the pass. But if you've watched Clausen all year, you know he does not complete enough deep throws to exploit such an advantage.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan does – and will.

But, hey, at least it won't be raining.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 12, 2010 at 08:31 AM | Permalink


Thank goodness there are only four games to go! I see no chance for us in either of the Falcon or Steeler games. Only Arizona could keep us from the first draft choice. No sense screwing it up for one more win.
I have and will continue to watch every down of every Panther game to see some glimmer of hope for next year-that's what all real fans should do.
That said, I think the Head Coach and staffing changes will say much more about the Panthers future than the #1 draft pick.

Posted by: sc ken | Dec 12, 2010 10:26:00 AM

It will be interesting to see which happens first - the Panthers fill their various roster needs to become relevant again or the Observer actually gets an authentic, real-life, QUALITY SPORTSWRITER!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Denny's Owner | Dec 12, 2010 10:41:22 AM

I live in atl. and I'm a die hard panther fan. I don't recall the AJC sports writers dogging out there team before the game. Afterwards yes, before no.
Not only do we have a lot a fairweather fans but our sportswriters are anti-panthers guys

Let Armani throw the damn ball.. whats the worst that can happen.

The main reason i want Fox to go is not because of this year record. It is the hiring of our 2nd OC. Why would anybody hire someone from the Brown's organiztion.

Steve Smith is a special player and will never get to see what type of player he "could have been" due to our damn OC.

sorry had to get this stuff out

Posted by: Jay johndon | Dec 12, 2010 12:30:51 PM

sc ken,
I agree with your quote of looking for hope for next year. That's why I got so upset about bringing in scrub QBs versus playing the guys we drafted (No I'm not an App State fan). I tried to quit watching in protest of this sorry season but I somehow manage to hang on in hope of some WAY better leadership going forward. I'm still watching this crap just like you. The real fan base of this team is the best thing they have going and they are screwing that too.

Posted by: zoneblitz | Dec 12, 2010 12:57:21 PM

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