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December 04, 2011

Are the Panthers primed for a big finish?

   There was a school of thought during the preseason that the Panthers, given their youth and new identity with Ron Rivera and his staff, might start slowly and get better as the season wore on.

   That appears to be the way it's playing out.

   The Panthers' 38-19 victory over Tampa Bay Sunday was their most complete performance of the season and gave them a second consecutive victory. That may not sound like much by the Green Bay Packers' standard but it's another step for the Panthers who seem to be gathering momentum as they roll into December.

   While the attention focused on Cam Newton setting a new NFL rushing touchdown record for quarterbacks with 13, it doesn't diminish an impressive performance by the defense against Tampa Bay's rushing game. The Panthers got burned for a couple of big pass plays but generally dominated the Bucs, who are going the wrong way in a hurry.

   The Panthers have found a good balance running and passing, though Rivera wasn't joking when he said he gets nervous when Cam Newton turns into a receiver. They were inventive with their playcalling against the Bucs and made this one easy on themselves at the end, unlike their nervous finish at Indianapolis a week earlier.

   The next two weeks should be a good gauge of where the Panthers stand. The Atlanta Falcons come to Charlotte next Sunday desperately needing a win. The Panthers had a chance to win in Atlanta earlier this season but couldn't stop Michael Turner.

   Then there's a trip to Houston where the Texans may be without quarterback Matt Schaub but they're still one of the AFC's top teams.

    Rivera and his staff have preached progess this season and it's been apparent the past two weeks. Now it's time to see how big a finish there might be to this season.

-- Ron Green Jr.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 4, 2011 at 07:21 PM | Permalink

Comments

Or maybe they're just playing teams that aren't as tough as the ones at the front of the schedule?

Posted by: Authority | Dec 4, 2011 7:54:10 PM

our rushing offense has been almost as good as it was in 2008. people don't realize it because it's split between 3 guys instead of the usual 2 for us but the yards per carry, the yards, the touchdowns........it's all there.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 4, 2011 8:28:18 PM

Go panthers from Shanghai PRC

Posted by: Louis | Dec 4, 2011 9:39:53 PM

let's put things into perspective....2nd string QB and a struggling Defense. Carolina should have won this game.

Posted by: CarPanFan1 | Dec 4, 2011 10:25:09 PM

Agree, the panthers were suppose to win this game, but let's not diminish it.....it was our 2nd straight win .... We won two last year.... This is a process.... I'm Vry happy w our team rt now! Keep up the progress!

Posted by: dr | Dec 4, 2011 10:39:30 PM

Agree, the panthers were suppose to win this game, but let's not diminish it.....it was our 2nd straight win .... We won two last year.... This is a process.... I'm Vry happy w our team rt now! Keep up the progress!

Posted by: dr | Dec 4, 2011 10:39:31 PM

Agree, the panthers were suppose to win this game, but let's not diminish it.....it was our 2nd straight win .... We won two last year.... This is a process.... I'm Vry happy w our team rt now! Keep up the progress!

Posted by: dr | Dec 4, 2011 10:39:32 PM

Tampa was missing a small detail with the Bucs injured 6'6" 250 lb starting QB so dont crow too loudly with that oversized head and of course they pile on the cowshit hype about the retarded kindergarten play Superman moron.
The oversized dumb crook lug has done an excellent job of dumbing down an entire franchise to Downs Syndrone levels for sure.
Dont worry the Texans are up next and its back to the big L again for the rest of the season.

4-12

Posted by: not a fan | Dec 5, 2011 5:55:01 AM

shame on you.

Posted by: mark wells | Dec 5, 2011 6:22:19 AM

Talk about low class. To post the words you do the world knows one more cause for the direction we are all headed. Thanks for takeing the human race a step back. It is sports, something to enjoy and here you are wanting to take a persons dignity from them. Get a life and enjoy sports, not live by them.

Posted by: mark wells | Dec 5, 2011 6:28:40 AM

Hey "not a fan"... Stop being a HATER.

Posted by: trust_in_justus | Dec 5, 2011 6:44:41 AM

Everyone can talk about Josh Freeman being out but Johnson did an excellent job as a stand and i dont think there was a drop off. Plus the Panthers lost some players in that game. Regardless of who they played i was glad to see them win the way they did.

Posted by: Mr CatWalker | Dec 5, 2011 8:35:01 AM

people like "not a fan" make me glad that I am one. all that hate and vitriol, yet you take time to log on to charlotteobserver.com, find an article/blog about the Panthers, take 3-5 mins out of your life to write some B.S., and then click on 'post'. Just to make yourself feel a little bit better about the pile of dogshit you call a life. take some advice and google "life coach" and put all that negative energy over >>>>> there.

GO PANTHERS!

Posted by: Styles | Dec 5, 2011 9:30:04 AM

NOT A FAN IS AN IDIOT. Why are you on a Panthers website if youre not a fan?!? I dont like NASCAR and I never even seen their websites!!!!!! Which makes sense because I hate NASCAR. Stop bashing Cam Newton and get a life.

Posted by: HATE IDIOT HATERS | Dec 5, 2011 10:50:13 AM

The way I see it, go get a CB, LB, DT, Punter & new uniforms & we should be set by 2013. I'm allowing one more year to fine tune what we have on the field & just sit back & enjoy.

Posted by: Mo | Dec 5, 2011 12:01:18 PM

Well said, Styles......

Posted by: nasty704 | Dec 5, 2011 12:32:13 PM

so let me ask some people posting, when has a 3-8 team suppose to beat a 4-7 team? we won thats something we havent done in a while. every win is a confident builder, i tell people all the time when you dont know how to win in chess how can you play someone who knows how and win. the boys are learning how to win right now plain and simple, winning is the most important thing for them right now no matter who it is.

Posted by: stiddy | Dec 5, 2011 7:09:58 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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