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December 24, 2011

Panthers have reason to celebrate

   To borrow a line from Jim Carrey's 'Grinch' movie,' that was holiday.

   The Panthers' 48-16 victory over the lost in the woods Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the kind of dominating win that hasn't been seen around here often these last few years. It looked and felt like a celebration, a nice homefield send-off for a team that has continued to improve through the season.

   It helped that Tampa Bay was terrible -- losing a fumble on its first play from scrimmage set the tone -- but the Panthers were a team that looked completely confident in what it was doing. Offensively, they were virtually unstoppable and the defense -- patched together again with the late scratach of safety Charles Godfrey and the loss of cornerback Captain Munnerlyn -- kept finding ways to give the ball back to the offense.

   With four wins in their last five games, the Panthers are on a fast finish that should bode well for next season. There may be a sobering dose of reality with the season finale at New Orleans next Sunday but it's one more chance for the Panthers to put an exclamation point on an encouraging season.

   If they lose at New Orleans, it won't change what they've accomplished to this point. A year ago, things were a mess. Not any more.

   That was evident in the mood and the result Saturday at Bank of America Stadium.

-- Ron Green Jr.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 24, 2011 at 06:21 PM | Permalink


superbowl 2013 here we come

Posted by: tonyp | Dec 24, 2011 6:56:35 PM

Superbowl? Come on man, let's be realistic here. How about just making it to post-season first...one step at a time. Cam is the REAL deal and I think he will take this franchise to great heights, but you've got to be realistic on the glaring holes that need to be addressed during the offseason.

Personally, I think the offense is set. We are going to get D. Gettis back, and LaFell has proven he can be a capable #2-3 along with Gettis (who was slated to be our #2 this season). The biggest work needed to be addressed is our special teams. Defense needs major patchwork as well, especially the corners and FS/DT spots.

Last but not least, we need all of our starters to be HEALTHY going into next season.

If all of those can happen, and we pick up qualify draft picks and have a good FA offseason while retaining Shockey...this team can make postseason and maybe some noise...but to say Superbowl 2013 is a bit premature.

Posted by: KYL | Dec 24, 2011 7:04:26 PM

Normally I would say premature but ve....go ahead, let's dream a little.

Posted by: Les Paul | Dec 24, 2011 7:28:30 PM

HEY HEY WHAT DO YOU SAY CAROLINA!!!!! Can't wait for next year, let's keep it going!!!!

Posted by: Wow | Dec 24, 2011 7:36:50 PM

Interior defensive lineman and healthy linebackers. Byron Bell has progressed well. Otah may be expendable. This draft by may be one of the most important in the history of the franchise.

Posted by: Al | Dec 24, 2011 7:41:31 PM

If you want to crown them, go ahead. Crown their ass.

Posted by: Ben | Dec 24, 2011 7:43:33 PM

If we don't win the Superbowl next year Rivera should be fired.

Posted by: ruoiew | Dec 25, 2011 6:04:35 AM

What a joke. Next to last place team beats last place team.

No playoffs. No Super Bowl. No nothing. Lights out next week. Its over.

Pansies ran it up on the totally gutted 2003 Super bowl Champs who lost 11 straight by an average of 28 pts and firing Morris in 2 weeks.

Tampa QB Freeman who is much bigger stronger and better than Newton wants out and will be trade off the weakest team in the NFL at this stage and in total dissaray.

Saints ready to pop that little bubble next week and Harper plans to end Smiths career since he has one foot in the pasture.

Meanwhile Chicago puts finishing touches on the 5 year 100 million deal to make Newton a Bear with Peppers. Scam says thanks for all the free media glut hype.

Ride em Cowboy

Go Cowboys

Posted by: 5 time super bowl champs | Dec 25, 2011 6:18:41 AM

We still don't have a dependable wide receiver. La Fell is somewhat better but not dependable. Smitty can't do it alone. They need to get someone. If those weak spots are not shored up then we will have another similar year. Tampa Bay was at the bottom of the barrel so its was a easy win.

Posted by: Ray | Dec 25, 2011 7:32:30 AM

If Atlanta beats New Orleans and they have something to play for Sunday and we beat them in their house, the sky will then be the limit in 2012. Go Panthers! Merry Christmas.

Posted by: SC Ken | Dec 25, 2011 10:11:35 AM

While the numbers and the highlights looked impressive, keep in mind that this was the Bucs. There is much reason to be optimistic going into next season, though. After all, in year 1 of Cam Newton's career and of Chud's tenure at OC, we are a top-5 offense in the NFL. And the defense has improved from the beginning of the season until now. But there is still much work to do, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, before talk of Super Bowl - or playoffs - should even be expected.

Posted by: The A-Train | Dec 25, 2011 10:44:37 AM

Typical loser excuses.

In Newtons single season or 2010 Fall semester only at Auburn at a cost of 200,000 or 50,000 per mo for 4 mos he ran up his numbers against all weakling teams stat chasing which is typical for all stat chaser losers.

The Manning record break was a rig WWE style from union mafia bosses who run the league. This started from the first game.

His 6-10 really SUX. Tampa is the worst team in the NFL right so running up the score is totally meaningless but typical.

The loser motto has always been = "wait'll next year"... what a joke.

Freeman is 10 times the QB Newton is like so many others in the league... He is 23 yrs old and won 10 games in 2010. Newton will win 6 luckily. Go fig.

Newton will be benched and cut and never make it in the NFL. Coming soon.

Posted by: texas | Dec 25, 2011 11:25:01 AM

I really pity people like "Texas". Trolling fan boards from his mommy's basement and spouting pure garbage. Why all the hate?

Cam HAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO REDEFINE WHAT A QB IS. The best part is that he's doing it in Charlotte! As long as he stays healthy, the sky is the limit.

Mark it down now - the Panthers will be a force next year and for years to come.

Posted by: Nunya Biznesz | Dec 25, 2011 12:22:49 PM

Here we go again! Get ready all panthers fans to here the bullish this off-season!

"They got lucky" "That was a bad team'
"He's not gonna do this or that"

We've heard it all before, and I'm to the point where it doesn't even matter now!

In the up coming draft we are set to get a top 10 pick which will land us a shut down corner I hope. Also we can draft with a focus on defense to add depth.

This group is gonna be just fine!

It's a great day to be a Panthers Fan!

Posted by: T-Mac | Dec 25, 2011 4:48:01 PM

Yes it's bad to hear all the Texas/Dallas fans on here but you have to remember the are stouck with Tony Chokemo as QB so the have to show a little envy. After all how many of NFL records does tony own

Posted by: Rick Rogers | Dec 25, 2011 10:28:20 PM

How 'bout dem Cowboys? - All Eagles fans...

Posted by: John - Harrisburg, NC | Dec 26, 2011 3:37:29 PM

Superbowl 2013?

Who knows... fix a few things on Defense and this team may very well be able to play with anyone in the NFL. Don't forget, week 2 they hung in there against the Packers and only lost by 7 with a head coach and a QB in only their second game and a bad defense and special teams! Bottom line is if you can make the playoffs, then anything is possible.

Let's start ignoring the idiots and trolls... the only thing I care about is that we're still talking about them going into January and I'm already going to be counting the days to draft day! We haven't cared this much in a long time and THAT is fun! :)

Posted by: John - Harrisburg, NC | Dec 26, 2011 3:41:43 PM

Good to see the Christmas trolls stop by. Dallas fans would love to have Cam as their QB but are stuck with the choke artist that is Tony Romo. There's a reason he wasn't drafted, trolls! He's not good! Now, go away, watch your playoff highlight VHS tapes from the 90's before Carolina came into the League and started handing you your asses in the playoffs. Remember those games? I think you do. Cam will win the Panthers a Super Bowl while Romo will keep piling up meaningless November wins.

Posted by: Original Panther Dan | Dec 27, 2011 6:32:24 PM

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