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bill dudley

Tom,
It's nice to read something positive for a change.I'm with you.I think they will pull this off.I don't think the Giants could have beaten Atlanta yesterday.It was there time.Have a good Thanksgiving.

Bill

Mike

Why panic - this is just another season that's over for us and we can wait another year... no reason to panic: in Charlotte that's normal!

Shaun NJ

Tom,

I agree .. Panther fans on here quickly get down in the dumps.. I agree with Fox when he says it's not how you start it's how you finish .. Since the bye week, the Panther's simply haven't dominated for 4 quarters.. I think Fox knows this more than anyone on here bashing .. Yea, he's annoying when he talks to the media, but Fox always stays level headed with the media.. He is calm, but you ask anyone in the Panther locker room whether or not he takes charge and they will tell you he gets pisssed off... Bottom line is it is up to the players to execute, and the defense just did not match the intensity of the Falcon's offense the entire game... Foxy will have his team prepared for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers ... As for getting his team fired up, I can't promise that after watching his team sleep walk into the last 3 games in all phases of the game... However, maybe that will change going into Green Bay and getting Walker back, yes Darwin Walker.. I NEVER thought I'd say this the entire season, but the Panther's d-line seems to be lacking something, and the only person missing is Darwin Walker.. The line really hasn't been the same getting to the passer/ball carrier at the line since he went down.. It's all about chemistry, hopefully we'll get him back next week and get the continuity we had earlier in the season defending the run back..

PantherDave

Remember guys, we're 8-3 and tied for the division lead... We got here b/c we've played solid ball on both sides. Every team has their bad stretch. It's a long season. Remember the Giants last year? They were 7-4 at this point last year.

Izzy

If you get up at 5:15 on Black Friday, all the deals will gone Tom. Doors open at 5.
Still, nice article. I agree. 11-5.

Joseph McNulty

The lack of response is a sign of the pessimism of the fans. I predict that the Panthers will win only one remalning game (Denver) and are capable of losing that one. I predicted that Atlanta would win by 20. They won by 17 (because the clock ran out). Imagine what the NY Giants, a really top tean will do. The Panthers are the result of flukey plays (San Diego, anyone?) and a weak schedule (struggling to defeat Oakland). The 8-2 record was always a mirage. Who have they beaten that is any good? This is a mediocre team and will finish as a mediocre team -- out of the playoffs.

DM Garner

Its hard to care about a team that puts on that type of performance, quite frankly, in every big game.

The bigger the game, the smaller the Panthers become, or maybe, they've been small all along.

Can't wait to get my $1200 invoice for playoff tickets next week.

After all, the other team practices too (john Fox)

BullCityDog

It's amazing how people forget about our awful skid in the middle of the 2003 season, including, you guessed it, a really ugly loss at Atlanta.

That year, of course, ended in disaster, with us almost winning the Super Bowl.

charlesbright

Are they still playing? I heard (from a very reliable blogger on the Internet) that the Panthers had all retired to Florida and started up their own fake wrestling league.

J Thomas

Well here you go Tom:

Some thoughts during the very painful 3 and 1/2 hour drive back home last night after a horrible performance by the Panthers.

1. Special teams - Our coverage and return teams are completely inadequate. Our punt coverage is awful and has been for the last two seasons. Our kickoff and punt returns are a joke. When, besides the Oakland game, have the Panthers had a return of over 15 yards? Our offense is constantly starting in and around the 20 after kickoffs and we rarely get anything but a fair catch on punts. This is the team's most damning weakness and yet nothing seems to have been, or attempted to be done to rectify this problem for the last two plus seasons.

2. The Bootleg – Our defense cannot seem to stop a bootleg play-action pass. Please see the Tampa Bay, Detroit, and this last game against Atlanta. Three Atlanta touchdown scoring drives were kept alive by a bootleg passing play. The Panthers have historically had problems with mobile quarterbacks that move outside the pocket to throw. This is a problem that needs to be addressed especially with the upcoming schedule, Green Bay ( Aaron Rodgers) and Tampa Bay ( Jeff Garcia)

3. Offensive System – I know this is repeating what everyone else has said for years but I'll say it again. Running the football is a wonderful thing when it works (see Detroit game). But you have got to have a backup plan when it doesn't work. In the three losses this year the Panthers have run the ball poorly, yet they continued to try to run even after it was painfully obvious it wasn't working. I see three possible reasons why this is: 1. Stubborn Pride – Fox and Davidson feel that they should and can be able to run on anyone even when they can't. 2. Incompetence - Fox and Davidson feel that the Panthers cannot pass and therefore are forced to run. 3. Ignorance – Fox and Davidson simply don't have the knowledge necessary to formulate an offensive game plan that is based upon passing the football. I think its a combination of all three. This has been said for years but two runs up the middle and a pass on third and long or God forbid a draw on third and long will not win games.

4. Heart & Pride – One thing that consistently lacks in the Panther's loses is a constant sense of pride & effort. The sight of Michael Turner running over Panther defenders on each of his 4 touchdown runs was proof enough. Where is the fire, the passion, the emotion, the will to win??? These players are grossly overpaid young men, most of them just kids, that play a game for a living. They get paid whether they win or loose so where is the motivation. This lack of pride is a result of two things: 1. Players are not held accountable – What profession allows its members to perform poorly without fear of repercussions and accountability?? Can't think of one. The coaching staff should demand that the players be accountable. I think Fox and the other coaches fail to enforce any discipline when it comes being accountable on the field. Off the field the coaches and management do a great job, but not for on the field mistakes. You jump offsides or false start. You should be fined. Blow coverage or drop a touchdown pass. You should be fined. Throw a pick or fumble. You should be fined. 2. Coach Fox's attitude – Maybe this is just how he portrays himself to the public, but I doubt he is that good of an actor. A team's or any other work group's attitude is a direct mirror of the attitude of it's leadership. Saying “I'd rather start slow and finish fast” says its ok to come out flat, let the other team build an insurmountable lead, just try hard at the end and everything will be ok. How about leading by example and saying “Our effort was unacceptable. We need to come out of the gate swinging and knock the other team out before the game even starts.” The laid back, “we've been good in 8 games” attitude just plan sucks. If anyone in here has ever owned a business or supervised a group of people know what I am talking about. People look to the one in charge to see how to act and what type of attitude to have. Fox just doesn't seem to care that his team plays poorly. Again maybe its just an act or he doesn't know how to present himself, but this, in my opinion is why the Panthers have unachieved the last few seasons.

Now I know somewhere out there Procton, and others, are waiting to quote stats saying “Fox is the winningest this and Delhomme is the all time ranked this” but the one and only stat that matters is winning the Super Bowl each and every year! And no Procton, and others, getting to the game and losing 5 years ago and almost getting there three years ago just doesn't cut it.

Catsnmbr1fan

Tom,
This is one of your best stories.. Panther fans, that constantly want change, have no clue.. All you have to do, is go to any NFL team website, after a loss, and the same nomads are listing, all the reasons why their team lost the game. This is the NFL, teams will loose games to lessor teams, this is a fact.!! Look at the Superbowl last year, for (1) game, the lessor team won the most important game of the year.. Several weeks ago, the NY Giants were undefeated and acclaimed the BEST team in the NFL for 2008. They loose to a Cleveland team, that had been terrible all year..!! But they win the game by more then 3 TD's.. People give it rest, the Panthers will win more games, then they will loose the rest of the year, and they will make the playoff's for the 4th time in their very short History (14 years),,

Rico

J Thomas, you should go fuck yourself. Fine players after they drop a pass or get beat in coverage? You're a moron. I wish you would have hit a tree on your 3 and a half hour ride home.

ricobb

To,

Tom and the other calm fans. I for one am not forming an opinion after a loss, it is very hard to win the NFL. However, I have been a Panther fan since the teams inception and have watched how a sudden rise to prominence in the league has hurt the franchise. A few seasons ago you couldn't keep us out of the limelight; decimated with injuries or not, we were one of the teams.

Now, we must realize that the super bowl window has closed and that we are in a rebuilding phase. Yes, a rebuilding phase and that isn't complete unitl we have addressed the need for a complete skill position overhaul. This started last draft with a running back. Now in the coming seasons we will have to address the receiving corp (including steve, he could be an outstanding slot) but we need size and strength at the position; every throw between Jake and Steve is always seemingly impossible, not routine, that scares me.

I am so passionate that I too have tanked in the season, actually several to come; I WANT TO WIN!! WE WON"T DO IT WITH THE CURRENT offensive unit. But I will have to wait. Since I have taken this approach, I've been able to survive from week to week, knowing in my heart that we are a mediocre team.

Catsnmbr1fan, that's wrong of you. J Thomas had 4 detail para's describing an experience that neither you or I could have provided (we weren't there), and we are all passionate, he makes good points. Just look at the philosophy of a ONCE small market franchise like New England; that's winning.

thanksgivingmyass

Thanksgiving is a contrived fake day off that began 400 yrs ago when the whiny Pilgrims who were actually sailing for the new English colony of Jamestown in Virginia began May 14th 1607 later named Yorktown and now called Williamsburg about 250 northeast of Charlotte.
The Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower were weirdo separatist religious freaks who allegedly blew off course and only missed Jamestown by about 1000 miles to the north and landed at Plymouth Rock on November 20th 1620 now called Massachusettes.

Thanksgiving occured at Plymouth Rock also called Plymouth Plantation only a year later in Novemeber 1621 when the Pilgrims invited the savage indian natives to gobble down some big bird they shot with their muskets at an outside table set up supposedly along with the vegetables they grew. This was the 3rd Thursday in November in 1621 in Massachusetes and all depictions show indians almost naked and Pilgims with no coats on?

Regardless we know the rest of the story as this was only a short lived truce between the settlers and indians and shortly after the meal they resumed warring with each other.Indians were notorius for killing off all the settlement burning the wood dwellings and scalping the dead settlers and wearing them on their waist as a status symbol.

Thanksgiving is a hoax and was probably a myth anyway. It was undoubtedly some fiction fairytale dream by some liberal New Englander wanting to depict the redman and whiteman lovingly getting together to eat a meal together of a big native tasty bird before resuming killing each other.

As far as the Panthers they can be thankful they are not 5-6 instead of 8-3 and thankfully the Europeans won the indian wars here and killed most of them off or there would be no football. Also be thankful for the right to bear firearms as were the settlers to kill turkeys and indians.

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