Week 14: Panthers Offense vs Bucs Defense

This is it.

The day of the big game is finally here, the game about 3 and a half hours by the time this article is posted. It's the biggest game of the year, plain and simple. The Atlanta Falcons are out of the division title race due to a loss against the Saints, rumors are spiraling about new black and blue uniforms set to debut for the Panthers even though the front office has denied it, and tonight the Bucs and the Panthers will play with the division title on the line. A victory here will likely bring a playoff birth, a first round bye, and as much confidence and momentum that you could possibly ask heading into the last weeks of the season and the playoffs. The losing team will not only lose all that, but they will be likely fighting to make the playoffs if at all.

A big thing to make this game huge for me came on Friday when a completely biased reporter from Sports Illustrated posted this article here, where he listed his reasons the Inside Report Game of the Week. This guy should be fired for being a biased moron. Throughout the article he makes many stupid claims and shows his utter lack of knowledge when it comes to football in general. He tells everyone that the Panthers are still the Steve Smith/Jake Delhomme show even through Moose only has 5 less receptions than Smith. He dares to compare Derrick Brooks to Julius Peppers and tell everyone that Brooks will be more of a help to his team than Peppers.

He said that Julius was past his prime at the age of 28 and that he was against the hit on Aaron Rodgers last Sunday. He calls Dwayne Jarrett a 'disaster' in his 2nd year with the team. He calls the Panthers strong running game 'diversionary tactics' even though every team in the NFL runs the football. He calls Moose a 'model of inconsistency' just because he fumbled the football last Sunday. He tells us that our victory against the Falcons is a 'big whoop' while the Bucs victory against the same team was a 'thumping.'

In other words, this article is nuts. Read about it here. I've already sent my complaints to Sports Illustrated. You can send your own at siwriters@simail.com.

Ok, on to the matchups.

1. Panthers Running Game vs. Bucs Defense

In order to win this game, we have to be able to run the football. The perfect place to start would be on the left side of the defensive line, where DE Gains Adams is hurt and may be out of the game and where behind him Derrick Brooks has begun to slow after a long season and show his age. They have a strong, stout defense with a mix of young and old players. The Panthers are built to run the football, so we have to start there if we're going to win against the Bucs. With 3/4 of their pass rush injured during the game it'll be tough for them to get pressure on Delhomme.

2. Steve Smith/Moose vs Elite Corners

Ronde Barber and Phillip Buchanon are both elite corners. Both of them have 2 interceptions, both of them have returned one for a touchdown. Give them a little bit of help in coverage and they can create some major problems. The way you defeat them is to dominate the Bucs in time of possession. It's important to keep these guys on the field as long as possible so that we can tire them out. Eventually, the coverage will soften and our recievers will get one on one coverage. Read my lips: long ball to Steve Smith, Touchdown. 

3. Brad Hoover vs Linebackers/Safeties

Brad is really going to have to help us this game. He's really going to have to keep up with the running back and get his block once they get past the line of scrimmage. That will be the difference-maker between a small gain and a breakout for a touchdown.

4. Offense vs Penalties

The Panthers will not win this game if they suffer as many penalties as they have in the past. This biggest ones have been those stupid false start penalties. It's easier to run the football when you don't have to worry about your ten yard gain being called back because someone threw a yellow flag on the ground.

Finally, we have to have a good game in all three phrases of the game to win this one. It is my greatest hope that the tables is turned and we crush the Bucs. Not just a victory, we need to annihilate them. Total complete sweeping annihilation. That is what I seek in this football game.

Go Panthers!


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