Panthers Getting Some Props
The Panthers are starting to make believers out of the ESPN.com bloggers:
But the Bears have shown us something in the first two weeks of the season. After dispatching Indianapolis on opening night, they held a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter in the home stadium of what appears to be one of the NFC's stronger teams.
Though this guy was trying to claim the Bears got a moral victory from their loss to the Panthers I can't believe the Bears actually feel that way. They game was theirs to win if their offense could have put a drive together in the end.
Things did not get any better for Bears QB Kyle Orton
Stewart Didn't Get his Ball?
What's this, Jonathan Stewart scores his first professional TD and no one saves him the ball?
Neither of the footballs from his first two NFL touchdowns was in the rookie's possession after Sunday's 20-17 home victory over Chicago. Not the pigskin used on Stewart's game-winning score or the earlier one that fueled Carolina's 14-point comeback.
If they give it to me, I'll keep it - if it's the actual (football)," a smiling Stewart said
I'm sure Coach Fox gave him the game ball in the locker room regardless.
I'm sure a lot of fans will call for Stewart to start over DeAngelo Williams but I like the rotation and here's why:
"In the second half, it was a different team," Stewart said. "The offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. Running the ball wears a defense down."
Once the defense gets used to tackling the shifty Williams they get the power running of Stewart when they are getting tired. How else can you explain Stewart easily breaking the tackle of DT Alex Brown on one his 10 yard carries?
The ‘Rocket' Returns to the 2-0 Panthers
So how fired up must Steve Smith be coming back to his team that is now 2-0 without their star receiver? He can't be any more fired up than his team mates:
"It's huge -- I've said it all along," Delhomme said. "We need to win without Steve. I mean that as the biggest compliment in the best way possible. We need to win without him, because he's going to give us a chance. I'm excited to have my rocket back tomorrow morning. There's no doubt."
"He's definitely ready to burst onto the scene; he misses us," linebacker Jon Beason added. "I talked to him last week and he was training. This is truly what he loves to do. That's why he goes out -- as small as he is, he's the toughest guy on the field.
"It's going to be great getting him back. We saw what some of these young receivers can do, so we can just rotate and it's going to be a beautiful thing."
John Fox wanted more weapons on offense and the last two weeks showed the Panthers have more than Steve Smith on offense. We have a dynamic running back tandem in Williams & Stewart and a down the field receiving threat in Dante Rosario and Jeff King. They put up 26 & 20 points respectively against two very tough defenses.
Panthers Settle on a Theme
Apparently the Panthers have a mantra that they have put on t-shirts:
"I draw my strength from the man next to me. Can I count on you?"
"It's our theme," center Ryan Kalil said Wednesday. "The whole team has this shirt; they're circulating."
It may lack the impact of the Gipper speech but hey, I like it and it seems to be working. Speaking of motivators, can anymore be said about the leadership of Jon Beason?
"I saw the look in those guys' eyes," Beason said. "We knew we could depend on each other and everybody knew where they were going to be. We just fought, and we came out on top."
On another topic, why all the false start penalties? Here's why:
"They (the Bears) were barking a little bit. That's on us, though. We've got to concentrate," added tight end Jeff King. "We know Jake (Delhomme's) voice, so that's on us. We'll work on it."
Jake Delhomme Argues to no avail.
I'm not going to say they were cheating but that is just cheap, low class crap. When you combine that with the cheap shot on Delhomme from LB Lance Briggs:
"It riled us up," King said. "You never like to see your captain get hit, and he's our guy. When the general takes a ding, you kind of take it personally. It fired us up a little bit."
"A lot of guys were (ticked off) -- including myself," added Hoover. "Any time that you're going to attack one of us -- much less our quarterback, our leader on offense -- you're going to get a little hot and heated."
Pissed me off too. I'm so glad we beat those guys.
Panthers Make an Offer to Peppers?
This on the Truth & Rumor page over at Scout.com so I'm not sure if its legit.
Though Pep is still lagging in the stats through two games I think you can't measure the pressure he puts on an offense. For example, he had a big part in Lewis' sack as he got a hand on Orton first which caused him to pull the ball back down.
I'm all for resigning Peppers but if you're going to make him one of the highest paid players anyway why not wait and see what he does this season. At least for the first eight games. If his stats are lagging it gives you a bargaining chip, maybe save a few million $. They still need to resign him though.