I couldn't help but start this thread a little early as game day has finally arrived yet we still have to wait ALL DAY. For me tonights game is about making a statement that the Panthers are truly one of the best four teams in the NFL. If they win tonight then the rest is all gravy. See, I lost my youthful idealism at least a decade ago. I don't require Super Bowl trips every year, I don't need to blow out every team and have a roster full of PB players (though 2 All-Pros is nice!). A division championship and at least one playoff victory will do just fine. A home crowd in a frenzy, a team fired up and making plays, now that is what NFL football it is all about. I fully expect the Panthers to play well tonight and make us proud. If they then take the next step then we can all be grateful and enjoy the ride!
- Both RB DeAngelo Williams and WR Steve Smith will score - Just getting the easy ones out of the way
- DE Julius Peppers will get a sack - Okay, still not going out on a limb.
- So where will the turnovers come from? I think SS Chris Harris will finally get another forced fumble and CB Chris Gamble will get a pick.
- I think the Panthers need a good game from rookie FS Charles Godfrey. Good meaning no mistakes that lead to Cardinals scores and maybe a couple key pass break ups. He does well coming up to support the run but hopefully the Panthers will tell him not to focus on that. We need to make sure any WR going deep is double covered.
- RT Jeff Otah gets his first action against DT Darnell Dockett. I want to see Otah plow him 7 yards downfield like he did DT Tommie Harris. The Cardinals will focus on stopping the run and that's why the Panthers need to run the ball early, to destroy their will and determination. Getting an early lead by running the ball will fire up the home crowd.
It it also time for another roll call - playoff edition. Let us hear from you Panther fans, come out of the cyber-shadows and let your presence be known! Where are you from? Where are watching the game from?