Panther Paw Prints: Death of 2009 Season Edition

So has it sunk in our season will not be extended this year Panther fans? Though its been obvious for weeks it still sent me on a downer, especially since it seems we are just now playing well on defense. The offense also gives us hope with the improved play of Matt Moore and the knowledge that the Panthers bring back a lot of talent.

But we have no choice but to look to next season even as we complete this one.But we have plenty to be hopeful about as SI points out:

Dreams for teams already out of NFL playoff chase - Ross Tucker -
Carolina Panthers -- As long as you have Steve Smith, Julius Peppers and those two running backs, you have a chance. That was evident in the 26-7 win over Minnesota last week. The quarterback situation has to get better. As for Peppers, who didn't sign his one-year contract until June, the situation can't possibly get more drawn out than it was last year.

Keeping Peppers is a huge question mark...The player evaluations have already started and no position will get more scrutiny that the WR position in the upcoming offseason:

Future still up in the air for wide receiver Jarrett | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC
"I feel like my time is going to come. Whether it's here or somewhere else, I'm not worried about that. I just have to keep working on my skills and I'll be all right."

So is Jarrett also thinking his time in Charlotte is coming to a close? I will say he is saying the right things:

Minutes: Jarrett deals with frustration
"I think it was a matter of giving some other guys an opportunity, which is the case with every position every week," Jarrett said. "Some guys looked like they were showing some good work, and (we) wanted to give them an opportunity." "(The coaches) told me basically it's just an evaluation process that they're going through," Jarrett said. "Towards the end of the season, it's pretty much looking at which guys are going to be kept and which will be left."

I'm personally tired of wondering whether Jarrett is the answer. I'm thinking its time for both the team and Jarrett to move on. I'd trade him for a 6th or 7th rounder.

Moving on the match-up against the Giants: Giants' look ahead: Offensive line on the hot seat
The Giants finally put it all together against the Redskins on Monday night. Now it’s a matter of repeating the performance, or at least coming close. They must control the ball on offense, mixing runs and passes, and finish their drives with touchdowns, not field goals. The defense must slow the Panthers’ running game enough to put the game on the shoulders of young quarterback Matt Moore, even though he had an outstanding game Sunday night in the upset of Minnesota.

Sounds like the game plan for the Panthers too...As we all try to figure out what it is that flips DE Julius Peppers switch, FS Charles Godfrey thinks have another quality DE on the opposing team plays into it.

Peppers revs his motor against Vikings
"You've got somebody who's good on the other side (and) you try to come out and out-do them," said Godfrey. "Julius is competitive. That's probably something that sparked him a little bit."

With Osi due up next we shall test that theory quickly...Speaking of tests Matt Moore has another big one

Minutes: Pass time for Moore, Smith
"The more he's on the field, the more experience he's getting, the better he's playing, and it just breeds confidence for him," fullback Brad Hoover. "That's just the maturation process of how it's come along, and he'll get another shot next week -- and hopefully it keeps growing." Just like his passer rating, which in the last three weeks checks in at 107.7.

Please let Moore win the job now! This season..go get them Matty "We want' Moore!

Who says we have nothing to play for?

Panthers pillage, pressure Vikings into submission
"Just because we're not going to the playoffs doesn't mean we're going to lay down our sword," defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. "It's not time to give up. We can't be quitters, so we've got to go out and play every week like it's our last."

Want an unsung hero for 2009?

Foxhole: Peppers as good as ever
ON DANTE WESLEY AND HIS ROLE AS A HYBRID DEFENSIVE BACK/LINEBACKER AGAINST TEAMS WITH POTENT PASSING GAMES: Dante's a guy that we drafted way back in our first year (2002). He bounced around a little bit and we got him back. His forté has been special teams, but he's a high football character guy, he's accountable and dependable and you try to find a role for him. I think he's gravitated to it and performed it pretty well. He made a nice play on their tight end downfield, where the down extended (because Favre escaped containment), and he did a good job in coverage. It was a big third-down stop.

Wesley is just the kind of special team 'specialist' we need. I wish we had three more just like him...Oh and here's another guy we could use a clone of:

Stewart NFC Offensive Player of the Week
Rushing for over 100 yards against a defense that had gone 36 games without permitting a triple-digit runner was significant enough. Doing it on Sunday Night Football, behind an offensive line that has lost both of its first-team tackles, with the other half of the team's running combination sidelined with an ankle injury ... all that made Jonathan Stewart's performance Sunday impossible to ignore.

Stewart would be considered Top 10 in the NFL if he was the featured back.

Yes, there is plenty to be hopeful about in 2010 Panther fans...

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