Can we press ‘snooze’ on the panic button: An analysis of Panther rebounds

Nobody is deluded that Sunday’s game against the Eagles was a good one. While there were some bright spots on the defense, and our punter played very well… other than that we were beyond poor, beyond mediocre and downright horrible. The offense cost us the game, from our QB to our O-Line, and up to the OC… all were to blame for our horrible play.


I have been quite vocal in my defense of Jake Delhomme yesterday. Yes, nine interceptions in seven quarters is god awful, and when you hear it on ESPN it makes you cringe (I know I did), but in reality I have a hard time believing a January 10th 2009 game is relevant (Arizona) while a December 28th 2008

game (New Orleans 129.2 QB rating) is irrelevant; nevertheless, other than this paragraph you’re reading now I’m not going to talk about him much. This is about looking to the future, through learning about the past.


We have had some horrible games as the Carolina Panthers and some horrible seasons. However, I’m going to be looking at the worst games from the Jake Delhomme era and see how we rebounded the next game.

Example one:

11/20/05 Carolina 3 – Chicago 13

This was a game we were supposed to have in the bag during our ‘Superbowl favorite’ season. We walked into Chicago and were embarrassed with the only Bears TD coming from a pick-six.

Jake’s stat line was 22 of 38, 235 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT (54.2 rating)

Defense: 15 first downs and 258 yards allowed against one of the worse offenses in the NFL.


11/27/09 Carolina 13 – Buffalo 9

Jake’s stat line was 20 of 27, 191 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (105.6 rating)

Defense: 216 yards allowed against a potent Bills offense.


Example two:

10/29/06 Carolina 14 – Dallas 35

This game determined whether we’d go into the bye-week at 5-3 or 4-4. Very important to team morale… the result was devastating

Jake’s stat line: 17 or 31, 149 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT (54.4 rating)

Defense: 428 yards allowed


11/13/06 Carolina 24 – Tampa Bay 10

Jake’s stat line was 22 of 34, 240 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (92.8 rating)

Defense: 242 yards allow, 4 turnovers forced


Example three:

9/21/08 Carolina 10 – Minnesota 20

The game that could have put us 3-0, a definite morale hit at the time.

Jake’s stat line: 17 of 29, 191 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT (78.4 rating)

Defense: 323 yards allowed


9/28/08 Carolina 24 – Atlanta 9

Jake’s stat line: 20 of 29, 294 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT (124.8 rating)

Defense: 276 yards allowed


Example four:

10/12/08 Carolina 3 – Tampa Bay 27

Horrible loss coming after some big wins, in short, we played like crap.

Jake’s stat line: 20 of 39, 242 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT (38.6 rating)

Defense: 315 yards allowed


10/19/08 Carolina 30 – New Orleans 7

Jake’s stat line: 14 of 22, 195 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT (122.3 rating)

Defense: 346 yards allowed, 2 turnovers forced against the best offense in the NFL


Example five:

11/9/08 Carolina 17 – Oakland 6

The only winning game on my list. But, was this really a win? The defense put the offense on their back to this victory, and while it was a W, it was a morale loss.

Jake’s stat line: 7 of 27, 72 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT (12.3 rating)

Defense: 294 yards allowed


11/16/08 Carolina 31 – Detroit 22

Interesting game… look at Jake’s stat line and see how the offensive game changed between these weeks. It will be very telling and probably closer to what we see this Sunday vs. the Falcons.

Jake’s stat line: 10 of 19, 102 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (85.9 rating)

Defense: 337 yards allowed, 4 turnovers forced



What does this all mean?

People will argue that this information has no bearing on the future, and the past is the past. While I agree partially, I also think it is foolish to ignore past tendencies that can help indicate future performance. In these five examples the Panthers were embarrassed in their game, only to come out and improve their performance the following week, drastically. Is it all on Jake or the defense? Absolutely not, but we can look at their performances week to week as markers for future success. Jake improved three fold between a lot of these games, and the defense often buckled down as made stops.


Am I guaranteeing a win on Sunday? Far from it. But, history does show that after being embarrassed we come back with a vengeance… we have never been more embarrassed than last Sunday, so let’s hope our vengeance matches that against the Falcons



            James The Aussie- Cat Scratch Reader’s resident optimist.

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