Though the Carolina Panthers failed to make the playoffs in 2009 there were still plenty of moments both on, and off the field that caused the Panther nation to laugh, cry, or just bury our face in our hands. Some of these selections made news across the NFL, and some never escaped the Panthers' fanbase. However, love them, or hate them these moments made headlines for the Carolina Panthers.
What do you think was the indellible moment from the Carolina Panthers' 2009 campaign? What moment will you look back on and think 'That was the Panthers' 2009 season'.
Moment 1: Carolina's 2009 meltdown vs. Philadephia (Week 1)
- Optimism among the Panthers' fan base was at a high leading into the 2009 season. Many thought the performance vs. Arizona in the 2008 playoffs was an aberration, and didn't represent the team's true ability. While few thought the Panthers would defeat the Eagles in week one, nobody predicted the team's complete meltdown as Jake Delhomme threw 4 interceptions, helping to seal the Panthers' fate.
Moment 2: Dante Wesley is suspended vs. Tampa Bay (Week 6)
- Following a punt in late in the second quarter Panthers' special teamer Dante Wesley seemingly ignored Tampa Bay PR Clifton Smith's call for a fair catch as he launched into the hapless Buccaneer resulting in a concussion for Smith, and a one game suspension for Wesley.
Moment 3: Carolina loses to Buffalo 20-9 (Week 7)
- The Carolina Panthers were thought to be somewhat back on track heading into week seven's match up with the Buffalo Bills. At the time Carolina were 2-3 heading into the game thought by many to be one of the few 'locks' of the Panthers' season. Despite amassing over 400 yards of total offense to the Bills 167 yards the Panthers managed to give the game away.
Moment 4: The emergence of Carolina's defense (Week 8)
- Following the stunning loss to Buffalo few fans gave much credence to the notion the Panthers could beat the Cardinals in Arizona. A shoddy run defense, coupled with what was thought to be a rough pass defense entered University of Phoenix stadium and handed the Cards a humiliating loss. Intercepting Kurt Warner 5 times, and Double Trouble rushing for a combined 245 yards and 2 TDs sealed the Panthers biggest win of the season at that time.
Moment 5: The beginning of the Matt Moore era (Week 13)
- Despite the calling of heads by Carolina Panther fans, ultimately it took one finger to hand Matt Moore the starting job in 2009. After Jake Delhomme broke his finger the previous week vs. the New York Jets it was Matt Moore's time to take over the reigns. He proved in his first start to be an accurate game manager for the Carolina Panthers' offense.
Moment 6: Matt Moore outplays Brett Favre (Week 15)
- Coming into the Panthers' final nationally televised game of 2009 few thought the Carolina Panthers would be much of a match for the juggernaut Minnesota Vikings. What ensued was a 60 minute beatdown that resulted in Moore outplaying Favre, and the Panthers dominating to the point that national headlines were made when Vikings' coach Brad Childress tried to pull the veteran QB. Moore finished with 299 yards, 3 touchdowns and no blemishes on the Sunday night game.
Moment 7: Steve Smith helps Andrea Kramer understand the 'rules and regulations of the game'
- Immediately following the win over the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Steve Smith gave a post-game interview so memorable that it quickly became indelibly burnt into the minds of Carolina Panther fans. Honestly, no description does it justice. You just need to see it here.
Moment 8: Jonathan Stewart breaks the Panthers' single game rushing record (Week 16)
- Following the win against the Minnesota Vikings people began to think the Panthers could be the spoilers of the NFL. The Panthers lived up to this moniker as Jonathan Stewart ran riot for 206 yards establishing a new single game record for the Carolina Panthers and cemented a 41-9 Panther victory.
Moment 9: Jon Beason is snubbed by the Pro Bowl
- Despite being the 2nd leading tackler in the NFC, Panthers' MLB Jon Beason was a noticeable absentee from the NFC Pro Bowl roster as he was selected behind Patrick Willis, Jonathan Vilma and London Fletcher as a 2nd alternate.
Moment 10: History is made by Double Trouble (Week 17)
- DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart became the first teammates in NFL history to run for over 1,100 yards each in a single season. While Williams was selected to the Pro Bowl- Jonathan Stewart finished the season for an injured Williams and was the Panthers' leading rusher in 2009
So, what do you think was the moment of the year for the Carolina Panthers?