Hello Panther fans, we have another fan poll. This one is to determine which of the three NFL win-less teams is the worst and the most likely to have the honor of picking first in the next draft. Now before you question my Panther fandom for my forthcoming case for voting for the Panthers please know I do this tongue in cheek. I prefer to laugh to keep from crying as I endure a lost season.
1. Organizational Dysfunction - How much more dysfunction can you get than a lame duck coach, a GM limited to picking players off the NFL scrap heap and an owner willing to sink his franchise to avoid having to pay someone during a lock out? The Panthers brass sold the fan base on the notion the offseason veteran purge would have little impact on the Panthers 2010 outlook, as it would simply allow younger players to step up and become stars.We had no need for high priced free agents, we've got young guys ready to play. So its week five and the Panthers are starting a rookie QB, 3 rookies WR's and a rookie safety. It's quite laughable now to think we really thought this team would go 10-6 or better.
2. Future at QB - Going into training camp we had the perfect short and long term plan at QB. Matt Moore would take the keys to the Ferrari, protect the ball and be just good enough and score enough points to win 10 games this season. In another season or two Clausen would then be ready to take the keys. Instead a rotten, foreboding preseason bled into the regular season and Matt Moore got loose with the ball in the red zone. After two disaster games Moore got the hook but his rookie understudy has hardly been an improvement. So now the Panthers are left to hope this rookie behind an inept offensive line can pull out a couple wins to avoid being the worst team in franchise history.
The real kicker is that if the Panthers do get the top pick there is a real chance the Panthers could pass on a potential franchise QB like Luck, Mallet or Locker because of the presence of Clausen. Maybe Clausen is a franchise QB but he will hardly get the chance to develop in 2010 due to the dysfunction cited in item #1 above.
Continue reading my case before voting after the jump...
3. High Season Expectations - As i said in item #1 above we bought into the notion the Panthers were playoff contenders coming into the preseason. Even at 0-4 we still had hope though we had absolutely no no basis for it. Shoot, half the fan base still thinks we will turn it around and finish 8-8. My thought is why bother, lets just play the rookies, take our lumps and add some key missing pieces to this team next April.
4.Depleted By Injuries - It started with the loss of LB Thomas Davis and then RT Jeff Otah before the season even started. Two weeks ago we added Steve Smith due to a high ankle sprain. With only a handful of veterans left on the roster it really hurts to lose three key players who more than likely will not contribute for some if not at all this season. The current roster minus the injured players is now one of the weakest in the NFL on top of being the youngest.
5. Our Five Losses are Worse - The Panthers offense ranks 32nd in the NFL and its not even close. Though both the Bills and 49ers have struggled on offense they are John Holmes on Viagra compared to the Panthers. As much as we like to think our defense is a strong unit, they rank mid-20's statistically. Did I mention the Panthers haven't even come close to winning against the likes of the Bucs, Bengals and Bears? Those three are hardly SB favorites this season.
The Bills on the other hand, outside of a loss to the Jags, lost to the Packers, Jets, Patriots and Dolphins, four preseason playoff team picks. The 49ers have likewise played four strong teams: Saints, Chiefs, Falcons and Eagles.
So that's my case for voting the Panthers as the worst team in 2010 and most likely to get the top pick.in the 2011 draft.
You can now read Brian G's case for the Bills over at Buffalo Rumblings here.
Likewise Fooch over at Niners Nation makes his case via this link.
Please forgive me for my blasphemous statements in making the case as it was all in fun and hope you will take it in the spirit it was given. If the panthers should miraculously turn things around feel free to come back to this post and tell me how wrong I was!! Maybe through laughter we can get through this season!