These are the biggest blowouts and worst losses of the past decade for our Carolina Panthers. Thanks for an entertaining decade Carolina, and see you in the next one!
Best: 2002 - vs. Bengals wk.14 (52-31) The Flock of Footballs
There were so many balls in the air, I think I heard an air raid siren at one point. Both teams put the running game on the back burner for this exciting shoot out, as Carolina set a franchise record for points scored in a game. Rodney Peete (CAR-QB) torched the Cincinnati defense for 319 passing yards and three touchdowns. Two Carolina wideouts went over 100 yards receiving, Muhsin Muhammad (CAR-WR) and Steve Smith (CAR-WR). Jon Kitna (CIN-QB) went to the air for 295 yards himself, and Chad Johnson (CIN-WR) also went over the century mark. As exciting as that was, the real thrill came from special teams. Steve Smith returned two punts for touchdowns (including a team record 87 yarder), putting him at 313 total yards for the contest. Tack on a Carolina safety to Corey Dillion (CIN-RB) for good measure. Takeo Spikes (CIN-LB) returned a Rodney Peete fumble for a 45 yard touchdown, but there was no topping Carolina that day. Cincinnati's only saving grace was when Rodney Peete took a knee at the end of the game on fourth down, while on the Bengals' one yard line, instead of racking up even more points.
Worst: 2008 - @ Buccaneers wk.6 (3-27) The Return of Jeff Garcia
A thorn in Carolina's side, Jeff Garcia (TB-QB) returns to face the Panthers and beats them for the fifth consecutive time. Warrick Dunn (TB-RB) goes over 100 yards rushing, and Geno Hayes (TB-LB) returns a blocked punt for a touchdown. The Tampa Bay defense also had three interceptions off Jake Delhomme (CAR-QB), all off tips. DeAngelo Williams (CAR-RB) and Jonathan Stewart (CAR-RB) ran for a combined 39 yards to cap off the embarrassment.
Best: 2008 - vs. Saints Wk.7 (30-7) The Sweep Begins
This was the first of a two game sweep in 2008 against a team who would go on to capture a Super Bowl championship the next year. The Saints had just gotten Jeremy Shockey (NO-TE) and Marques Colston (NO-WR) back from injuries, and were looking to make a statement after starting 3-3. However, the statement was made by Carolina who was coming off a big loss to Tampa Bay. The Saints' efforts were hindered by an injury to Reggie Bush (NO-RB) in the 2ndquarter, who was on track to have a good day with 55 rushing yards. Despite being hounded all day, Drew Brees (NO-QB) still had a solid effort with 231 passing yards, but the Carolina defense would not break. Ken Lucas (CAR-DB) picked off Brees in the 3rd quarter to set up a DeAngelo Williams (CAR-RB) touchdown reception, extending the lead to 20. Carolina would go on to twice stop the Saints on fourth down runs, preventing any comeback. Without starters Ryan Kalil (CAR-OL) and Jeff Otah (CAR-OL), Double Trouble ran for 134 yards, and Steve Smith (CAR-WR) put on a show with 122 receiving yards.
Worst: 2007 - vs. Colts wk.8 (7-31) Peyton Manning vs. ... David Carr?
Believe it or not, Peyton Manning (IND-QB) was actually outplayed in the first half by a 43 year old Vinny Testaverde (CAR-QB). Manning didn't even complete a pass until the 2nd quarter. Part of the reason for Manning's lack of success was lack of opportunity. Testaverde orchestrated a team record tying 18 play drive that lasted 11 minutes, and led to a DeShaun Foster (CAR-RB) score. But, when Testaverde left at halftime due to an Achilles' tendon injury caused by Mike Wahle (CAR-OL) stepping on his foot, David Carr (CAR-QB) stepped in. Manning would go on to pass for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. Joseph Addai (IND-RB) added 100 rushing yards to the effort to secure the route. Peyton Manning broke Johnny Unitas' team record for most career scoring passes, and Tony Dungy surpassed Don Shula for most career wins in Colts' history.
Best: 2005 - @ Giants wildcard playoffs (23-0) DeShaun Foster Captures Giants Stadium
The Giants hadn't been shut out in the playoffs in 20 years, but this was not their day. New York became the first playoff team to get blanked at their own stadium since 1980 when the LA Rams shut out Tampa Bay. Travelle Wharton (CAR-OL) averted early disaster on the first drive of the game when he recovered a Jake Delhomme fumble on the Carolina 34 yard line. After that, it was all downhill for the Giants. Tiki Barber (NYG-RB) was held to a season low 41 rushing yards, a huge chunk of the Giants' total 109 yards of offense. Carolina forced five turnovers in the game. Marlon McCree (CAR-DB) picked off two Eli Manning passes. Ken Lucas (CAR-DB) picked off one. Will Witherspoon (CAR-LB) gathered a sack fumble that was recovered by Mike Rucker (CAR-DE), and Dante Wesley (CAR-DB) recovered a punt muffed by Gibril Wilson (NYG-DB). DeShaun Foster (CAR-RB) led the offensive charge with 151 rushing yards, straight through the defensive ends Osi Umenyiora (NYG-DE) had called the best in the NFL earlier in the week.
Worst: 2007 - vs. Saints wk.12 (6-31) ... And the Boos Rained Down ...
This is the result of capitalizing on red zone opportunities. New Orleans was inside the Carolina 20 yard line on four occasions, and scored touchdowns every time. David Carr (CAR-QB) opened the game for Carolina, but after throwing seven incompletions to start, andgoingon to throw two picks, it was clear it wasn't his day. Steve Smith (CAR-WR) tried to silence the boos from the crowd directed at Carr, but to no avail. The fans chanted for Matt Moore (CAR-QB), and they got their wish. Carr was benched in favor of Matt Moore, but it was too much for the rookie to overcome. Moore was picked by Roman Harper (NO-DB) in the 4th quarter to seal Carolina's fate. DeShaun Foster (CAR-RB) was no help as he rushed for -5 yards on 9 attempts, and lost a fumble which was recovered by Will Smith (NO-DE). After the game, David Carr seemed confused about what the fans were chanting when he said, "It's not like we were purposely trying to not score points. They were chanting 'More' -- that they wanted more points. And we were trying to give it to them." Well, bless his heart for trying.
Best: 2000 - vs. Seahawks wk.6 (26-3) Seifert Did What?
A rare bright spot during the Seifert years, Carolina put a whooping on the Seahawks in the first ever meeting between the two teams, and they did it all without gathering a single turnover. It was a meeting on a windy October afternoon between two teams who were destined for sad seasons, but one team came ready to play on that particular day. Steve Beuerlein (CAR-QB) lit up the stat sheet with 332 passing yards and two touchdowns. Wesley Walls (CAR-TE) led the way with 102 receiving yards, followed closely by Donald Hayes (CAR-WR) with 93. Tim Biakabutuka (CAR-RB) broke 100 rushing yards to give Carolina a dominant all around offensive performance. Brock Huard (SEA-QB) and the Seahawks managed just 10 first downs to Carolina's 26.
Worst: 2009 - vs. Eagles wk.1 (10-38) Delhomme's Implosion
Donovan McNabb suffered a broken rib in the 3rd quarter, and had to leave, but it did nothing to quell the blowout orchestrated by the Philadelphia defense. Philadelphia was playing in their first game since long time defensive coordinator Jim Johnson had died from cancer. Jake Delhomme (CAR-QB) commited five turnovers (four picks and one fumble) in the first meaningful game after an equally horrendous performance against Arizona in the playoffs. It was the beginning of an implosion for Delhomme's career. Carolina gave up a team record tying seven turnovers (five picks and two fumbles). Two of the interceptions came courtesy of Sheldon Brown (PHI-DB). The repeated five and six man blitzes were too much for Carolina's offense, which also suffered five sacks, two by Darren Howard (PHI-DE). All Steve Smith (CAR-WR) could say was, "Offensively, we just sucked. Let's be honest."
Best: 2002 - vs. Lions wk.2 (31-7) John Fox Saves the Franchise
It was a meeting of the two worst teams in the league the previous year. In just the second win under the new John Fox Panthers, the Carolina defense obliterated the Detroit offense. Mike McMahon (DET-QB) managed just 95 passing yards, by completing 9 of 23 passes, before being replaced by rookie first round pick Joey Harrington (DET-QB) who only managed to complete three of seven passes for 11 yards. Both threw an interception, one to Mark Fields (CAR-LB) and the other to Mike Minter (CAR-DB), which he returned for a 40 yard touchdown. Rookie Julius Peppers (CAR-DE) not only got his first career sack in this game, he got his first three. Conversely, Carolina's passing game was on fire. Rodney Peete (CAR-QB), in his first year with the Panthers, was in the zone as he aired it out for 310 passing yards, most of which landed in the hands of Muhsin Muhammad (CAR-WR) who broke the 100 yard mark. A little known receiver named Steve Smith (CAR-WR) had his best game to date with 71 receiving yards on 4 receptions. His performance included a 44 yard reception in the 1st quarter, which was the longest reception of his career at that point.
Worst: 2002 - @ Falcons wk.7 (0-30) The Torment Begins
Michael Vick's (ATL-QB) 44 yard touchdown run to end the game was the best part of the day for Carolina, because at least the torment was over ... right? Carolina came in with the 2nd ranked defense, but did nothing to stop Vick who racked up a combined 297 yards passing and rushing, despite only playing three quarters. Offensively, for the Panthers, Chris Weinke (CAR-QB) was filling in for an injured Rodney Peete (CAR-QB), but was taken out of the game in the first half due to a head injury. Rookie Randy Fasani (CAR-QB) came in as the quarterback in his NFL debut, but did little. Vick ended with 92 more yards by himself than Carolina could manage as an entire team. Atlanta rookie running back T.J. Duckett (ATL-RB) kept the heat on by scoring the first two touchdowns of his career.
Best: 2005 - vs. Vikings wk.8 (38-13) Rules and Regulations
In what I like to call the Steve Smith Show, staring Steve Smith (CAR-WR), Jake Delhomme (CAR-QB) connected with Smith for over 200 yards, as Smitty broke the franchise record for receiving yards in a game. It was only one of two times Smith would eclipse 200 yards in a single game. Fred Smoot (MIN-DB) was victimized all afternoon. It didn't help the Vikings' cause that Daunte Culpepper (MIN-QB) left the game in the 1st quarter due to a sprained right knee. Smith said after the game, "Whatchamacallit was talking to me in the pregame. When somebody is banging on your door, I am not going to hide in the corner ... I am going to open it." Fred Smoot declined to be interviewed.
Worst: 2007 - @ Jaguars wk.14 (6-37) Fred Taylor Hits the Hitman
Behind Vinny Testaverde (CAR-QB), the Carolina offense was held to a season low 149 yards of total offense. Testaverdecould do nothing right as he ended with a total of 84 passing yards before being replaced by rookie Matt Moore (CAR-QB) in the 4th quarter. Testaverde only threw one interception, but it was a pick six to Clint Ingram (JAC-LB). Conversely, the Jacksonville offense was electric. David Garrard (JAC-QB) threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns, and Fred Taylor (JAC-RB) set a franchise record with an 80 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. Taylor would pass Eddie George and Tiki Barber for league career rushing yards during the game.
Best: 2004 - vs. Cardinals wk.11 (35-10) Nick Who?
Arizona's Shaun King (ARI-QB) seemed to pass at will on Carolina's secondary, tallying 343 passing yards. However, four turnovers by the defense fueled the route. Colin Branch (CAR-DB) picked off two passes, and Chris Gamble (CAR-DB) picked off one on a third and one play at the Carolina one yard line. Mark Fields (CAR-LB) forced a sack fumble and Jordan Carstens (CAR-DT) gathered it up. The Carolina offense handled the rest. Muhsin Muhammad (CAR-WR) would rack up 118 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The fourth running back on the depth chart, Nick Goings (CAR-RB), had a breakout game as he went for 121 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including a 57 yard run in the 1st quarter. Goings would earn NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Worst: 2001 - vs. Patriots wk.17 (6-38) Who Draws Up These Schedules?
This is what happens when the eventual Super Bowl champions play the worst team in the NFL. Chris Weinke (CAR-QB) was picked off three times, two of which were run back for touchdowns. Ty Law (NE-DB) took one back in the 1st quarter, and Otis Smith (NE-DB) followed suit in the 4th. Tom Brady (NE-QB) did little better, getting picked off twice, both times by Deon Grant (CAR-DB). However, Carolina never capitalized despite Richard Huntley (CAR-RB) rushing for 168 yards. Troy Brown (NE-WR) had a punt return for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter that put New England up by 14. The Patriots would add three more turnovers on fumbles, two by Chris Weinke and one by Steve Smith (CAR-WR), for a total of six turnovers in the game. The turnovers came at the right time, and New England's offense did just enough to pull off the route. It was an embarrassing end to an even more embarrassing year that saw Carolina win only one game.
Best: 2005 - vs. Jets wk.10 (30-3) The Dream That Didn't Stop
At some point during this game, people watching had to ask themselves if the Jets were just giving the ball to the Panthers' players on purpose. Carolina would rack up six turnovers in this outing to cap off a six game win streak. Despite the Carolina offense doing practically nothing, the defense carried the team to a blowout victory. Five of the six turnovers came on five straight series. Ken Lucas (CAR-DB) picked off two passes from Brooks Bollinger (NYJ-QB) on back to back possessions. Then, Chris Gamble (CAR-DB) recovered a fumble by Justin Miller (NYJ-DB) on the ensuing kickoff, and went on to pick off a pass on the next series. Things went from bad to worse as Will Witherspoon (CAR-LB) took a pick back for six on the next drive. New York's Chris Martin (NYJ-RB) said after the game, "It's almost unbelievable, you sit there and say, 'This is not happening.' It seems like it didn't stop."
Worst: 2006 - vs. Steelers wk.15 (3-37) Weinke Does It Again
Chris Weinke (CAR-QB) had just passed for a franchise record 423 yards in the previous week against the Giants. Today, he would pass for 170, no touchdowns, and one interception. Undrafted rookie Brett Basanez (CAR-QB) would later come in and throw his own interception. Willie Parker (PIT-RB) ran straight through the Carolina defense for 132 yards and a touchdown, and Santonio Holmes (PIT-WR) returned a punt for a touchdown on route to the big win.
Best: 2009 - @ Giants wk.16 (41-9) Jonathan Stewart Turns Off the Lights at Giants Stadium
In the game that had Justin Tuck (NYG-DE) begging for a $5 foot-long, as one analyst put it, Jonathan Stewart (CAR-RB) ran up, down, and all around the Giants' defense for a franchise record 206 yards. It was the most rushing yards a Giants' defense had given up since 1978. This was the final game in their 34 year old stadium, and with playoff hopes on the line the farewell party turned into a hoard of boos. Matt Moore (CAR-QB) threw for three touchdowns in the game, and the Panthers scored on six of their first seven possessions. Steve Smith (CAR-WR) even broke his arm on a 27 yard touchdown reception in the 3rd quarter. The Carolina defense was spectacular as well. Brandon Jacobs (NYG-RB) was held to just one lonely yard, the lowest total of his 37 career starts. Eli Manning (NYG-QB) was picked off twice, and the defense also gathered two fumble recoveries to go along with four sacks. Osi Umenyiora (NYG-DE) (who should sound familiar) said after the game while holding back tears, "Just the way everything has unfolded is just unbelievable. I mean, I never would've dreamt this in a million years."
Worst: 2001 - @ Rams wk.9 (14-48) The Worst Show On Turf
This is what happens when the eventual NFC champions play the worst team in the NFL. Any time the third quarterback on the depth chart, from an already horrible team, gets his first NFL start, it's time for the fans of that team to hide under the nearest rock. Matt Lytle (CAR-QB) made his debut against the Rams, filling in for an injured Chris Weinke (CAR-QB) and Dameyune Craig (CAR-QB). Non-Carolina fans are currently flocking to Wikipedia to find out who the heck these people are. Both Lytle and Kurt Warner (STL-QB) had bad days. Lytle was picked off twice, one of which was run back for a touchdown by Aeneas Williams (STL-DB). The Carolina offense managed just a paltry eight first downs, converting only one of eleven third downs. Warner was picked off three times, but it didn't matter because the St. Louis running game owned the field. Marshall Faulk (STL-RB) ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns, and Trung Canidate (STL-RB) followed up with 145 rushing yards and one touchdown. It was the third highest rushing total in franchise history. One of the only bright spots for Carolina was a 99 yard kickoff return by Steve Smith (CAR-WR) at the end of the first half.
Best: 2005 - @ Falcons wk.17 (44-11) Chris Draft's Revenge
This was a game showcased by a balanced Carolina offense, and absolutely no Atlanta running game. Atlanta managed just 26 total rushing yards, despite leading the league in rushing coming in. Michael Vick (ATL-QB) finished with zero rushing yards for the first time in his career. It was the sixth worst rushing performance in their 40 year history. Conversely, DeShaun Foster (CAR-RB) ran for 165 yards, including a franchise record 70 yard touchdown run late in the 1st quarter. Steve Smith (CAR-WR) torched the secondary for 131 receiving yards. The Carolina defense was electric, forcing four turnovers, including a forced fumble and fumble recovery by former Falcons linebacker Chris Draft (CAR-LB). Withthe win, Carolina clinched a sure playoff berth.
Worst: 2002 - vs. Falcons (0-41) wk.12 It was Michael Vick, with a broom in the study
The endzone was only a legend to the Carolina offense in this, the worst season for Carolina against Atlanta. If the whooping in week 7 wasn't bad enough, Michael Vick (ATL-QB) torched the Carolina defense again for 272 passing yards and two touchdowns. Atlanta had 426 yards of total offense. Despite having Rodney Peete (CAR-QB) back, the Atlanta defense forced six turnovers and eight sacks, three by Brady Smith (ATL-DE). It was the first time a team had shut out an opponent twice in the same season since 1976 when Denver blanked San Diego. Muhsin Muhammad (CAR-WR) had this to say after the game, "I am embarrassed for the owners, for all the fans, for my family that comes every week. I am embarrassed for everyone who supports us."
Best: 2008 - vs. Chiefs wk.5 (34-0) The Horror Returns for Herm Edwards ... Oh, and uh, Tony somebody does something ...
This was the biggest win of the decade for the Carolina Panthers; a shut out and a 34 point differential. It was the first time in six years Kansas City was blanked. Once again, a Herm Edwards coached team was blown out by Carolina, just as had happened in 2005 when he was with the Jets. Interesting side note, Herm Edwards and John Fox were teammates at San Diego State. The Chiefs managed just eight first downs, and had just three rushing yards in the first half. They'd end up with only 35 rushing yards for the game, and their second first down didn't come until the Panthers had a 24-0 lead in the 3rd quarter. The Chiefs' Larry Johnson (KC-RB), who had rushed for 319 yards in the past two games, was held to two yards on the day. The only positive note for Kansas City was that Tony Gonzalez (KC-TE) broke Shannon Sharpe's record for most career receiving yards by a tight end, despite only gathering 17 yards in the game. Damon Huard (KC-QB), brother of Brock Huard (who should sound familiar), threw for a paltry 86 yards and two interceptions before being replaced by Tyler Thigpen (KC-QB) early in the 4th quarter, who only managed 37 yards on 10 attempts. The 127 yards of total offense was the lowest total for the Chiefs in 22 years. DeAngelo Williams (CAR-RB) stole the show witha personal best 123 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Despite setting a career record in the game, Tony Gonzalez was in no mood to celebrate. After the game he said, "That was the worst I've ever been involved with in my professional career. We couldn't get anything going -- offense, defense, special teams. So embarrassing."
Worst: 2000 - @ Raiders wk.17 (9-52) Ouch ouch ... not in the face ...
This was the day the Panthers stumbled into the wrong building, and got shoved up a black hole by some crazy pirates. I don't think there's any point in dredging this up too much. Rich Gannon (OAK-QB) threw for five touchdowns. Steve Beuerlein (CAR-QB) had a pretty bad day. Carolina gave away four turnovers. Two of them found their way back for six. It's a gruesome storyline. Such a sad, sad Christmas Eve. Santa ... say it aint so.