I'll start my post with it's actual topic and try my best not to sound like I'm ranting...just kidding. I'm gonna rant. If you watched the game between the vikings and saints (I refuse to list the saints first in anything), you were subject to the same metaphorical pornagraphy that we panther fans used to have to watch with Michael Vick. I mean 70's porn, with dubbed voices. To clarify, you have a good game being played, between two not very good teams, in the background is the constant perversion of the media dogs humping the Saints legs. The more they talked, the more I wanted Favre to light it up, but alas, Favre's 2 best receivers arent playing. Minnesota's Defense was missing two starting cornerbacks, which left two safeties. This meant that the entire secondary never got a break, and two of em had to cover special teams as well. Sounds like a mismatch to me. The Saints I saw last night, wont be able to handle this Panthers Defense. I might also add, not since the early 2k Denver Broncos have I seen a team tackle by head butting or shouldering a runners thighs on nearly every play. They did this to Manning and Favre in the playoffs last year. That's not good defense, it's just dirtyball. I can't wait for J.Stew to faceplant Vilma.
Ok, end of that rant, on to the real rant. The National Media.
Foxsports has us ranked 25
Cnnsi has us ranked 22
espn has us at 23
cbssports has us at 26.
Keep in mind, we are ranked behind the likes of Oakland. This is great fuel. For this reason, I love the National media. They really don't know how to research teams thoroughly. There's only 32 teams and there is really no excuse. So, rather then do the in depth work, they band wagon and base everything off of last years stats. That simply has no foundation for successful reporting, which is probably why they are relegated to the sports section and not the limelight, sure they love sports, but who gets a degree in journalism without asperations for bigger things...like a pulitzer. The talking heads, prognosticators, and commentators, are all former players, and you better believe there is bias there. Faulk hates the Panthers, why, we fubar'd his chance at another ring, in his mind it was by a team far inferior to theirs. It's been proven, EVERY year, that until the 6th game of the season, you have no idea what a team really has, or whether they have a shot to make the playoffs. Teams can start 0-3 and still make the playoffs. Heck, New York started 5-0 last year and didn't make it.
I've done little to no research outside of the Panthers, but I love football, and I pay attention to patterns of behavior.
So with patterns in mind, I submit that Tampa Bay will surprise people more than we will, because, they may not make the playoffs, but they will sweep NO and ATL. ATL doesnt have corner backs in a pass happy league, and NO can't stop the run...they have to face Michael Turner, Deangelo Williams, J. Stewart, Cadilac Williams, Frank Gore, Beanie Wells, Ray Rice, and they didn't really stop Peterson. 87yds on 19 carries for a 4.6 average. that's not gonna float against teams with receivers.
Lastly, this is my small list of teams you wont hear much about after December. New York Giants, New Orleans (see, I didn't list them first), Minnesota, and Cincinatti.
Teams you'll hear alot about; Carolina, New England, Baltimore, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Green Bay
If i'm wrong, toss me under the bus, but history in the NFL tells me youth depth, and smarts wins championships, veterans can get you there, but by the time they've reached that point, they are too tired to finish the deal. So the teams that draft well, will always have a chance.