First of all be warned that this is a very long post and isn't for everyone.
I think the first thought on most Panther fans(and players) minds is when they will get their first win. I still hold out hope that the season will turn around and we'll somehow sneak into the playoffs, but I'm not holding my breath.
I decided to take a team by team look at the Panthers chances for a win going forward each week. I'm not going to present the chance for going winless as an option because I believe(maybe foolishly) this team has too much talent not to win a game. The % I'm giving is off the possibility of not having a win prior to the game. Winning brings momentum which I don't think can ever be underestimated.
Week 04 @ New Orleans Saints
Sun, 10/03 at 1:00 PM EDT
Unfortunately they just lost so I think they'll be a little more focused going into this game had they not. Honestly I would've put the chance at 40% if they were coming off a win because I think they would've been looking past us. Since this isn't the case I'm going to lower the chance of a win but since it's a divisional game(sometimes unpredictable) I'm not going to lower it too much. Chance of 1st win 25%
Week 05 Chicago Bears
Sun, 10/10 at 1:00 PM EDT
Ultimately I think this game comes down to Peppers. Does he have a revenge factor or will treat this like any other game? If he's motivated I don't think Gross will be able to stop him. Chicago relies more on their offense than defense nowadays and I feel like Clausen could have some success. Also Chicago is playing 2 primetime games in a row(Monday vs GB and next Sunday night at NYG) and may not prepare enough or have enough energy for the Panthers after 2 big games in a row.
Chance of 1st win 45%.
Week 07 San Francisco 49ers
Sun, 10/24 at 1:00 PM EDT
Ok 1st game after the bye and against a team that frankly isn't nearly as good as many people thought they would be. The 49ers are kinda like the Panthers too, not explosive enough on offense. The 49ers are getting destroyed on the road so far this season, at this point being outscored 62-16 away. They are probably going to lose their next 2 also. I think they actually may get their first win the week before Carolina against Oakland. If the Panthers are still winless going into the bye expect a lot emotion for Carolina.
Chance of 1st win 70%.
Week 08 @ St. Louis Rams
Sun, 10/31 at 1:00 PM EDT Honestly if someone had told me before the season that the Rams would have their first win before Carolina I probably would've called the insane asylum. The Rams, while still not very good, are playing tough and will not be an easy game. After looking at the Rams schedule they actually may be able to pick up another win or 2 before the Panthers. I think Carolina has more talent than the Rams and their secondary is weak, very exploitable for Clausen. Chance of 1st win 70%.
Week 09 New Orleans Saints
Sun, 11/07 at 1:00 PM EST
This a tough one considering I'm still not sure how good the Saints are. They seem lethargic at this point in the season and honestly I feel like they think they should be able to roll over their opponents. If the Panthers still don't have a win I can see them getting one this week.
Chance of 1st win 60%.
Week 10 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sun, 11/14 at 1:00 PM EST
I don't think TB is as good as us and I feel like they're just young enough to think they can roll us again. I say our guys get fired up for this one if they still don't have a win. Meeks keeps Beason closer to the line on 3rd down as a QB spy.
Chance of 1st win 75%.
Week 11 Baltimore Ravens
Sun, 11/21 at 1:00 PM EST
I have a tough time imagining the Panthers beating a Ravens playoff caliber team whose going to be in the middle of a playoff race(Steelers are looking good right now). I don't think Clausen will be able to come away with a win from a very tough d who feed on inexpeirenced qbs.
Chance of 1st win 20%
Week 12 @ Cleveland Browns
Sun, 11/28 at 1:00 PM EST
If they Panthers are still winless I'm going to circle this as a win, especially if Delhomme is starting. I love Delhomme and it's not really a knock on him but I think our d knows what they can expect from him and how to play him.
Chance of 1st win 80%.
Week 13 @ Seattle Seahawks
Sun, 12/05 at 4:15 PM EST
Hmm, another tough one to figure out. I don't really know how good this team is. They lost pretty big to Denver but beat S.D. They actually seem like they might be a decent home team and a terrible away team. At this point the NFC West is wide open and 7-9 might be enough. I think they'll be motivated.
Chance of 1st win 40%.
Week 14 Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 12/12 at 1:00 PM EST
Atl will still be battling it out with the Saints at this point for division supremecy. We always play the Falcons tough and I think our guys will be motivated for this game. However I feel like this game will mean more to the Falcons then it will to us. At this point they're a better team(or at the very least they'll have more momentum, it's a game changer) However I like Clausen's chances against their pass d.
Chance of 1st win 40%
Week 15 Arizona Cardinals
Sun, 12/19 at 1:00 PM EST
I live in Az and I can promise you the Cardinals are not a very good team right now. Yes they're 2-1 but those 2 wins came against Oak and St.L and they got blew out of the house by Atl. If they're out of the Playoff race at this point they're going to be starting a rookie qb(Max Hall). I think this is a team the Panthers have more talent then and I can see us beating them.
Chance of win 80%.
Week 16 @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Thu, 12/23 at 8:20 PM EST
If the Panthers don't have a win going at this point they're not going to get one here against a playoff caliber team during Prime-time. The Steelers will be battling for playoff seeding and will not lose this game against a winless team. Never say Never though.
Chance of win 10%.
Week 17 @ Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 01/02 at 1:00 PM EST
If they Panthers are still winless going into the last game I just dont see it happening here. I don't think it'll get anywhere close to this point but if it does it won't be good.
Chance of win 15%.
For the record I'm of the thought that the Panthers will win against either Chi or SF and probably end up 5-11. I'm eternally optimistic that we'll end up 13-3 or any winning record really but I'm not going to put money down on it. Hopefully I'll figure out how to put a poll up and see what everyone thinks.
Also I would like to put up a few thoughts for the Panthers season.
A)We're not the worst team in the league. At the moment one of the worst yes but the absolute no. Honestly I think once we eliminate some of the stupid mistakes(fumbles) everyone will see a team that is a lot more competitive.
B)This season is so oddly similar to last season. Defense is actually better than it was at this point last year and the offense is only slightly worse, maybe better if not for all of the turnovers.
C) I think we're wasting a roster spot on Lloyd unless the Panthers start scoring a lot more. The yd battle on kickoff is nice to win but only makes sense if we're scoring tds. I mean he's basically only been in on 2 plays each game that what has resulted in what 5-10 more yds. Cut him or make him inactive and promote Edwards especially if its already full blown rebuilding year. He needs all of the game experience we can get him.
D) Cut Jarrett if he's not even active anymore or at least try for a 7th rounder or something.
E) Does anyone else think it's weird we've lost by 13pts 3 straight times?
F) My 1st fanpost was in support of Moore(this is my second). I rescind that fanpost and put my full faith in Clausen. Now that the switch is made there isn't any going back. I was a Moore homer and was hoping for him to suceed over Moore but he's showing me more than Moore. Clausen need to be the starter for the rest of the season.
G)Finally I saw a lot of back and forth banter about who and what is a true fan. I honestly think that if you're spending your time on the interwebs getting into heated arguements with other fans then you're a true fan in my book. The C.O. ran a story recently about whether Charlotte could fall out of love with the Panthers. First of all I find that idea abhorrent. Second of all the Panthers aren't Charlotte's team, they're the Carolinas team. If Charlottans(?) don't want the Panthers then let one of the other cities in the Carolinas host them, doesn't matter to me. One of the comments on the story rubbed me raw; Basically someone said that they viewed the Panthers as a status symbol for Charlotte and didn't really care for the team, they further suggested that Charlotte could be a trend setter by taking a vow against professional sports teams. That is the definition of a fair-weather fan, I would bet money that they sing a different tune duing winning seasons.
So this may have been the longest post in CSR history and for that I apologize but if you stuck through to the end I salute you. I enjoy writing and if anyone has any recommendations for me please let me know. Thanks.