Over the last few weeks/months, every comparative analysis has the writer comparing the Panthers' performance in 2011 with that of the preceding year 2010. I believe that is unfair as we all know 2010 was an anomaly for a numerous reasons:
No free agents and
most importantly being Coach Fox's lame-duck year.
I can understand the overwhelming urge to show and highlight how FAR we have progressed on offense. The truth is we have regressed more on defense than we have progressed on offense. This to me at least, is baffling as Ron Rivera was supposed to be a defense-minded coach.
I know you will talk about injuries to starters and all that...but every team goes through those. What matters is how you overcome the adversities and play to your strengths. Look no further than 2004 when we had almost the whole team on IR and almost made the play-offs. The truth is no matter how "exciting" your offense is, you are going nowhere with a terrible defense.
This is where I miss John Fox. Look at what he is doing with the Broncos. They play ugly, certainly are NOT exciting, but they still WIN games.I am sure if he was here, he would have made the D play better, the O would have played a little more conservatively, Double Trouble would have had more than 6 100-yard games each, John Kasay would have still been kicking game-winning field goals for us, there wouldn't have been even 25% of the penalty yards we have given up and most importantly, we would have been in a possible playoff hunt. Seriously.
Some of you will say that we are learning, we have rookies in key positions etc. Let me tell you that the other 31 teams are analyzing us every minute. Cam is no more the surprise-factor. Look at how the Titans game-planned against him. Look at how is performance (and yards) are diminishing with every game. That's expected. I don't think we will ever get the opportunities we got (and blew) this year in the games against every one but the Titans. I am sure Coach Fox would have somehow managed to win those.
I for sure miss him. Like the old saying goes, Offense may win you a few games but the Defense wins you the Championships.