Three preseason games... that should be enough, right? Enough to determine how good or bad the Carolina Panthers will be in 2011, enough to know what kind of quarterback Cam Newton will be in the NFL, enough to know what this coaching staff is like.
Preseason football is the modern day bellwether for our microwave society. A way to watch 9 hrs of football and make grandiose, overarching claims about what will happen in the future. Granted, I'm painting with a large brush here, really I'm referring to the lunatic fringe; those fans whose emotions swing so wildly from week to week that a 20-10 victory over the New York Giants portended hoisting of Lombardi trophies, and now two losses has their minds embroiled with visions of Roger Goodell standing at the podium in 2012 saying "With the number one pick in the 2012 NFL draft the Carolina Panthers select _____". What I've learned is that you can't reason with these fans, it's just not possible. They get too emotionally invested in the week-to-week to understand that the journey is as important as the destination, and that Rome wasn't built in a day.
Instead, today I'm appealing to the vast majority of fans to take a candid and logical look at the 2011 preseason to see if there's anything we can pull from it to see if it foreshadows future success or failure. I'll look at this...
After the jump
I'm going to assume the Panthers will lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers this week because, well, they probably will. This will end the 2011 preseason at 1-3, but does that really mean anything?
- The 2010 Kansas City Chiefs went 1-3 in preseason. They finished the season 10-6 and made the playoffs.
- The Indianapolis Colts are 7-17 in the last 5 preseasons. Their regular season record over this period is 61-19.
- Joe Flacco: 35/67 (52.2%), 284 yards (4.2 YPA), 1 TD, 0 INT, 68.3 rating
- Matthew Stafford: 30/55 (54.5%), 389 yards (7.1 YPA), 1 TD, 4 INT, 52.8 rating
- Josh Freeman: 22/49 (44.9%), 238 yards (4.9 YPA), 1 TD, 3 INT, 41.0 rating
- Cam Newton: 21/52 (40.3%), 275 yards (5.3 YPA), 0 TD, 0 INT, 58.2 rating