Hello all. This is my first time posting a fanpost so hopefully I do everything right. Ok so let me start off by saying I was never a football fan until about 2003. My first football game I've ever watched and really paid attention to was Super Bowl 37 between the Bucs and the Raiders. So after watching that, I was excited for the next season to come. I live in Chicago so by default I thought i'd like the Bears. But the season came and they were playing pretty bad, if I remember correctly. Then, week 2 I believe it was, I remember watching highlights and they show the Panthers blocking all those kicks against the defending Super Bowl champs (Bucs) to get a crazy win. From then on, I kept my eye on Carolina, as i was somewhat of a fan the rest of the season. Then came the divisional playoff game, and when Jake hit Steve on that post in double overtime, I fell in love with this team.
So a year or two goes by, then I purchased one of those NFL Films movies that was about the Panthers 2003 season. So a few weeks ago, I remembered that I had that dvd. I decided to put it in and relive that magical season. Somewhere early on in the film, a ref is talking to John Fox about the offense. Fox said something along the lines of "yea well we upgraded the defense last year, this year it's time for the offense".
What he said got me thinking. Last year, our offense was without a doubt upgraded, going from number 32 to number 5, while our record improved from 2-14 to 6-10. That was with a brand new coaching staff. From 2001 to 2002, our defense went from number 31 (which was last in the league at that time) to number 2, while we were 1-15 in '01 and 7-9 in 2002. That was also with a brand new coaching staff. Just like how our 28th ranked defense of last year held our overall team back despite major offensive improvements, in 2002 our offense was ranked number 31, which by no doubt held the team back as well despite awesome play from the d. And both of these major improvements on the two different sides of the ball were unquestionably because of two number top 2 draft picks (peppers probably would have been #1 if the Texans weren't an expansion franchise, as we were the worst team in the league the year before, like in the 2011 draft.) who are both considered freakish athletes and both had very, very high upside coming out of college.
These numbers and facts are eerily similar, which begs the question: will 2012 be a repeat of 2003? I can just see Rivera talking to a ref about how the offense improved so much and that 2012 is the year for the defense to improve. Which is basically what Fox said in that 2003 season. But all I know is that I'd love to re-experience a season like that 2003 one. The one that made me a fan for life.