Wow. Just wow. It’s now the fourth day since the drubbing at home against the Giants and I, along with many of the fan base, are really having a hard time getting over the woeful performance of the Panthers in prime time yet again. Getting beat is one thing, but getting thrashed, bullied, and humiliated at home is an entirely different matter.
I’ve been searching for some reasons as to why this has hit me so hard, and for perhaps a reasonable explanation (or two or three) as to why the team performed so poorly. I don’t profess to be knowledgeable about the team performance topic, so I’ll stick with my top five reasons as to why this stings so badly.
My top five reasons after the jump...5. We were at home, and the last couple of times at BofA the team played well. To wit, the venerable gift-giving of footballs after scores and a rout of a vastly uninspired Tampa team, combined with a win against the hated Saints (who the hell are they now) lifted expectations to a level that is really not reasonable.
4. Leading up to the game, we were all subjected to things like "protecting our house" and "an opportunity to make a statement" for our young team. Silly me for taking those as a true testament to commitment and as a positive vibe. The team came out flat against a better team that was inspired and got hammered.
3. With the news coming out that the Giants would be without Nicks and Bradshaw, I expected the defense to be physical and pummel the replacement wide receivers at the line, shut down Cruz, and force the Giants to turn to a running game that was injured as well. I never expected the Giants to absolutely manhandle our front four (front 7 really) the way that they did, nor did I expect Eli to completely expose our rookie CB. It was embarrassing.
2. The complete dysfunction on the offensive side of the ball. Maybe it’s me, but our offense is starting to look like a gimmick-based offense built solely around the option. History has shown time and time again that option based offenses don’t work in the NFL…not for very long anyway. While Chud deserves credit for the offensive improvement last year, the blame for the ineffectiveness also rests at his feet. Perhaps there’s a reason he didn’t get the nod for a head coaching job after all.
1. Most disappointing to me is Cam’s persistent inability to handle adversity and overcome "bad things". His lack of leadership was shown last Thursday in the most glaring of light, and it doesn’t bode well for his future of the future of the team. I’m not writing hi, off, and I know he’s very young. What I didn’t anticipate is his persistent display of immaturity. Steve Smith did what we all wanted to do, short of slapping Cam upside the head. Not for nothing, there’s a little history on Smitty calling someone out for not approaching the game as a pro and being proven right. Dwayne Jarrett ring a bell?
Make no mistake – this team is being led by Cam, like it or not. And the results so far aren’t reflective of a guy whose leadership will have the Panthers ending up anywhere close to a good team, let alone the playoffs. We all know that the ’72 Dolphins have a 40-year-old tradition of popping the champagne when the last undefeated team finally falls. I’m not going to debate whether or not the celebration is the right thing to do or not. Here’s my point – there’s a GOOD REASON that the Dolphins have been doing this for 40 years, and it’s not to flaunt their perfect season in anyone’s face!!! It’s simple, really – EVERYONE in the NFL gets beat sooner or later. EVERYONE. And that holds true for getting beat in a game, on a drive, on a series, and even on one play. Someone needs to tell Mr. Mopeyhead to effing get over it and start leading this team in a positive direction. As far as I am concerned, it needs to happen RIGHT NOW.