Halloween is a magic time of year where everyone gets together to celebrate ghouls, goblins and social drinking. It's the perfect time to look back at three games H.P. Lovecraft couldn't have written better, scaring even the most resolute Panthers fan to their core.
Growing up in Australia I never got to experience the typical childhood Halloween. It's starting to get hot, Summer is around the corner and nobody wants to see dressed up kids on their doorstep. Cultural influence slowly seeped in with my generation, and we made valiant efforts to no avail. I had the door slammed in my face, was asked why I was celebrating a "f*&$ing yank holiday?," and one very kind Hari Krishna gave me some hummus -- yeah, that's Aussie Halloween.
12/24/2000: Oakland Raiders 52, Carolina Panthers 9
This game wasn't just scary, it was downright frightening. The Panthers fumbled the ball three times, losing all of them -- while Steve Beuerlein threw an interception and just 156 yards.
Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon had arguably the best game of his career when he completed 81-percent of his passes and threw for five touchdowns.
Carolina ended up rushing the ball just eight times and throwing 37 due to the blowout.
Teenage me was in North Carolina visiting family and I fondly remember watching this game as everything was getting prepped for Christmas. Boy did it leave a bad taste in my mouth.
11/24/2002: Atlanta Falcons 41, Carolina Panthers 0
THE PANTHERS HAD 122 YARDS OF TOTAL OFFENSE!!!
Sorry, had to get that out of my system. This was truly one of the ugliest games in team history. You really owe it to yourself to try and find a replay of this game if you were scared by the Jimmy Clausen era. It's 1000-times more frightening than the movie "V/H/S" (which I highly recommend).
This was one of those fun games of quarterback hot potato where Rodney Peete, Randy Fasani and Chris Weinke all took equal snaps. Goodness it was ugly. The passers were sacked eight times, and Lamar Smith ran for 16 yards on eight carries.
Michael Vick left the game for one play due to injury, and backup Doug Johnson threw a touchdown -- it was one of those games.
1/9/2009: Arizona Cardinals 33, Carolina Panthers 13
Jake, you know I love you but boy did you stink it up in the playoffs. This was supposed to be the Panthers' year, a time the team was rolling though opponents with a solid defense and unstoppable running game and then for one game Delhomme was asked to carry the load.
17/34, 205 yards, 1 TD, 5 INT
The Panthers got blitzed in the first half, down 27-7 they never found a way to recover. It was a maddening game on every single level as Jake threw pick, after pick, after pick and never allowed the offense to find its footing.