Spin a wheel each week and you will find a reason the Carolina Panthers lost. Every once in a while the team will fumble it's way to a self-affirming win, but this is a bad football team that needs to be torn down. Their 22-6 loss to Arizona was inexcusable and a case of the same mistakes showing up again.
The term 'tear down' seems to incite an emotional response from fans, a desire to justify why the team isn't as bad as it looks and which players are worth saving. No team is truly taken back to square one, but this time can't be like the chair-shuffling following the 2010 season. The Panthers had an opportunity to take a 2-14 roster and build around Cam Newton, but they failed to. Too much dead weight was kept and too many solid players were seen as elite. This resulted in a half-hearted retool that made the Panthers a better, but still sub-500 football team.
Say what you will about the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they know who they are. The front office knows it has a terrible roster and has the blessing of ownership to let the team burn to build it up. Carolina can't claim the same.
One phase fails every week. Coaching lets players down, players let coaching down, game-planning lets both down. On Sunday it was time for the offensive players to apologize to their coaches and Mike Shula to apologize for not making enough adjustments.
Make no mistake, this was mostly on the Panthers players. What a mess.
Glass half full...
The biggest mistake was writing off the Cardinals as bad, just because of past conceptions. This is a team that played every game close, except losing to the 5-0 New Orleans Saints. Carson Palmer is terrible now, but the defense is good enough to make a huge impact.
Getting Daryl Washington back caught the Panthers off guard. Kudos to Bruce Arians and his staff for turning their defensive game plan into a showcase of his abilities. There was tape on Washington, sure, but his addition was too much for them to scheme for.
It looked like Cam Newton quit on the game, which is almost a good thing -- I would too. He got no assistance, was sacked multiple times and his receivers did him no favors. I think the more true-to-life Cam was that who played in the first half with peerless accuracy and stunning decision making.
Glass half empty...
When can we get off this ride? The endless waffling bullshittery that leads to a string of failed games, 'we were close' and 'we need to execute'.
Unless "we need to execute" is a command for fans to commit seppuku, I'm at a loss. All you can do is laugh. This team has so much talent and is 1-3. The only team that can come close to making such a claim is Tampa Bay, which has an immensely talented defense and great running back, but they don't have the quarterback.
Speaking of, seriously Cam? Really? Look, I know you aren't getting help but staring down receivers and throwing off your back foot is high school stuff. Newton threw for over 300 yards but left big plays on the field due to his ineptitude. A lot of the time it isn't his fault, but when your quarterback rating is 47.8, it's your fault.
This season was a snow job, plain and simple -- designed to keep the tickets sold while the team skirted by to fire Ron Rivera. I don't think the men at the top thought they would start 1-3, which backfired on them. Fans are self-aware now, they're becoming apathetic, and you just got caught starting your coaching search before Halloween, bravo.
Fraud. That's all there is to it. This is an NFL bait and switch that's been happening for four years, but PSLs keep lining pockets so all is well, right?
Where do I lie in all this? I want to see it burn to the ground with only Newton, Kuechly and the defensive line left. If you really think Cam Newton is the reason the Panthers are losing then you're beyond hope. This is 2010 all over again, just with a better passer.
I'll keep watching because I have to keep watching, but I advise you to pick up another hobby for the remainder for 2013.
The Carolina Hurricanes are second in their division, imagine that -- they play on Sundays too. Basketball is right around the corner.