Sunday's game settled some arguments, if nothing else. Last week there were back-and-forths over coaching vs. execution, now everyone is firmly couched in the belief that the coaching staff is terrible and holding the Panthers back. Hooray for agreements! Sometimes it's important to focus on the little victories.
What is there left to say? The Carolina Panthers are not a good football team. Sure, there's a lot of talent on the 53 man roster, but as a team and as an organization they are fundamentally flawed. It begins at the top, as Jerry Richardson has ensured his franchise was run as poorly as possible from 2010-present.
Letting John Fox leave without firing Marty Hurney was dumb, making a switch at general manager without firing Ron Rivera was foolish -- here we are, welcome to 2013. This team has the gift of gab. They just love to talk about how the offense is vanilla because of preseason, that the answer is sometimes on the roster, that they'll see the Seahawks in the playoffs. Talk is cheap.
The glass half full...
First-year head coaches are a tricky bunch. You never get a good sense of their offensive game plan, and that frenetic style came back to bite the Panthers. The Carolina defense is better than it looked, but kudos to Buffalo for playing a good game and getting C.J. Spiller on the edge.
It's hard to blame Luke Kuechly, but boy did he screw up. It's one of the few really terrible plays he's had since arriving in Carolina and those wont happen every day.
It was nice to see the Panthers finally take some shots down field. While they weren't always successful, at least the offense managed to score points. Now it's about getting the two phases in step. Combine this week's offense with last week's defense and the Panthers are dominating .
The glass half empty...
It's not like we said the offensive line was going to be crap or anything, was it? You know, that magical time in August when upgrades were still available if the Panthers spent a little money to protect their franchise quarterback. Nah, what's the point? We'll let him get destroyed by Mario Williams.
Is this Dave Gettleman's master plan? Ride Cam Newton like a rental car that he's spilled Big Gulps all over. Use him up, spit him out and get the traditional pocket quarterback he talked about when he first arrived. If that's the plan I'd rather know about it now and save myself some time. Newton isn't the problem, he's never been the problem -- but when you hire enough old football minds it starts to become asking old dogs to learn new tricks.
What is the Carolina Panthers offensive identity? I don't think there's someone in the organization who can really answer that question, so I'll attempt.
The Carolina Panthers are a football team who want to run the ball, but don't have the offensive line to do it. They have a quarterback who has a great deep arm, but it's too much to ask for some complex routes. So let's just run verts, shall we?
There is no identity -- that's the problem. Nothing that makes the Panthers stand out, or be special. They're a big plate of 'blah', and that's why they're one of seven teams who are 0-2 right now.
At this point it's whatever. Time for the sweet relief of apathy to wash over me, it's far easier to return to 2010 than push forward.
Where do we go from here?
The Panthers face the New York Giants next week in a game they'll probably lose, then face the Cardinals and Vikings -- both of whom have really improved. Thankfully the bye week sits in the middle and gives us a break from the trash.
I'm tired of Panthers players falling on their swords for the organization. This is a disaster from top to bottom and wont be solved until 2014. I'm sorry that you keep getting let down by a team you care about so much.