Before the Carolina Panthers existed, the Carolinas were a split territory of NFL loyalties. Many people didn't have a team at all, as North Carolina was by and large considered college basketball country, while in South Carolina it was all about college football. Those that did identify with a team generally pick one of two teams. Those teams were the Washington Redskins in the North, and the Atlanta Falcons (gag) in the South.
The Panthers came about fairly early in my life, I was 13 years old, and I latched on immediately. But many people, to this day, consider themselves "A ____ fan first, and a Panthers fan second." In the case of the Redskins, this has turned people into full time Panthers fans, while still secretly hoping that some day the Redskins will turn it around.
Well in my opinion...
That is Bullshit.
If you're still harboring the Panthers as your 2nd team, and only rooting for them on the years they are better than your first squad (read: Now, and quite often over the past 3 seasons) then you need to drop one or the other. The Carolinas are no longer contested ground.
North and South Carolina belong to the Panthers now.
Speaking of Cam Newton and the Redskins... they provided one of the earliest glimpses of just how special an athlete Cam really is. I'll never forget watching this with my mouth agape as defender after defender grabbed at air trying to tackle him.
That is SEVEN juked defenders by my count, including the same defender TWICE. We were only scratching the surface of Cam's potential then, but now, we are dealing with a refined and complete quarterback who is garnering MVP consideration.
The Redskins are a hard team to predict. They have suffered many terrible defeats this season, but occasionally show short spurts of brilliance like they did last week against the New Orleans Saints. Granted, the Saints are a historically bad defense right now, and they don't possess more than a couple players whom could be considered even remotely as good as their Panther counterpart. Their quarterback, Kirk Cousins, is equally unpredictable, as he suffers from what I like to call Manning disease. The ability to look brilliant one game and then throw four or more picks in the next one. We'll find out which version we get in a matter of days... for now let's reflect a bit on the victory over the Titans.
Cam Newton's Wing Flavor of the Week - Watery Eyes and Redskins Naga Viper BBQ
Heat Index: 10\10
Cam was on an absolute tear against the Titans. Every pass was crisp, and the receivers caught almost all of them. The only time Cam faltered was under intense pressure that collapsed the entire pocket. Eventually the offense adjusted, and Cam picked right back up where he left off. It was a very efficient game where the offense was clicking very well when they gave Cam time.
Devin Funchess - Heat Rating - Beer Battered FunYun Rings
Not every rookie "gets it" right away, in fact, that is true for the majority of players picked. We got spoiled by a phenom in Kelvin Benjamin, and in general have been spoiled by Dave Gettleman, into thinking that every pick is going to show immediate meaningful returns. This was compounded by the fact we needed someone to step up once KB went down with a knee injury. When in reality, we should be thankful that it only took half a season for Funchess to start to show out. The rookie is playing very well right now, and you can see that chemisty between him and Newton developing, which is very exciting to see.
Greg Olsen - Heat Rating - Cinnamon Sticky Buns
Though he did not splash the end zone in this game, Olsen recorded 8 receptions on 8 targets for 80 yards, giving him a perfect reception percentage. The Titans mysteriously decided he was not worth their time to cover in the first half, where he did most of his damage. But he saved the catch of the season for last...
The Thunder God has no need for two hands, for he can wield Thor's hammer with one mighty mitt. Great catch. Great game. Great season.
Ed Dickson - Heat Rating - Some damn fine Mashed Potatoes
Ed Dickson deserves a little love even while living in the shadow of Greg Olsen. He isn't the receiving monster that Thor is, but he has made a few key plays for us this season. He had the amazing offensive fumble rumble for a touchdown and a touchdown in this game. The Panthers need workers like Dickson on the team, and I'm glad the former Raven has found a niche here. You can't have a solid meat and potatoes meal without good potatoes.
Blitz Adjustment - Heat Rating - Three bean salad that could've used one more bean
I'm not enough of an X's and O's guy to know exactly where the failure was here... but it shouldn't have lasted as long as it did. Dick Lebeau, being the legendary defensive coordinator that he is, figured out that if you disguise your zone blitzes well enough, our offense won't know how to handle it on the fly. This is forgivable for a series or two, but how can you let your quarterback and line go out there for a whole quarter and a half, with a halftime mixed in between, without making an adjustment? It was a string of total blocking failure that I have not seen in a long time, and I have to ultimately lay it at the coaches feet and ask why the adjustment wasn't made sooner.
Tennessee Mom - Heat Rating - The person who calls every recipe they make and bring to a party their "legendary" _____ when no one else thinks it is anything special
Tennessee Mom, if you are reading, you should make sure your nine year-old can't possibly absorb the electro-energy radiating from the medium through which you are viewing this, lest she become a horrible human being.
Dear Mrs. Plorin,
Thank you for your letter advising us of how men who routinely beat each other up for your amusement every Sunday should act in front of your daughter. Regretfully, Cam Newton participated in the unspeakable act of celebrating an accomplishment (an "NFL Touchdown" if you will) that only .0000000001% of humanity will enjoy, and which he spent his entire life devoting many of his waking hours for the privilege of doing.
Yes, it is indeed regrettable that the front-row seats you are able to afford, offered you such a view of success and accomplishment. Perhaps instead of redirecting your daughters attention elsewhere, you might have drawn from an experience in which you, yourself, worked hard to accomplish something, and why your daughter should do the same. Our apologies for not doing your parenting for you, your Gold Club level seats only entitle you to do as little as possible PHYSICALLY, we do not cover emotional trauma and thought processes, please see the terms printed on the back of your ticket.
Should your daughter grow up to be the wastrel that you now anticipate, please let management know about it, as we'll be sure to validate the idea that somehow a person she saw one time made a larger imprint on her life than you have. This IS covered under the terms of your Gold Club membership, as we do allow the world to revolve around you once per season, and your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. In the meantime, we have enclosed pictures of Phillip Rivers, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and of course... Matt Ryan's celebrations so that you may have a reference for how we expect our quarterbacks to act when they score.
The planet you apparently don't live on (and stadium management)
Tater's Gameday Food of the Week
Since I just dropped that bomb... It's time for another Tater bomb.
Bacon Wrapped Tater-Tot Bombs
This recipe is courtesy of a post on damndelicious.net which could not be more appropriately named, because damn... that looks delicious.
Settle in for a hopeful 10 and 0 on Sunday Panther fans, I love the ride we are on, and wouldn't have it any other way. Beat the Redskins and...