Jake Delhomme called Steve Smith's 65-yard, catch-and-run-and-pivot-and-stay-off-heel-and-survive-a-replay-challenge Sunday against Arizona "typical Steve." You know what? It was. How Smith tiptoed that sideline while avoiding two defenders in what amounted to a phone booth -- that was the most remarkable play of Sunday's 27-23 Carolina win.
I'd put it in my Top 10 among all-time Smith TDs, but I'm not sure it would make the Top 5 -- that's how ridiculously good Smith's all-time highlight tape would be.
My No.1? Still the playoff TD at St. Louis in 2003, because of the huge implications. Read on below for a chance to name your best Steve Smith moment in the comments section of this blog and win a Panther book.
The TD also highlighted one of the advantages of watching the Panthers over the past eight years, ever since Smith first touched the ball as a rookie against Minnesota in 2001 and returned the kickoff for a TD. Smith is something. Personal issues, talent, heart on his sleeve, chip on his shoulder -- all of that, coupled with an incredible drive and a knack for coming up big in big moments. It makes No.89 the most dazzling player the Panthers have ever had, and it's not close.
Smith has only played six games for Carolina this season because of his two-game suspension for breaking teammate Ken Lucas's nose. He's also one of only two NFL WRs to average more than 100 yards per game so far this season -- Houston's Andre Johnson is the other. Here's the full list.
So here's a question for you: Let's say Smith's best-ever TD catch was the St. Louis one in 2003. I think most Panther fans would agree to that.
What would be your second-favorite Steve Smith play ever and why? Or, if the playoff catch wasn't No.1 for you, what was and why?
Best comment below -- either gotta be funny or dramatic, but keep it honest and keep it clean -- wins a signed copy of my 2004 book "Tales from the Carolina Panthers Sideline." I'll post the winner with an update in this blog item on Tuesday, Oct.28 by 4 p.m. (TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: I've picked a winner for this contest -- this I've also noted in the "comments" section toward the end. The winner of the Panthers book is one of the early posts on the comment list from someone who calls themselves "blackmasksandgasoline." I liked the thoroughness and promptness of this list, which included a few I hadn't thought of myself. But all the posts were very good, and thanks for them. There was even a correct usage of the word "riposte" -- very impressive! Thanks, yall, for reading)