Saturday, January 10, 2009

33-13, Arizona: Shades of Seattle

It's over for Carolina -- the Panthers just lost in the NFC playoffs, 33-13, to Arizona.

This was an amazingly dominant performance by the Cardinals -- and an awful one by the Panthers, particularly QB Jake Delhomme.

Delhomme ended up with SIX turnovers, including a team-record five interceptions (the previous record had been four).

The game reminded me a whole lot of sitting in the press box at Seattle for the NFC Championship game in the 2005 season.

In that one, Carolina also lost by 20 points (34-14). Steve Smith was held to hardly any significant yardage but did score one meaningless TD (a punt return in Seattle, a score with less than a minute left in the 4th quarter here).

The defense was bad. John Fox's coaching was bad. And, of course, the biggest common denominator was Delhomme's awful performance (he had three interceptions in that one).

But this game takes the cake as Delhomme's worst ever. It's almost incomprehensible how horrible he was. For the more than 70,000 fans who showed it up -- and the 10,000 or so that stuck it out through the pouring rain that blasted the field toward the end of the game -- the Panthers owe you an apology.

59 comments:

DrFrankLives said...

He should personally return all the money spent on tickets for this game. And then he should kneel at Trade and Tryon and let people throw rotten fruit. Then he should go away and never come back, unless it is as the backup QB for Chicago.

famousb said...

"the Panthers owe you an apology"

they can start by firing John Fox and letting the new coach bring in a new QB. Fox has had enough chances. Like i said before, CAR had a winning season not because of Fox's coaching, but DESPITE of his coaching.

Joshua said...

Carolina is still my team, Jake is still my quarterback, Fox is still my coach, and I'm still proud of the season we had. I can't wait until next year.

Pdog said...

Hey guys how about we trying using that two headed attack..... RUN THE BALL!!!!! ARGGGGGGGGGGH

kelsey said...

You guys still thinkin about giants or eagles? What happened to the mighty panthers, who's suppost to run us out of town.

Feels good. Bet all sports writers still have us 15 points underdogs to YOUR PANTHERS, even tho the game is over.

Nickname unavailable said...

Time to draft a REAL quarterback in April's draft. If Jake stays with this team... it better be as a backup!

Kurt said...

Now hopefully we can FIRE FOX and move foward. Bill Cowher is waiting for the PANTHER job that is why he has not shown any interest in any other coaching position and went as far as saying he is not ready to coach yet. I'd almost guarantee Cowher would take the Panther job. This is the perfect oppurtunity to bring in a real coach and possibly be a dynasty. It would be a travesty to allow the talent of this team to be wasted any further by John Fox

Ed said...

I think Jake has had his shot and we need to look around. I hate to say that because I like Jake, he's a competitor and his teammates believe in him but he collapses in big games. It's time to make him compete for his job in training camp.

chris said...

DrFrank...


Classic post!!!!

erniepay said...

I 100% believe Cowher wants the Carolina job. His kids are in school in Raleigh and he wants them to not be uprooted...He could work in Charlotte during the season and be fine..I do believe he would bring backbone to this team that it lacks...

duckfan78 said...

Why did the Panthers abandon the running game only down 17-7. Are they going to have to groom Jake's replacement next season?

DrFrankLives said...

Joshua, you're naive. This isn't college. You don't have school spirit and love the guys for trying. THey get paid. They should perform EVERY week. THis was pitiful and should result in several firings.

loveallsports said...

Jake is not a starting QB. Panther fans need to realize that. He and Fox must go...

Jason said...

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, we kicked your butts.

famousb said...

looking forward to next year:

no first round draft pick.
Peppers and Gross both need to be resigned or are GONE...

if we try to groom a QB under Jake next year, that takes DWil to the end of his contract...

so this was probably the best chance, and next year will be tough - but after that it could easily all slide downhill fast.

erniepay said...

Yes my son...Dr Frank is WISE...It is one thing to lose a game like this,but Arizona is NOT that much better team than Carolina. It was coaching and HEART..OMG and we don't have it....

Jason said...

Ernie, I am sorry. That was rude. But man, I have been with these guys for 20 years; since they moved to AZ. I have been to games; watch as much as I can and this is the first time for us. Good luck to the Panthers next year.

Jennifer said...

Its over and done, but what are the bets on the excuses that will come from Jakes play tonight?

The blackout?

Partied to hard for his b/day the day before??

Im sure there will be several!!!

had enough said...

This could be a superbowl winning team with a QB and coaching staff. As it is now they will always suck. They will not get anymore of my money as long as Delhome is here. If they don't fire the coaches and get rid of Delhome they should move the team away. I wonder how much Delhome had bet on the Cardinals?

Joshua said...

I'm not naive, I've been to 90% of Panthers home games, and several away games. I'm an adult and have much more Panthrs spirit than spirit to my Hoikie football team. I don't easily forget the experience in St. Louis in the playoffs, or that years trip to the superbowl, nor do I overlook the 12-4 season we had this year. Don't be so quick to jump ship. Is loyalty naive? Or just plain old numbers? We've been better with Fox and Delhomme than at any other time, and football as a whole has been much more fun. One game should never EVER be enough to ruin that. This is the team that won the best division in football this year. I refuse to jump on the "let's fire everyone" bandwagon. It's ridiculous (even more ridiculous than our horrible performance tonight).

kelsey said...

again, no credit for the arizona cardinals defense. Look, this defense practices against this high powered passing offense. So... they're playing exactly how they play in practice against Fitz and Boldin.

But it's not the cards defense, it's all Jake's fault. Cards defense were lucky !!!!

erniepay said...

Jason..nice job...Enjoy your run and good luck to Arizona. It is not their fault that JAKE SUX....

Joshua said...

And yes I do know how to spell Hokie, just find it hard to type properly after such a horrible loss.

Jason said...

Josh you are right about your teams. Having been a Cards fan for years, it was easy to jump ship. If you have ever been to game when they played at Sun Devil Stadium, you will know that there was usually more fans from the opposing teams. Don't give up. This is a great day for Cards fans. To me, this is winning the Super Bowl. I almost cried. You guys hang in there. I am sure you will be back.

DrFrankLives said...

I don't want to fire everyone.

I want to fire Delhomme and Fox.

Simple.

Delhomme should never play in the NFL again after than pitiful game. That was Ryan Leaf material there. That was a Bill Buckner-type end of career performance.

Joshua said...

Jason, good luck to the Cards. I moved to AZ in the last year, so I'll be rooting for the Cards, though I'll always be a Panthers fans. People from my hometown of Charlotte flip flop a lot when it comes to our team. We've had some terrible years, and I can't blame them much, but everything needs a little perspective. Last year everyone was saying how much they missed Jake while he was injured, and it was all about how great he was this year when we were winning, and now after the worst performance of his career, it's off with his head. It's his job and he does owe us and the team an apology for his performance, but I'm not ready to crucify the men who have built us what truly is an excellent team, even if you couldn't tell tonight.

DrFrankLives said...

Thanks, Professor Pangloss.

Joshua said...

You're welcome, DrFrank. The world is not over, there will be more football played by my teams, and we will win a superbowl in my lifetime. I'm hurting a lot over this, but I'll get over it, and we'll be a better team next year. Optimism never hurt anyone in the long run (though I appreciate your literary reference). If they keep Fox and Jake, are you going to quit watching, or cheering, or being happy when they win and sad when they lose? If not, then deal with the loss the way most people do, and if so, then for your sake they might need a change in personel, but you're not much of a fan.

Jason said...

Well, we pretty much felt the same way about Jake Plummer. The jury is still not out on Matt Leinart; who knows how much more Warner can play. We will have to rebuild as much as you guys. Our running game pretty much sucked all year and finally Edge came around.

Chris said...

I think Fox needs to stay, he has done a great job, from 7-9, to 12-4, great job. But Jake played the worst game ever. 6 turnovers...wow, I am embarrassed to be a Carolina fan today, and I live in DC, Redskins territory.

Kevin said...

I've been a Jake fan ever since the beginning of the 2003 season. But tonight he shook my confidence. But let's not forget that our defense basically did squat as well. They couldn't cover anyone, they had penalties, and they didn't force enough turnovers. John Fox abandoned the run. It was just a hugely mismanaged game.

I give Jake until 1/3rd through the season next year. If they come out firing on all cylinders, they've still got my respect. If we blunder next season, I will finally admit that a QB and coaching change may be in order.

Joshua said...

Well said, Chris and Kevin. This is football, one game alone should never call for a total upheaval. I agree that our defense and coaching were both terrible, but not as bad as Jake, but we can't be so rash about everything. And we also can't deny that the Cardinals shut us down.

Chris said...

Joshua and Kevin, tonight's game was one of the worst I've witnessed. I hate to be so judgemental, but 6 turnovers? Jake has done some goos things this year, but in crunch time, you have to perform! 6 Turnover, not one or two, or ovene three, but six! You have got to be kidding me! I am so sick over this!

HeartFixr said...

Jake picked a horrible time to play such a miserable game and display in prime to the nation his mediocre talent. The Panthers ability to develop new quarterback talent, however, has yet to show itself. Why they abandoned the running game so early is mystifying considering how successful it had been late this season. John Fox's faith in Jake should be seriously questioned and he should have been benched.

eaglefan said...

it just goes to show that year after year your team is overrated,the year that they went to the superbowl they were not the best team by a long shot,plus they got away with a huge amount of pass interference penalties and defensive holding

Matt Privett said...

Even if Delhomme is retained (I am sure he will sure, but don't believe he should be) things will never be the same between he and even his most apologetic supporters.

Fox's inability to coach a team that can handle the slightest bit of prosperity should be crystal clear to even the most blind observer now. I argued that they should get rid of him after last season, but was ultimately glad that they kept him. Even after a division winning 12-4 season, this loss is inexcusable and I'm of the opinion he and the entire defensive coaching staff need to go.

jym said...

my heart hurts.

Lance said...

This was a tough one to swallow. Had this game been competitive and Arizona won, I would be fine. They have a good team, a solid young defense and good coaches. Obviously the passing attack is good with Warner running it. But for the Panthers, especially Jake, to play that poorly is just plain sad.

I've been a Jake backer for a long time, but I really am wondering after this game if we need to look in another direction. Maybe give Matt Moore more reps in camp or something. Maybe Matt Cassel wants a shot at starting here.

Randall said...

I think it's clear that John Fox lost this game by not pulling Jake at the half. We are a better team than Jake. Anyone would have done better. And why in the world did we abandon the run? I'm not saying John should go, but let's face it, Jake will never lead us to a championship. John still might.

M said...

Joshua, you are RIGHT ON. People shouldn't let one bad game by Jake determine his entire future. The ENTIRE team messed up. The defense was awful and forgot to cover Fitzgerald some plays and WHERE was SMASH and DASH??? The were GONE and FORGOTTEN. LOL!

To the LOSER who said Jake can't win the big games he is STILL one of the most succesful playoff QBs out there and has been to TWO NFC Championships and a Super Bowl. You obviously don't know what you're talking about!

dawgwood said...

Fox... just go away... just go, and please take jake and turdovac with you.

Gin said...

No!! Jake Delhomme and Coach Fox brought US to the Playoffs so that is still good enough for us to keep them for another year!!! Jake may get better next year. He will have to look at all the films and see that he needs to keep his eyes open NOT only to his guys but also the other opponents. But I knew we would lose this game because every sports analysts predicted that we would win! I rather we not have too much exposure. Anyhow, I'll have to mourn till September...

G-U-R-U said...

Panthers need to go after a new QB in the off-season and release Delhomme right away.

Enough said.

Jackpot said...

Watch FREE full length Movies, TV Shows, Music (over 6 million digital quality tracks), Unlimited Games, and FREE College Educations (Stanford, Oxford, Notre Dame and More) @ InternetSurfShack.com

JC Hoover said...

One bad game by Delhomme? Holy crap are you people blind? This run is over for this team. Have you seen our schedule next year? This disgusting mess needs to be blown up NOW & maybe in a couple of years a decent coach like Cowher can get it done, but it must start now, not after we go 6-10 next year. . Fox is a moron win or lose & Jake is a disgrace & any one of you who defends either of them tonight should seriously seek help.

Falcon Pun said...

Disgraceful performance.

tarheelalum said...

It was not just one bad game from jake. The gy only shows up half the time and the defensive coach has got to go. We need Bill Cowher real, real bad. Sign him tomorrow and release jake the next day.

petedellinger said...

Jake, as we all know is not a real QB, he gets lucky once in a while, the reason people think he is a good QB is because of Recievers like Steve Smith and Moose catching all though high passes that no one else can catch. Enough is Enough, he should have been bench after the third interception, but I don't care if he through 10 interceptions, Coach Fox was going to keep him in. Hello Fox, one loss and were out. Maybe next year, we'll have a new QB, Jake will no longer be on the team, and oh by the way our new coaching staff will be headed by Coach Bill Cowher. I can only hope so, Fox has had enouch chances. We don't have a first round draft pick next year, so I guess we'll have to pick up a veteran QB, let go for Brady.

Bobnoxiouz said...

I see several common themes here: 1) the whole croud was sreaming RUN THE BALL rather than carelessly tossing it around. Run the ball, create play action when the safety comes up in the box, and you then get your opportunities. Like we did to get to 12-4 to begin with. 2) the Panthers win on talent, not because of coaching. Invite Mr. Cowher or Mr. Shotenheimer to town - I guarantee BOTH of them will stick to the run. They both would love to have two RBs that total 28 TDs and over 2000 yards... not to mention the poor defensive scheme used against Fitzgerald. No Boldin yet he was WIDE open ALL night....and 3) We win in spite of Jake, not because of him. Any qb in the league can throw jump balls to Steve Smith, but it takes a game manager at the position to win in the playoffs. Heck look at Flacco - low completion percentage (throws the ball away rather than forcing it) and NO INTs. Thats what we need next year. Very SAD ending to year

Natasha said...

I posted a comment to this blog a couple weeks ago about Jake not being a "smart Quarterback"...a "loaded gun", "a risk taker"..."when he's good its great, but when he's bad its REALLY BAD." I had know I idea I could perdict this crap performace. I was so worried about our defense, but this was embarrassing. Now I know how Dallas Fans feel. Maybe Jake and Tony will play some golf in Mexico and discuss how NOT to force every freakin ball...how maybe throw a screen pass, or a play action to throw the defense off...Was I the only one yelling that at the TV? The AZ defense were reading our routes like a freakin book, did Fox just not have anymore plays drawn up for the big game...or was it just deep in the corners into triple coverage...it blows my mind. Poor Mr. Richardson, God Bless him.

Susan said...

I can't believe the Panthers let these guys run all over them, and as a serious Panther's fan and Charlottean, I was pretty disgusted with last night's game. My hubby froze his butt off for over 10 hours to watch them lose.

BUT, maybe your readers can rack up a winner - how about giving this Charlotte writer a chance to win the Weblog Awards! Please Vote for Raisin Toast for BEST NEW BLOG!! Now I know that the Weblog Awards don't mean much to a lot of the sports readers out there, but I really am the Best New Blog, living in Weddington with my family, and it is called Raisin Toast at www.raisin-toast.com. It was nominated for Best New Blog by the Weblog Awards and there is only 24 hours left for voting. Oh well, I'm an underdog right now and would love to think that Charlotte knows how to rack up a winner - so VOTE! PLEASE! FOR RAISIN TOAST at: http://2008.weblogawards.org/polls/best-new-blog/

You won't regret it!
Susan
http://www.raisin-toast.com

ModryDesignStudio said...

I am not sure where people are coming up with the argument about how bad we were last year without Jake. Last year we also did not have a running game to speak of. I have never been a Jake fan. He has one of the lowest completion %'s of any starting NFL quarterback. He needs to go and they need to get someone good in here. Not some quarterback who does terrible somewhere else (like Houston) and then we pick them up and expect them to play great for us? Fox needs to go, this team is not well coached. Any team that has so many false starts AT HOME shows that. They need a coach who will teach discipline and actually yell at a player when they are consistently screwing up. I am also not sure why our secondary can't play on someone and actually challenge someone to catch the ball. Instead the play this "go ahead and catch the ball and I will try to tackle you 10 yards later." All what I am stating here is what I have believed the entire season. Everyone who says they like Jake because he has spirit and is a competitor and such a nice guy need to come to grips with the fact that those qualities might make a good cheerleader but do not make a great quarterback. There needs to be huge changes in the Panthers organization. Yes we had an overall great record this year, but most of the wins were not decisive, they were "oh we squeaked another win out, YEA!" If we don't revamp I can only imagine what next season will bring. This should have been the year for us to make it and instead we got WAXED by a team that was laughed at for making it to the playoffs. Hopefully the Panthers organization will make some hard decisions and make the needed changes. It's time to get a little harder about who is responsible. Being nice in the NFL does not get you anywhere. This is a business, and if you can't perform you should go home.

ModryDesignStudio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natasha said...

Is it just me, or did Jessica Simpson take Jake to Mexico for his birthday last weekend?...I'm just saying...

Sam said...

No need to fire fox, I believe he did a decent job this year. My position is that we need to address the heart of this team. The body language of those guys last night was horrible. They looked dejected even in the 2nd quarter. It was morally decimating to see that game last night. I support my boys, but we have too much talent not to be a contender. Why is so so hard to muster these guys to be consistent. From my perspective, we know what we have in Jake....I mean, all we ask Jake to do each game is "not to lose the game." and as you see for yourself...he lost it. No fire, no intensity or anything by any of the players or coaches. The front office has to get a QB groomed to take advantage of the talent we have. Jake is not going to get us there. We want consistency. We never really know which Panther team will show up. It's frustrating as a fan to wonder which damn team will show up or jake will show! It may be time to bring Matt Moore and McCown into the rotation this spring. We need a mobile quarterback who is accurate. Jake is a QB who can come off the bench. Not that he's bad but imagine if we had a QB like rivers or Brees from NO with Smitty and Moose! Unstoppable!

Mary said...

Jake took the Panthers to the Super Bowl, an NFC Title game, and a home playoff game with a bye. I guess we need to dump him. Are you folks crazy? By the way, Fox had something to do with the accomplishments listed above.

Karl said...

I'll second the demand that the Panthers should refund all PSL owners for the cost of tickets for this game. If the Panthers decide not to show up and play, there is no reason why should have to pay to watch them.

Matt said...

I'm not in favor of taking apart this team, after all, they did go 12-4 this year. How many people predicted that at the beginning of the season?

The Panthers had a couple of weaknesses, and Arizona exploited them as well as they could - our defensive secondary and our quarterback. Jake's not an awful quarterback (though he was last night), but he's by no means a great one, either. Certain people keep saying to look at Jake's numbers and his passer rating through his career and they'll stand up - what those numbers don't show though, is that his mistakes tend to happen at the worst possible time.

BTW, another one of the Panthers' weaknesses has been evaluating QB talent over the years - and I don't know that there's any quarterbacks that I'd see the Panthers wanting in the draft this year. I do wonder what we could get in exchange for Ken Lucas, though.

pantherfan said...

Such a large change in the win/loss record from last year to this year would usually make me look forward to next year. I'm not. The talent of our players is better than our coaching staff. For the media to say that the Cardinals stopped our running game is irresponsible journalism if you look at the yards per carry of both backs. Our coaches stopped our running game. For our defensive coaches to gameplan with no consistant pressure on the quarterback beyond our front four is questionable and to not be able to double cover their main reciever is inexcusable. The players and the fans and certainly the owner deserve a better gameplan than we saw last night. I remember when Jake took over the quarterback position and he has helped the organization, but it is time for him to move on. Jake and this coaching staff are not up to the caliber of many of our player.