Sunday, January 11, 2009

What might have been for Panthers

The Panthers got one last kick in the teeth Sunday when Philadelphia beat the New York Giants. That meant that -- IF Carolina had managed to beat Arizona Saturday night instead of getting destroyed, 33-13 -- the Panthers would have hosted the NFC Championship next Sunday for the first time ever. Here's my follow-up column in Monday's paper about that fact and others.

So it's Philadelphia at Arizona for the NFC title Sunday at 3 p.m., and who saw that one coming? Both teams had a mere nine wins in the regular season. Carolina had 12.

But what matters is the playoffs, and now it's guaranteed that the NFC will send a team with no more than nine wins in a full, regular season to the Super Bowl since the Los Angeles Rams went in 1979 (they lost to the Steelers).

As various pundits are noting, these playoffs have been for the Birds -- the Ravens, Eagles and Cardinals all were underdogs who won on the road this weekend. Only the Steelers survived at home, vs. San Diego.

I don't normally quote poets in this blog, but this one by John Greenleaf Whittier seems appropriate for the Panthers' sudden demise:

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been.'"

29 comments:

Karl said...

So I guess the Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Center City Partners, and all of the downtown restaurants, bars, hotels, and retailers can send a great big "thanks for nothin'!" to Jake Delhomme for his sorry performance last night.

The only good thing to come out of this is that all of us who are PSL owners now won't be asked to pay for really expensive tickets for the NFC Championship game.

Matt Privett said...

Don't you get those PSLs and go to the games for the chance to be there for the NFC Championship Game? Don't give me this, "At least we won't be asked to pay..." stuff!

Jonathan said...

This team, even with "good Jake" would have lost to Philly. Deshaun Jackson would have a Larry Fitzgerald day against our DBs.

And not having to pay for the NFC title game? You already did. That money will just be credited toward next year's tickets--basically just offset the inevitable ticket increase.

Karl said...

Actually, no, Jonathan. PSL owners this season were given an option to pay for tickets only as home games were confirmed. So a lot of us have not fronted the money as we were required to do in past seasons.

And Matt, if you don't own PSLs, you don't understand. We PSL owners have, in the past, been required to fork over hundreds of dollars for home games which we knew we weren't going to host. And isn't it amazing how the cost of a ticket goes up 50%, and then 100%, if you get one or two playoff games at home? I know PSL owners who have sold their home playoff tickets because they were too expensive to use.

forrealb said...

Jake played horrible and yes we'll need a new QB in the near future but Mike Torgvac has got to go!!! You have only one guy to stop all nite but he runs free and clear and our secondary all nite because we are playing zone! Pathetic!!!

Michael said...

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Fact is it didn't happen because of Joke Delame and an awful defensive performance. Changes need to be made this offseason for this team to reach the next level. Fox and Hurney better not be content with what they have just because they went 12-4.

mmoore29728 said...

Finally..after 2 years out of state, I am finally satified that my home team fans FINALLY see what I have been saying for 3 yrs... Jake has gota go and if the coach defends hime, send'em both packing.

I live in San Diego now where all the grocery store clerks wear Charger uniforms on game day. I bet no one in Charleston or Morehead city gives a crap about the "Carolina" Panthers. While Richardson reprtedly is a good guy, he had to justify a team based on the television markets of 2 states, unlike a local entity supporting the team. Unfortunately, I bet most of the support comes from within 35 miles of the center of Charlotte which is sad. "Carolina" fans desrve better coaching, "play for pay" and definitely a better QB. I read the results of the poll. Unfortunately, Tim Tebow is not available for another year!!!!!
Milton Moore formerly of Charlotte, Now San Diego

mmoore29728 said...

Finally..after 2 years out of state, I am finally satified that my home team fans FINALLY see what I have been saying for 3 yrs... Jake has gota go and if the coach defends hime, send'em both packing.

I live in San Diego now where all the grocery store clerks wear Charger uniforms on game day. I bet no one in Charleston or Morehead city gives a crap about the "Carolina" Panthers. While Richardson reprtedly is a good guy, he had to justify a team based on the television markets of 2 states, unlike a local entity supporting the team. Unfortunately, I bet most of the support comes from within 35 miles of the center of Charlotte which is sad. "Carolina" fans desrve better coaching, "play for pay" and definitely a better QB. I read the results of the poll. Unfortunately, Tim Tebow is not available for another year!!!!!
Milton Moore formerly of Charlotte, Now San Diego

mmoore29728 said...

Finally..after 2 years out of state, I am finally satified that my home team fans FINALLY see what I have been saying for 3 yrs... Jake has gota go and if the coach defends hime, send'em both packing.

I live in San Diego now where all the grocery store clerks wear Charger uniforms on game day. I bet no one in Charleston or Morehead city gives a crap about the "Carolina" Panthers. While Richardson reprtedly is a good guy, he had to justify a team based on the television markets of 2 states, unlike a local entity supporting the team. Unfortunately, I bet most of the support comes from within 35 miles of the center of Charlotte which is sad. "Carolina" fans desrve better coaching, "play for pay" and definitely a better QB. I read the results of the poll. Unfortunately, Tim Tebow is not available for another year!!!!!
Milton Moore formerly of Charlotte, Now San Diego

tsgone said...

I'm so happy that those sorry Panthers and their sorry fans will NOT see another SB again. This is a sorry excuse for a City!

Barack said...

It doesn't matter what might have been...the Panthers suk...

Barack said...

members of the team and Panther fans...get over it, the better team won...don't make excuses as in "that day"...in the Cardinals vs. Falcons...the better team lost...

the reason why they lost...(1) from the coach (Fox you are an idiot) on down to the team, they underestimated the Cardinals and stats... (2) they had their eye on playing their next opponent (Giants)...

for those who sold their PSLs prior to the game...good for you...for those who bought tickets for the playoffs...suker...

Natasha said...

A couple days now since the loss, I have time to reflect on this season...I have figured out who the real winner this year...and it is the doctor who performed Jake's elbow surgery! He is the real winner! He got Jake all the way to the Playoffs and gave him enough strength to hurl 50 yard interceptions all day long...In the off season, I say we look for an excellent eye surgeon, and I think we'll be OK. Of course, tongue in cheek...but you have to admit NO quarterback has ever come back from such a horrible elbow injury to go to the playoffs. Kudos to the Doctor who made that happen.

ncdoc said...

mmoore, perhaps you should look at the value of the two franchise's you are discussing. Forbes ranks the value of the panthers at $760MM and the Chargers at $622Mm. If the Chargers have so much support from their larger market then why aren't they worth more $$$$.

BTW, nice effort by the sorry Chargers yesterday. You can talk crap about Jake all you want but, he's played in one more Super Bowl than Rivers or the Chargers will in the next 15 years.

zebhead said...

I was in New Orleans when Jake was second string there. NO was certainly no football powerhouse and Jake could not get the start. There were two reasons then and those same two reason apply today. He is a one dimensional quarterback...he has no mobility and does not have the ability to escape the pass rush. More importantly, he makes really bad decisions trying to "make something happen." The more bad decisions he makes, the more prone he is to make even more. The Panthers were very lucky to win some games they did this year...in many cases on the shoulders of Steve Smith who is phenomenal. It will be a shame if Smith retires without a Superbowl ring. The Panthers will never be a first tier club with Jake. Sorry, seems to be a nice guy, but at best he will be an average quarterback. This has been my position for years, not just because he had a "really bad game" Saturday.

Chris said...

Jake had a terrible game, no one can deny that. But, if we stuck to the run, which by the way got us to the playoffs, there's a good chance that Jake doesn't throw 5 ints, maybe just 3! haha. In all seriousness, how was it that Arizona was able to take us out of our game plan? The coaches need to take a long, hard look at themselves for the loss.

And, Mmoore, who cares if the rest of NC doesn't support the Panthers? The team should be named the Charlotte Panthers, anyway. Charlotte showed up and supported this team all year long. Last time I checked, Charlotte is a white-collar city that usually doesn't allow "Jersey Fridays" at work. We show up on game day, though. I don't think you can blame the fans for walking out of the stadium after Jakes 5th interception. No one should have had to watch that game. But we'll show up again next year and we'll always take pride in having the Panthers in Charlotte, NC!

blacknblu4evr said...

Whoaaaaa -- wait a minute. I'm from SC and I was at the game on Saturday. Definitely no on the name change. Just because I don't live in Charlotte, does not mean I'm one of those fair-weathered fans. Despite what happened, I still LOVE my CAROLINA PANTHERS. I will root for them next season. In fact, I'm counting down the months already.

Barack said...

Joke's arm is fine, it's his eyes that's the problem...msg to Joke: get eye surgery offseason...why do the Panthers have backup Q's that they're afraid to use...if they suk, get rid of them...Smith should be in prison for the suker punch he gave Lucas...msg to Lucas: when you leave the Panthers, take that troll outside pumul his @ss...I know you can't do it now cause he's a little princess in Rich's eyes...

Chris said...

Sorry, blacknblu, my comments were more directed at the individuals that still get hung up on the east/west divide in NC. The only thing we should argue about geographically within our state is bbq. All of NC should be Panther fans, and if they're not because of some jealousy issue, screw them is all i have to say. We don't need you. Go Panthers.

Nathan Dove said...

Can Anybody say Bill Cowher and Mike Vick.

IRONMAN said...

There is no "what might have been." It is what it is!

NLP said...

Haven't any of you bloggers ever had a day when everything went bad? Give Jake a break, where were the coachs and the Defense anyway

panjets said...

delhomme should just go home. mr. richardson i know u have more urgent things to do but please ax fox and hire cowher ASAP. he will bring you home a trophy. fox plays not to lose. by the way when has john fox ever won a game for the panthers with his coaching.

Byron said...

The Panthers were not prepared for this game and that is poor coaching. The offense has carried the Panthers all year long except for Oakland when the defense stepped up and saved the game. The Panthers' DBs have been running around like chickens with their heads cut off all season long.

Jake is the only QB to take the Panthers to the SB. Before this last game Jake had the third highest QB rating in NFL playoff history. This was Jake's first season back from surgery to his throwing arm and he led the Panthers to a 12-4 regular season. I'll take Jake over your imaginary replacement QB.

Brian E said...

There's more to blame than Jake. He had a bad game for sure. But, that defense is inconsistent and uncreative. No blitzing. Give up points in bucket loads. Please dump Trogvac!!! Change is needed.

dubbya27 said...

Everybody is saying leave Jake alone. Why? This guy averages like 12-14 completions a game with a heavy run game. We abandoned the run after they went ahead 14 to 7. That is not time to panic to allow Jake to throw the ball. I mean we all know what Jake can and can;t do. He can't carry the team. Never could. Remember the Seahawks game to go to the Super Bowl. 4 picks. He is done in my eyes and we will keep having these problems until someone grows a set and does something about "Charlotte's Golden Boy" How do you think DeAngelo feels right now? "Why didn't they let me save Jake again like I have been doing all year running for 3-4 tds a game??" I am embarrassed to be a fan of a team who can't see that we can't keep betting on Jake. How many prospects do we overlook just to keep him around. Grow up and get over it. The second we put someone in there who can average 250 a game and a couple of TDs the city will forget about all the INTs and move forward. Bite me Jake. Thanks for another hopeful year you schmuck!!!

Ron said...

Who left Jake in the game and called all the plays? Was it Jake? No. Sure he had a bad day, but It also looked liked he threw the game too. This was all about coaching the game and the coaches got out played. I agree another QB is needed to compete with Jake next season, but the coaching staff needs a change if they want a SB. Way to go, you lame coaches for losing your opportunity at the big dance.

Papa said...

nathan dove.....mike vick. are you kidding me? delhomme has been to 2 nfc championship games and one superbowl. mike vick has been to prison. thats all, no championships. just prison. you are stupid beyond belief.

Nathan Dove said...

Papa I don't like Mike Vick as a person but his athletic ability is amazing. If Mike Vick where to come to the panthers we would have absolutly the best running game in the league. I'm not saying fire Delhomme NO he can start but Vick can come in on Third downs and run over every defense. The panthers wont be able to get Vick anyway though, his part of Atlanta and they wont trade him to anyone in the division. Vick and S. Smith Probably won't get anlong anyway.
As for Cowher. What do we have to lose. Fox and his coaching staff are terrible and too conservative. The Panthers could also go after Shannhan.
Julius I say Franchise the guy, if we do that then maybe will get a draft pick from another team who wants him probably not a first, but it's possible. (by the way the Panthers don't have a first round pick this year)
Delhomme is a second string Quarter Back playing in a starting role. He relies to much on Steve Smith to make big plays, and gets very nervous in the pocket. He threw for 15 touchdowns this year, but the guy had 12 ints and in that big superbowl year he had 16. If the panthers want a well rounded offense they need a quarterback who is accurate and can make smart passes to all of his recievers.
The defense needs a lot of improvment. WE ALL KNOW THAT. And the first thing we need to do is to fire Turdo-vac and Lucas.
The panthers have a lot to do this offseason so they better get started.