Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The good and bad of the schedule

My first impressions of the Panthers' 2009 schedule... (which can be found in full at the end of this blog)


** The schedule's here -- that always a good thing. I love looking at the NFL schedule in April in the same way I love reading departure signs in some big airport to remind me of the places I've been (I'm quoting Jimmy Buffett there, for you non-parrotheads). It gives you a tantalizing glimpse of what the fall will look like.

** Opening the season at home (Philly) and closing it at home (New Orleans) -- to me, those are both solid advantages for Carolina. Those bookends are key for establishing momentum and -- if the Panthers have the sort of season they want -- establishing a playoff seeding.

** There's a nice change-of-pace on the days this time. For the past several years, the Panthers played practically every game Sunday at 1 p.m. In recognition of their fine 2008 season, they're all over the place this time -- a road game on Monday night, a home game on a Thursday, maybe a Sunday night home game (the Dec.20 game against the Vikings could be moved to the afternoon).


** Man, that's a tough schedule! I've never seen one that looks worse on paper for the Panthers. It's the second-toughest schedule in the NFL based on last year's standings.

** The bye week is too early. Week 4? A definite disadvantage. No breaks for the final 12 weeks of the season -- you can count on a couple of key injuries in that 3-month stretch that would have benefited from a midseason bye.

** Show me a month it looks easy. You can't. That's what Carolina gets, of course, for going 12-4 last season (well, 12-5 when you include the monstrosity that was the Arizona game). What a challenge this will be. But, as always, it'll be fun.


Sep. 13 Philadelphia Eagles 1:00pm
Sep. 20 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00pm
Sep. 28 at Dallas Cowboys (Mon) 8:30pm
Oct. 4 BYE
Oct. 11 Washington Redskins 1:00pm
Oct. 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00pm
Oct. 25 Buffalo Bills 4:05pm
Nov. 1 at Arizona Cardinals 4:15pm
Nov. 8 at New Orleans Saints 4:05pm
Nov. 15 Atlanta Falcons 1:00pm
Nov. 19 Miami Dolphins (Thu) 8:20pm
Nov. 29 at N.Y. Jets 1:00pm
Dec. 6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00pm
Dec. 13 at New England Patriots 1:00pm
Dec. 20 Minnesota Vikings 8:20pm
Dec. 27 at N.Y. Giants 1:00pm
Jan. 3 New Orleans Saints 1:00pm


unctarheels said...

I have always been a Panthers fan and have a Panther license plate, rah, rah, rah.

I'll be glad if they win 4 games. I've never seen such a horrible schedule. Fox and company blew a great chance to advance last season. This seems wasted already.

The front office by franchising Peppers hung a stone around their necks. Let him go. He's a great player but it's time to move on. He doesn't want to be here. Wish him luck. Like a relationship that's over. Thanks for the memories but IMHO was a bad front office move to tie 16M on him. Bad bad bad move.

Truth hurts.

pbandcrack said...

Thanks for confirming you're an idiot just by virtue of your name, unctarheels.

William said...

It is ridiculous when people write the Panthers have a hard schedule because we went 12-4 last year. The NFL schedule calls for 6 division games, 4 games against another NFC division (NFC East this year), 4 games against a AFC division (AFC East this year) and 2 games against the top of the division in the NFC (Giants and Cardinals). If we finished in last place in the NFC South last year, only 2 of the games would change - the Giants and Cardinals. Sure, those look to be 2 tough games now, but you never know what will happen from year to year in the NFL. The other teams in the NFC South has to play the same schedule but for those 2 games. The other 14 games were known before we played one game in 2008. FYI: the Steelers had the toughest projected schedule going into 2008, and look where they ended up. Just win the games.

Tara said...

pdandcrack....you need to be referring in the correct manner. Its National Champion unctarheels moron. Go hate some where else. You suck and so does your mom.

JAT said...

Where is the Det, KC, Oak on this sked -- let alone all three? 12-4 was mirage.

If the Panthers go 8-8 Fox should be coach of the year.

4-12 is more likely, though.

Anonymous said...

There's no way the Steelers, Cowboys, 49er's, Patriots, Giants, Broncos or even the Bills (in their heyday) ever said, "Wow, we've got a tough schedule". When you're a great team, you're the big dog on the block and people are afraid of YOU on their schedule. Just tells us what we really think of the team if we're defining ourselves by the opposition instead of our players & coaches.

Anonymous said...

This season schedule will separate the posers from the real fans. Remember 1-15? If you know anything about the NFL, then you know anything can happen. Keys for our team will be Trgovac's replacement and any upcoming personell changes, including the draft. Anything else is puffery.

David said...

I disagree with the crybabies posters and even Scott Folwer about this tough schedule

The tougher the schedule the better... if we played soft teams like Detroit, KC, OAK, Cincy, Cleveland ..etc all year and won... do any of you think Carolina would go far in the playoffs… The panthers probably get plastered the first round 52 -3…

I’d rather have this team be tested by the end of the year... I don’t think they will be 12-4 like last year, they certainly will not be worse than 7-9… and posers that think they will go 4-12 are idiots…

The offense is solid with the O-Line and running game Smitty Moose and Jarrett will make highlight reel catches… Jake will be back and out for vengeance on his flop against Zona, and the linebackers will carry the defense… special teams could use a boost as well … and with or without Peppers, the D-line and secondary are the only question marks on this team…

I am confident that this team will go 10-6 which would be great for this tough schedule and “should” get them the playoffs as a wildcard, if not the NFC South title.

'nuff said...

MichaelProcton said...

I don't see what's so tough about October...Tampa and Buffalo will be middle of the pack at best, and the Redskins never perform up to their on-paper "talent."

Anonymous said...

Nice Point William but that would be the Vikings and not the Giants. The Giants are in the NFC East.

Looking forward to football already.

Valerie said...

They have a tough schedule because they are playing all the teams in the toughest division; the NFC East. Come January 4th the Panthers will be 6 and 10. GO EAGLES!!

Blue Jones Hero said...

This is our last year at a run before we're going to have to make significant changes to our team. This will be our last season with Jake and Pepp.

Even if we don't make a run at the Big Game this year, I love this schedule because it's a great learning experience for the future core of our team: Beason, Davis, Gamble, Godfrey, D-Lo, JStew, Jarrett, Otah, etc.

I also like the schedule because I hated the feeling of "empty" winning from last year. I never felt good about our chances because I had those memories of barely beating KC, Det, and Oakland in my head all year. At least, in 2009, we'll know exactly what he have suiting up on Sundays come December.

Go Panthers

jjwieseh said...

Im happy we are playing this hard schedule. If you look in previous seasons the panthers always play well against hard teams and shitty against the easy teams (ie the raiders and vikings) They always come out and play strong and beat good teams but somehow get destroyed by awful teams. This way they will play strong all season. VICTORY

Panthermatt said...

Blue Jones,

I know what you're trying to say, and I agree, but just as a matter of record, we obliterated KC last year. It was a shutout. 34-0, I think...

ANYWAY, the schedule is what it is, right? I am truly hoping for the Panthers to be able to string two winning seasons back to back...

brandonsez86 said...
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brandonsez86 said...

I see us going 12-4 again to EVERYONE'S surprise. I'll be surprised myself if it actually happens. Anyway, our four losses are against BILLS, CARDINALS, SAINTS, PATRIOTS. So yes, we shock ourselves and go 5-0 then go on a skid for 3 weeks and pull it back together enough to where the only loss we have the rest of the season will be via the Patriots. Call me an optimist but that's just how I see it going down.

brandonsez86 said...
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summlord said...

The schedule is actually a blessing for the Panthers. There will not be a week that they can cruise into other than their bye. This team will be proving theirselves from week 1, and that up against the wall mentality will have to prevail if they are to be successful. The Panthers will be as good as they think they can be,regardless of the opponent, and one could expect this team to have its future solidified as a premier team if they can see that they are.