Do you remember when Julius Peppers said this? It was back in August, and The Observer's own Charles Chandler asked Peppers in an exclusive interview about his reputation for taking plays off -- not trying his hardest, basically -- during games.
Peppers said this:
"I don't know who put it out there. But it seems like everybody jumped on the bandwagon and formed an opinion for themselves based on what (someone) else said. But if they look at the tape, they'll see whether I play hard or not, and I do."
So, after the Panthers' 0-3 start, we came up with an idea at The Observer: I would look at the tape. I mean, really look at it. Chart it. Study it. Not just watch Peppers for an occasional defensive series and try to glean what is happening to No.90 from that. I did that for all 3 games the Panthers have played this season.
You'll find the results in Sunday's Charlotte Observer and on CharlotteObserver.com online. I think some of the numbers will surprise you.
And if you're curious about where my prediction for Sunday's Washington-Carolina game is, read the blog entry just below this one.