Friday, November 11, 2011

Panthers-Tennessee notes -- and a prediction

The Panthers seem like they haven't played a game in forever.

It feels like that when you go into your bye week losing to a team you shouldn't have lost to. I remain convinced the Panthers are better than Minnesota, but Olindo Mare's hooked field-goal attempt and Steve Smith's questionable holding penalty Oct.30th ended the Panthers' final drive on a sour note that has been ringing in the air around here for the past two weeks.

So on Sunday here comes Tennessee. The Titans' best player -- running back Chris Johnson -- has been having a horrible season by his standards. And yet the Titans are still 4-4 and in the playoff hunt. While this game is winnable, it will require a far better performance than the Panthers gave against the Vikings.

-- When Cam Newton talked about the Tennessee defense this week, the name he mentioned first and foremost was Titan cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Newton said he believed the strength of the Titans' defense is its secondary, with Finnegan the headliner of that bunch. It will be interesting to watch Finnegan (No.31) when he's matched up with Steve Smith Sunday.

-- In the four games Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has started against Carolina (all while he was with Seattle), he has won three of them. One was the NFC championship game in 2005, when the Panthers got blown out in Seattle and the Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl.

-- A shudder-worthy memory: The last time these two teams played against each other, in 2007, the quarterback matchup was Carolina's David Carr against Tennessee's Vince Young. Tennessee won, 20-7.

-- I'm going to do Panther fans a favor. I started off OK early in the season picking Panther outcomes, but I've gone totally off the rails over the past month. I'm 0-3 predicting the past three Panther games, and so based on recent history my pick today is almost guaranteed not to turn out right. So here's an early Thanksgiving present for all you Panther fans.

My pick: Tennessee 27, Carolina 24.

11 comments:

dadadnit said...

im down with the word play. i hope youre wrong, too. heres another ironic thought.
doesnt it seem kind of ironic, at this juncture, that cam ended up with jersey number "1"?

J said...

A feeble attempt by Fowler to buy a win.

Exactly why is everyone believing a game against a team that is 2 games better than us "winnable?" We have no chance whatsoever to win this game. Reasons:

1) CJ2K - Yes, he's having a terrible year. But have you paid attention to our defense? And don't go quoting AP's yards per carry against us as proof that we actually have a run defense. He took a bunch of screens - basically, long handoffs - and killed us. Titan fans are likely looking at us as the cure for their ills on the ground. They are right.

2) Soctt said it himself - the Titans strength is their secondary. Finnegan can shut Smith down and we have no decent #2 WR to take the heat off him.

3) We're down to a bunch of practice squad guys at linebacker.

I would love for us to win this game. But I see no logical reason that indicates we will. Titans 24, Panthers 10

Anonymous said...

I root for the Panthers but there was nothing questionable about the holding call.

Mike said...

J, we do have a good chance to win this game. Just like we've had chances to win every game we've played this year. The Panthers need to limit the mistakes, penalties, to's and ST's. Take care of the ball and play with some focus and we should be able to put more points on the board than them. I'm not really concerned with their secondary. If you've watched any of the games this year, we have many other threats besides #89 in the passing game. I still think they have to give help to him, so that will open it up to the others, Olsen, Shockey and either Stewart or Williams out of the backfield. Not to mention LaFell who, when he gets snaps, produces better than LA.

Anonymous said...

Panthers - 31
Titans - 17

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to game just hope its clean no penalties and Finnegan and Smith dont end up in jail for a on field brawl or somethn like that

Panthers go 8-8 for the season

Anonymous said...

Fowler NOOOO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hasselback and his Titans clean house and go to 5-4 ripping loser Newton and his 2-7 Furbags a new one.

Titans by 21

Prognosti Cator said...

Panthers by 21. And I have as much credibility as you Anonymous@5:24.

Anonymous said...

get the bags out!

Anonymous said...

Panthers lay abye week Egg!