Friday, December 16, 2011

Super Bowl memories and a Texans-Panthers prediction

It has been almost eight years since the Panthers visited Houston, where the Carolina Panthers played and lost a remarkable Super Bowl against New England on Feb.1, 2004. It's ironic that on Sunday the architect of the Panthers' final three fourth-quarter touchdowns -- quarterback Jake Delhomme -- will be on the field as a backup quarterback for the Houston Texans. Only wide receiver Steve Smith and offensive tackle Jordan Gross remain from that Panthers' Super Bowl squad as active Carolina players.
I was there in Houston, watching one of the best games in any sport I've ever seen in person. A few notes that I still find interesting:

-- John Kasay's much-discussed kickoff out of bounds once the game was tied at 29-all with 1:08 left likely netted the Patriots only 13 yards. Their average drive start after kickoffs had been the 27 on the game's previous kickoffs; Kasay's errant kickoff instead meant they began on the 40.

I have always maintained Kasay's kickoff made little difference. Tom Brady had such control over the Panthers' defense at that point I think he could have gotten New England to a winning field goal even starting on his own 2.

-- Team owner Jerry Richardson gave each Panther employee two free airplane tickets, four hotel nights and two free Super Bowl tickets for the game.

-- Julius Peppers became the first athlete to ever play in both a Final Four and a Super Bowl in the game. He was generally ineffective against the Patriots, though. The Panthers' defensive line sported Peppers and an in-his-prime Kris Jenkins yet couldn't get a single sack.

-- At one point in the first half, Delhomme was 1-for-9 for one yard and had been sacked three times. He ended up with 323 yards, three TD passes and a quarterback rating of 113.6 (higher than Brady's 100.5).

-- Many remember the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" of Janet Jackson, but how many remember a streaker wearing only a jockstrap held up the second-half kickoff?

-- On a far different note, I totally agree with Smith's assertion this week that Tim Tebow is not as good a quarterback as Cam Newton. Tebow's recent streak in Denver has been remarkable, but he has so much more help on defense and special teams than Newton does.

-- As for Sunday's game in Houston, Newton and the Panthers have quite a challenge facing the NFL's top-ranked Texan defense. The Panthers can stay in this one for awhile -- they almost always do -- but Houston has quite a team and rookie quarterback T.J. Yates (formerly of North Carolina) has already shown he's cool under pressure. I've gotten the Panthers' outcome correctly the past five weeks in a row in this space.
My prediction: Houston 30, Carolina 20.


Tootough said...

T.J.'s QB rating his higher than Cam's. Just sayin.

Texans by 22.

Anonymous said...

the streaker was dressed as a referee right? one of the greatest moments in Superbowl history.

If Cam continues his INT ways......Texans by 24.


Anonymous said...

I believe the Panthers are getting trounced throughout the whole game.They might be able to score 3 field goals and rally a meaningless TD after Houston scores 28 or more points.I'm a Panthers fan and I'm hoping for the best but......Cam hasn't scored a game winning TD on his last drive... lately,They're not to reliable in the redzone..Defense gives up after halftime. Jake Delhomme gets to watch payback on the sidelines.

Anonymous said...

The Panthers were lined up for the 2nd half kickoff when that streaker ripped off his ref uni and started prancing. #40 was about to level the guy, but Kasay stopped him.

Anonymous said...

i cant believe some of the comments, first off Yates leans on his running game and his defense and just doesnt lose the game and i do NOT see the Texans winning that big, close game, Texans win 27-21. and as for the Tebow and Newton comparison, no comparison, Newton is a better pocket passer, Tebow is a better clutch performer.

Anonymous said...

I see T.J. Yates imploding in this affair. Joy ride over for them and we move the ball at will. Houston is overrated at best and what I would call lately..."flavor of the month".
Houston - 17
Carolina - 30

Anonymous said...

Cam has to score at least 30+ points a game to even have a chance to win. Brady is in the same situation and his INTs are way up from last year, but no one kills him. Time for the Cam haters to get a life and get over the fact that he is good.

John said...

Anonymous 11:18,

Why don't you pack up your sheet and take your (obvious) bigotry elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

I respect TJ Yates a lot for graduating and being good.......but he did play for that crook Butch Davis and even though they played in a horrible conference they never won it or dominated it.

Cam's yardage in the SEC is not comparable to the yardage Yates had in the ACC. You'd have to use a SEC yardage multiplier to compare them to a lesser conference. I'm working on a formula now, looking like 1 yard in SEC is equivalent to about 1.7 in the ACC. I'll follow up later.

Anonymous said...

Too tough

You're another southern moron

Anonymous said...

Cam should get some MVP votes for biggest stones

Anonymous said...

Scott, you left out one of the real heroes of Super Bowl XXXVIII...Dan Morgan. He was a beast and had 18 tackles, 11 solo. Say what you want about Morgan, but he and Sam Mills belong in the same sentence. Never was there a player who worked so hard and had such a motor as Morgan. Too bad, the head shots ushered him out of the league.

Payback for Jake? Are you kidding me? We rescued him from the sidelines and made him into a legend. Until he lost all confidence and became an interception machine, we did all we could to keep him and promote him. Remember the Bojangles commercials? Got Milk? We hung in there will jake as long as we possibly could and still wish him well.

Anonymous said...

houston has built a winner........something that hurney needs to learn from.

we've blown a few picks on qb's and wr's last few yrs....clausen, armanti, the wr's from usc that didn't work out.

houston has made solid picks, often on defense the last few yrs.....look at them now.

Anonymous said...

Why in the hell can't we get new uniforms?

Black helets and facemasks with the cool white outline of panther fangs eyes and whiskers would be great

Go to predominantly black, silver and white with touch of silver and blue

get rid of these space suits

Anonymous said...

Had totally forgotten about the streaker. How could I have forgotten about the streaker?!?

Anonymous said...

TEXANS by 30 over the housecats

Smith and Newton suck !!!

TEBOW & FOX RULE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Anonymous said...

Who is the most hated QB in America but Tim Tebow who is taking the Broncos from last to first place without the loser stats?

Why do punk haters hate Tebow? Jealous? Smith is a sorry jealous hater punk. Hater punks are laughable at best.

TEBOW is THE next #1 QB SUPERSTAR who will win many SuperBowls with Fox as HC. No scammers allowed.

davesmall said...

TJ Yates outplayed first round draft choice Blaine Gabbert in his first NFL action. He held his own against Matt Ryan. He was better than Andy Dalton in his third game. Now he goes up against another first round draft choice in Cam Newton. That's a pretty tough comparison for a guy who was a fifth round pick and didn't even dress for games until Matt Schaub was hurt.

TJ has been Mr Calm-Cool-& Collected which is not what you expect from a rookie thrown into the action unexpectedly. Last week in Cincinnati, the Texans got the ball on their own 20 yard line with two minutes on the clock and no time outs. TJ engineered an 80 yard drive and won the game on the last play. That sort of two minute drill is not what you expect from a rookie.

Dave B in houston said...

T.J. has lit up our town. Our first playoff appearence. Wade Phillips has completely overhauled our really bad "D" from yast year and the confidence in the Texans is skyhigh. But nothing is set in stone, they are not Green Bay and may never be, we can only play one game at a time and I hope we play well enough to win tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Yates was top QB in the Atlanta burbs at Pope. Newton was weak at Westlake. Urban Meyers regrets asking Newton to play 3RD STRING behind Tim Tebow at Florida and reported him to get him removed for the theft and cheating but ended up having to resign over the punk.

Where is the academic invest on Newton and grades, GPA? Did he even go to class? Auburn has a top national reputation for academics like Florida so somebody covered his scam ass and paid the NCAA off.

2010 Yates had 3500 yds passing and Newton had 2800.

Yates/Texans over housecats by 30

Anonymous said...


Houston really likes TJ. This kid is smart and talented. We are lucky to have him.

Feb 5th 2012 Lucas Oil Stadium
in Indianapolis. Site of the XLVI Super Bowl


Anonymous said...


We need to be 13-3 going into the playoffs so no games will be taken lightly.

Houston likes TJ. This kid is smart and talented. We are lucky to have him.

Feb 5th 2012 Lucas Oil Stadium
in Indianapolis. Site of the XLVI Super Bowl


cardiacat22 said...

To all you doubters and haters including the flunky who wrote this dumb article about a good game that we lost, we beat houston and im to proud of the future with this team to be reading about the past losses

Anonymous said...

"and rookie quarterback T.J. Yates (formerly of North Carolina) has already shown he's cool under pressure." Spot on with that analysis Scott. Yates folded like a house of cards with his two picks. UNC doesn't produce NFL QBs, period.

1 said...

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