Thursday, December 5, 2013

Panthers over New Orleans? I just have a hunch



Do you know how rare this is?

All of it, I mean.

The Panthers on an eight-game regular season winning streak (never has happened). The Panthers getting "flexed" into a Sunday night game out of what used to be a Sunday 1 p.m. game (happened five years ago, against the New York Giants, but that seems like a long time).

New Orleans and Carolina both 9-3, meeting for the first bout in a two-game, 15-day, home-and-home series (never has happened).

Me going to Cafe du Monde to load up on coffee and beignets, getting powdered sugar all over myself and never being able to entirely brush it off just before a game at the Superdome (all right, that has happened a few times).

-- Look, the Panthers are going to give up yardage Sunday night. No way around it. Drew Brees has thrown for 325 or more yards seven times in his New Orleans career against Carolina. Seven times! You know how many times Cam Newton has thrown for 325 yards or more in his entire career against everybody? Three.

-- On the other hand, do you remember that DeAngelo Williams (shown above on his touchdown run against San Francisco) rushed for a franchise-record 210 yards in the season finale at New Orleans a year ago? The Panthers certainly do. I've always thought Williams is one of the Panther players who excels on artificial turf, which accentuates his speed and cutting ability. I'd be surprised if he doesn't get at least 15 carries Sunday.

-- Look, this has nothing to do with the game, but it's a good cause. If you're feeling lucky about the Panthers' chances of making the Super Bowl, you ought to consider entering a raffle for two Super Bowl tickets, plane fare and luxury accommodations for the big game on Feb.2, 2014. The raffle tickets are expensive -- $100 each -- but they benefit a very good cause (Children's Home Society of North Carolina) and only 1,200 will be sold. And the prize is big-time. Click here if interested in learning more.

-- One more thing unrelated to this game: I am thinking about writing a column about some of the kids and families who have gotten a "touchdown football" from Cam Newton at a Panthers game over the past three years. You know what I mean -- one of the balls that Newton physically hands to a kid in the end zone after a Panther score. As you can imagine, however, no one keeps a list of such families. If you are one of these families or know of one I could contact to talk about what the ball means to them and so on, please email me at sfowler@charlotteobserver.com. This is called crowd-sourcing, people -- help me out!

-- OK, onto the prediction.

The Saints should win this game, really. They are undefeated at home in 2013. By my totally unscientific measure, I believe they are 10 points better at home than they are on the road. They are coming off an awful loss to Seattle that was a nationally televised embarrassment, and anxious to make up for it. Brees is ridiculously good.

All week I have planned to pick the Saints. And yet that Monday night game keeps giving me pause. I know it was in Seattle, but it was a blueprint. And the Panthers should have Charles Johnson back. And they have a ton of confidence. And I just have a hunch. Could be a bad one. Could be too many beignets. But I'm picking: Carolina 33, New Orleans 29.

18 comments:

frank said...

I'm right there with you, Scott. As a Panther fan since '96, I have been on the roller coaster for 17 years. Seattle is crazy good - and it was early...but we should've won. New Orleans is amazing, has a great tight end and a great running game and a world-beater QB.....but so do WE!! And we have a secondary that is playing waaaaay above their skill level on paper.....and we have the best ILB in the NFL.

Hold on to your seat, Dorothy....'cause Kansas is going bye-bye. 'Cats27- 'Aints 21.

Clay said...

Scott you've got Panthers fever.

Just don't rename your kids River Boat, Cam and Luke.

Go Panthers!

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of a story on all the Cam football recipients!

Anonymous said...

Geaux Panthers!! (From New Orleans) argh Saints fans r the worst!!

MIke said...

Panthers can win if they can keep the Saints offense on the bench. They gotta keep moving the chains.

Anonymous said...

Four Carolina field goals? Bold, if nothing else...

Brian A said...

Every game feels like a playoff game. Like frank, I have been a diehard fan since the inaugural season. I do believe we can beat the Saints in New Orleans.

Cardiac Cats 27, Saints 24...

Go Panthers!

Anonymous said...

Ih the last several games, the Saints lost to the awful Jets, just barely got by Atlanta, and got blown out by Seattle. The Saints looked like onw of the better teams early on. But I'm not impressed by the Saints right now. This might be part of a longer losing streak (Seattle, Panthers, Rams, Panthers) for them. Panthers 31 Saints 10.

Anonymous said...

From the common opponent perspective of a Falcons fan, which has lost to both - the Panthers'O is much tougher to get off the field.

If the Panthers score more than 24, and I expect they will, they win. Cats 31 Aints 16. Good luck from ATL!

Anonymous said...

33-29? No way we score 33 and no way does N.O. score 29. I say 24-17 Panthers.

Anonymous said...

Panthers win depends on our secondary,. Defensive guys need to run laps around the field until they are ready to collapse. Plenty of rest night before game time ,and a basket full down the hatch with "Wheaties" Go Panthers Go!

Anonymous said...

Good comment my Anon 1:53pm but you forgot aside from the horrible call on Ahmad Brooks for roughing, negating a fumble by Brees, the Aints woulda lost that 49ers game too.

Anonymous said...

This game will be decided by field position, time of possession, and turnovers. Whoever blinks first looses

@imrightyerwrong said...

These two teams have the #1 & #2 ranked TOP offenses. No way is this a high scoring game. Less than 8 possessions each. 13-10 CAR and the defense seals the win.

Keith Nester said...

I say we have a gameday promotion on the 22nd and give everyone in attendance one of those Riverboat Ron hats!

Game 1: Panthers 23. Saints 17
Game 2: Panthers 27. Saints 13

GO PANTHERS!

Anonymous said...

Saints are just too good at home. 42-24 Saints.

Anonymous said...

This game will be won by the team which has the most points when the 15 minute clock expires at the end of the fourth quarter.

Ree Threlkeld said...

Got a Panthers outfit that I NEED to wear again....hope it still fits and hope the Panthers WIN!