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EricNCSU wrote

 FA: The Panther/Cards was a much more entertaining game then Farve embarrassing the Packers for the second time this season. of course it helped that the Panthers won.

This is true lol. I actually watched some of the game, and it was sweet revenge for the Panthers. I still contest that they aren't a bad team at all, just took Delhomme some sense to get things right. Must be nice also to finally have Peppers show up. 

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Why haven't the Panthers played like this from week one?  How can a team do EXACTLY what they want from beginning to end (pound the ball and control the clock) against the number 1 rush defense in their stadium, finishing the game with the second highest rushing yards in franchise history... but couldn't beat the number 32 rush defense of Buffalo at home?  What did John Fox do to these guys during the week?  Great game though... it was somewhat satisfying to see them get "revenge".  I told my buddy, who was watching the game with me, that this game was the "Bizzaro" version of the playoff game.  Us Panther fans and especially the team, needed this win BAD.

Now, all they have to do is go undefeated for the remainder of the season and we are playoff bound.  I am soooo glad I traded Warner for Rodgers, or my fantasy football stats would be ruined!

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JB, I wondered the same thing, like probably every other Panthers fan in the nation. Where has this team been? It's sad to say, but they did exactly what was needed.. take the ball out of Jakes hands. Less than 20 pass attempts, he was like 7 for 14 or something like that, short yardage only 90 yards passing. 1 TD, no INTs. 2 rushing TDs and a INT-TD.. that's the Panthers of old. Steve Smith finally got involved with some catches and a TD.

The offense did great putting up 200+ yards rishing, 2 rushing TDs, basically scoring at will, but what got me excited was our defense finally decided to come off the sidelines. 2 sacks, a forced fumble, 5 interceptions, an interception return for a TD, held Wells to 47 yards, held Hightower to 39 yards and 1 TD. Our running game was taking huge chunks of yardage and our defense smacked Arizona around. That's the Panthers we know and love.

Earlier this year I would have said we couldn't beat anyone. 2 wins while leading the league in INTs and points off turnovers was pretty amazing in itself. The way we played yesterday we could beat anyone. 6-0 New Orleans on the road will be a huge test next week, followed by Atlanta at home. But if we can somehow win those divisional games we have a shot.

I think as Carolina fans we have to root for New Orleans to win tonight against Atlanta. New Orleans is probably already a lock to win the division, so 6-1 or 7-0 doesnt make a difference, but is Atlanta drops to 4-3 then we are only 2 games back, and if we can win the head to head match up in two weeks that would be great. If somehow the Deadskins can beat Atlanta next week we could go into that game with Atlanta 4-4 and Carolina (assuming a loss to NO) 3-5. If we won, we'd be tied at 4-5 with us splitting the head to head matchups. I don't know what the next tiebreaker would but if we won the next week and they lost, then we would be second in the division in the running for a wildcard. Of course if Atlanta wins against NO and/or Washington then we fall farther behind, but we aren't out of the playoff race quite yet. I don't think we would need to go completely undefeated, but we certainly need to win some of our next 4 or 5 games, cause the last 3 are doozies.

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I'm guessing we don't have much a chance to win today, but I've seen a few kinks in the Saints armor the last couple weeks, the question is can we take advantage of it.

Last week they gave up 151 yards and a rushing TD from Turner, against the "best rushing defense in the league".. Hopefully Williams and Stewart can find the gaps as well and put up some yardage. I don't think Atlanta has a true second Runner, since the next rushing yards were 9 from Ryan the QB, 1 yard from Weems. Of course we have to still watch out for the pass defense. Ryan threw for 289 yards with 1 TD and 3 INTS.

In the week 7 comeback against the Dolphins, Williams only rushed for 80 yards, but 3 TDs. Henne had 0 TDs and 2 INTs.

The key this week of even hoping to win, is a repeat of last weeks win. less than 100 yards passing for Jake, no INTs, 200+ rushing yards and several rushing TDs and we stand a chance. Then we have to play defense.. we aren't going to out score the Saints in a shootout.. not gonna happen. We need no turnovers, good defense and a lot of luck to even come close this week. Can we do it? yes.. will we... we'll see.

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Nice couple of runs.  I'd say that was a nice start...  I hope we can recreate our running success from last week, too.  That is the name of the game - keep Jake from having to throw too much, let Williams and Stewie rip up the turf.  Play solid defense and eat the clock!

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The offense didn't lose us the game, at least it didn't seem that way.. but what the heck happened to our defense in the second half? 2 picks and a sack/fumble in the first half and then NO runs up 27 unanswered points? What happened? Yes they scored the last TD on defense with the fumble return but at that point the game was already over. The 3 point lead was probably safe since we couldn't get out starting at the 2 yard line. (Of course that was BS anyway since it should have been a touchback).

What was with the pass interference calls? They call one on us that was a little sketchy on a third and long that sustained a NO drive, and then almost like a quid pro quo, they call offensive pass interference on Shockey and kills a NO drive, when it looked like he wasn't even touching our defender, although our defender did have a better shot at the ball then he did and it was gonna be an easy pick. On the last drive Dwayne Jarret gets MAULED.. i mean completely pulled backwards from his jersey and there's no call.

Frustrating to lose after leading 17-3 on good defense and running.

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The loss really hurt initially, but right now, I'm just pleased that we're actually playing football again. I thought for sure that we would be headed for a miserable season, but if we keep playing like this, we'll at least manage 7-9 or 8-8. It's a shame that our schedule is so tough, because we might have been able to make the playoffs.

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The loss really hurt initially, but right now, I'm just pleased that we're actually playing football again. I thought for sure that we would be headed for a miserable season, but if we keep playing like this, we'll at least manage 7-9 or 8-8. It's a shame that our schedule is so tough, because we might have been able to make the playoffs.
Yeah, I'm guessing they didn't like our surprise 12-4 run last year to the playoffs even with the loss to Arizona in the first round since they decided to bend us over the barrel with the 2nd hardest schedule in the league.  I don't like the looks of our last 4 games with @Minnesota, vs NO and @Giants.  Plus I think we have an @Pats thrown in there somewhere.  The Vikes aren't undefeated anymore but they will still be tough, and with NO's cupcake schedule they could still be undefeated by the time we meet them again in week 16.

Right now the top six teams in the NFC are NO (8-0 South), Arizona (5-3 West), Vikings (7-1 North), Cowboys (6-2 East), Eagles (5-3 Wild), Falcons (5-3 Wild).  I think that puts us (3-5) 4 games back of a wildcard spot (since we need 2 wins and 2 loses by other teams to even tie at 5-5).  We could do it, but it won't be easy.  Atlanta has (after us this week) the Giants, Bucs, Eagles coming up, so they could lose 3 of 4 (best case).  Eagles have Chargers, Bears, Skins and Falcons so probably 2-2 next 4 is best case (assuming eagles beat Falcons).  That would put Atlanta at 6-6 and Philly at 7-5.

Obviously we have to beat Atlanta this week, or it's probably a moot point, we have the Dolphins (3-5), Jets (4-4) and Bucs (1-7) after Atlanta, so we could make up some serious ground if we could reel off 4 wins in a row.  If we win and Atlanta loses, then we would be at 7-5 vs their 6-6 and be second in the divison (which may or may not be a wildcard spot depending on other teams, but it gives us a better shot).  If we lose one or more of the next 4, we may be pretty much done, since the rest of the schedule is Pats, Vikes, Saints and Giants.  If we made it to 7-5 only to lose the last 4 and go 7-9, it wouldn't be a horrible season after starting 0-3, but it would not make the playoffs unless the rest of the wildcards just stink it up.

It's probably already too late, but there is some hope.

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Provided we hold on, and i don't see why we won't.. Carolina has played a perfect game against Atlanta.

Williams 86 Yards rushing, Stewart 82 yards rushing and 2 TDs, Smith 2 rec TDs, 0 Turnovers!! Muhammed back, Rosario back, Delhomme 195 yards and 2 TDs.... Great offensive show.

Defense gave up the TD on that 4th down, but stopped the 2pt conversion, 2 INTs, force a missed FG... Lots of pressure on Ryan.

Its official now.. we hold on 4th Down.. game over. Carolina improves to 4-5, Atlanta drops to 5-4.

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Yeah, I'm guessing they didn't like our surprise 12-4 run last year to the playoffs even with the loss to Arizona in the first round since they decided to bend us over the barrel with the 2nd hardest schedule in the league.

The NFL doesn't create the schedule themselves... they have a really cool system in which the opponents are already set. Every team's schedule consists of:

  • A home-and-home series against teams in their own divison (obviously)
  • Games against an entire division in their own conference as well as the opposite conference (site alternates every cycle)
  • Games against one team in each of the two remaining divisions that finished in the same position as they did in the previous season (site can vary)

To make this a little less confusing, I'll use our schedule this season as an example of how this format works...

  • We play Atlanta, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay in a home-and-home series because they are our divisional opponents
  • We play Dallas, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, and Washington because the NFC East is the entire division in our conference that we are scheduled to play this season
  • We play Buffalo, Miami, New England, and N.Y. Jets because the AFC East is the entire division in our opposite conference that we are scheduled to play this season
  • We play Minnesota and Arizona because they are from the two remaining divisions (NFC North and NFC West, respectively) and finished in the same position in their division as we did last season (in this case, they won their division, like we did)

Because of this system, we already know most of our opponents for however many seasons that this system lasts (and I hope it lasts a while, so I'm against adding another team). You can name all but two of our 2019 opponents, for example, because each team plays the other divisions in a cycle. Ours (starting with 2002, when this system was implemented) is: NFC North, NFC East, NFC West; AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, and AFC East. In other words, each team plays the same entire division in their conference (besides their own) every three seasons, and the same entire division in the opposite conference every four seasons. Therefore, in 2019, we will play the NFC West, the AFC South, and one team each from both the NFC North and NFC East that finishes in the same position in their division as we do in ours in 2018.

Whew! I know this all sounds complicated, but I hope it makes sense!

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I'm sure a lot of you already know, but here it is anyway... (I swear I feel like I posted something very similar recently...) yada yada yada

Thanks for the insight on the process of setting up schedules, gocanes88.  And Eric, you have a great nack and great patience in coming up with the possible scenarios for the rest of the season.  Good work, my friend!  It was amazing to see both our teams win on Sunday... the Panthers did an amazing job on the Falcons.  Our offense was clicking pretty well, and we got to see the Jake Delhomme we all know and love... not the other one.  Beating Atlanta is a big deal, especially considering how they have a better chance of making playoffs - so the win was really really important to them (maybe more than it was to us?).  I was really impressed with how well the defense controlled Matt Ryan - lots of throw-aways and pressure.  That was key, for obvious reasons, to the win.

You could tell Williams still wasn't 100%.  Stewart seemed to be out there in situations that Williams would have been in normally - and Stewart had more carries than normal (not based on stats, I didn't check, but it seemed that way to me).

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We have to keep winning and we need Atlanta to keep losing.. which could happen, Atlanta's next couple are more difficult then our next couple.

I just worry about our last 4, Pats, Vikes Saints and Giants.. if we win the next three, we could be ahead of Atlanta, but then we loss all those in a row at the end of the season (bad time for losses) and we could miss out on our already slim chance to make the playoffs. Who knows, we played well against Arizona, New Orleans and Atlanta. Our running game and defense seem to be clicking again and we've won 2 of the last 3. We could end up beating teams like the Vikes and Giants (who will probably be resting stars for the Playoffs). Philly Atlanta GB NYG and Carolina are fighting for the wildcard spots at 5-4 and 4-5 respectively and then it drops off after that. Chicago and the Niners have an outside shot. St Louis, Detroit Tampa and Seattle are already dead.

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A very frustrating loss tonight... we had many chances to win this game, and couldn't capitalize. Unlike the Saints game, this was a game against a team that we definitely had a chance to beat.

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That was the first NFL game I ever went to. Wow lots of fun. Great to see my team win too.

image

Just wondering at any point in the game could you hear the Dolphin fans over the panther fans? The stadium seemed to be at least 1/5 dolphin fans from the start.

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Looks like Matt Moore is going to start against Tampa Bay on Sunday... but it's only because Jake has a broken finger. I'll be curious to see how this turns out, since we've all been waiting for this.

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Matt Moore did well but how about that defense?? 5 INTS, 3 or more in the red zone, forced 2 missed field goals, one long, one short.. only allowed 6 points.

Carolina wins.. Atlanta loses... our slim playoff hopes are still alive however our last 4 games are nasty with a capital N...

Philly moves to 8-4 with the win over Atlanta, so that doesn't help us in the wildcard race. We probably won't make it but at least we aren't eliminated yet.

Nice game taking advantage of the lowly Bucs.

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Yeah, Gruden is a really good coach.  In fact, if we can't get Cowher (and fire Fox, which I don't want to happen), I hope we go after Gruden.

There were so many opportunities for TB to get back in the game, and even take the lead... it is amazing that Carolina won.  You are right, the defense faced every blown call and the turnovers with real heart.  That was very impressive.  And how about Beason!

Stewart did really well with his opportunity.  It is really nice to see our running game dominate for a full 4 quarters.  Matt had a few really good passes, too.  And his INT wasn't really his fault.  I'm optimistic.

I gotta point this out... Mike Carey's brother is the worst ref I have ever seen.  Not only did he %%@@@ up on the challenges, but that spot close to the end was more than generous.  Even John Lynch made sarcastic comments about it - "Well, looks like they'll just give them the first down."  There is no way on Earth that the RB got the yardage for a first...  The two challenges that went TB's way were rediculous.  You could clearly see the recievers either change hands or lose control of the ball in both plays (if only very briefly, still that is enough to make the incomplete call).  Go back to Pop Warner, Carey.

Did you see the warm reception Michael Vick got in his visit to Atlanta?

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^^ Wow if that happens the Bucs-Panthers rivalry will get turned up a large notch. I remember reading one of their message boards the day that Oakland knocked them out of the playoffs w/ 4 straight losses and a large number of them wanted him gone but didn't want him coaching in the NFC.

Yeah I saw the reception Vick got in ATL. Seemed kinda mixed although I could hear the boos.

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I was there at the Bucs/Panthers game. A lot of suspect calls and I can honestly say between Miami and Bucs fans, I don't know which are more obnoxious and a PITA. I almost stood up and shouted, hey even if they do win, they're still 2 and 10. LOL! We can thank our D for this game. Our offenses inability to capitalize on turnovers was embarrassing. Moore did okay and that long pass was a thing of beauty.

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Now we need a series of miracles as the teeth of the schedule comes in.. this is what gave us the hardest remaining schedule.

The pats do look beatable, but can we? Atlanta will hopefully get beat by the cardiac saints, but we have to win to take advantage.

Philly and Green Bay at 8-4 are the two wildcards now, so we arent even chasing atlanta anymore. but we still need atlanta to keep losing to even remotely stand a chance. Even if we go two and two the next 4 thats 7-9.. not good enough. Even though the Giants beat the Boys, they aren't playing very well.. and week 17 will NO rest starters? Depends on if they are still undefeated I guess. Is farve enough of a gunslinger for our defense to jump on? We could go 4-0 the next 4, or 0-4... it could go either way.

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