I am still angry. I am calmer, but still disturbed over Carolina’s carelessness.
I do give the Cardinals complete credit for preparing for the game and performing like the professionals they are. The offense still does not run well, but the mere threat of the run sent the Panther’s defense in hiding.
Arizona’s defense has learned to tackle well, a skill lacking in their October loss to Carolina.
Did the Panthers defensive backs purchase tickets? Because they stood around, ran in circles, and acted more like fans watching the game than participating.
Jake “Delfavre” threw five interceptions. Jake “Delromo” had a fumble to boost. The bad Jake is ba-ack! Worse than ever.
After a very interesting 12-4 regular season in which the Carolina Panthers often found ways to win, even when they were not playing their best, the Cardiac Cats gave a most horrible effort and performance in their playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Now Panthers fans know how Dallas Cowboys fans have felt in recent previous seasons. One and done, despite the talent. Underachievers. Chokers. Losers.
What good is 12-4 and then flush the season down the toilet? Ending the season with a bitter taste barely describes the frustration, folly, and vanity.
It’s not losing this game that bothers me. It’s the lack of effort, lack of intensity, the stupidity of decision-making, and the total humiliation. It’s the lack of or denying of reality in post-game conferences too.
What is the reality? Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme will never lead Carolina to a Super Bowl championship.
After being the only NFL team to go undefeated at home (8-0), the Cardinals completely dominated the Panthers. The game offers a lot of questions.
Many times it is unfair and inaccurate to make a scapegoat out of the head coach and the starting quarterback.
Not this time. They did not walk the walk when it really matters in the postseason.
Exactly what did Coach John Fox and assistants do to prepare the team in the two weeks time they had after the end of the regular season?
When it became obvious that quarterback Jake Delhomme was giving his poorest performance of any game in his NFL career, why was a backup (McCown or Moore) not inserted in the game sometime in the second half?
Why did the Panthers offensive coaches abandon the running game?
Why did it take Carolina’s defensive coaches so very long to adjust from zone coverage to man-to-man coverage, which proved to be more successful?
Why was Fox so nonchalant with his attitude and responses in his post game conference?
Pitiful. Embarrassing. Horrible. Terrible. Incompetent. Sorry. Depressing. One and done. 2003 one-year wonders.
Delhomme? Six turnovers. Five interceptions. Stupid decisions. Throwing into double and triple coverage. Throwing the ball up for grabs in prayer that Steve Smith will make another miraculous adjustment and catch.
The Panthers defense? Swiss cheese. Inconsistent effort. Lack of intensity. Going through the motions.
Lucas can’t cover. Lucas is so far from the wide receiver, he can’t even draw a pass interference penalty. Marshall is only marginally better.
Julius Peppers. Dominating in one game but disappearing in the next game. Inconsistent. Lacks fire in the belly. Not a team leader.
Excuses are for losers. Replacing key incompetent personnel with competent professionals is the only logical rout to go.
But will it happen?
Expect John Fox and his mediocre coaching to return for the 2009 season. Expect Jake Delhomme (a.k.a. “Joke Delfavromo” for the six turnovers), to be on the last year of his contract, to be the starter again with no real competition.
Expect the Panthers to continue to be short-term and short-sighted with their decisions.
Instead of drafting, trading, or signing a free agent quarterback to be prepared to become Delhomme’s replacement, expect the same old excuses.
Carolina has a solid offense line, a core of competent wide receivers, and fabulous young running backs. Perhaps the tight end position needs upgrading. Too bad all of this offensive talent will have another year wasted with Delhomme as starting quarterback.
Yes, Delhomme is better than the backups as been proven in previous seasons. Rodney Peete, the quarterback whom Delhomme replaced early in the 2003 season, never had a game with five interceptions and one fumble for a total of six turnovers.
We expect Jake to have one or two early silly interceptions but then to become fiery and settled and focused on leading the Cardiac Cats to victory.
Not going to happen. Not in 2008. Not in 2009. Jake Delhomme will never lead Carolina to a Super Bowl championship.
2010? New head coach Bill Cowher? Time will tell.
Quote of the Day:
Critics are like eunuchs in a harem. They're there every night, they see it done every night, they see how it should be done every night, but they can't do it themselves
--Brendan Behan--Quoted by Gyles Brandreth in *Theatrical Disasters*
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