Keeping Up With The 2009 Carolina Panthers

Thaddeus YeiserCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2009

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 18:  Defensive end Julius Peppers #90 of the Carolina Panthers tackles quarterback Josh Johnson #11 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on October 18, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Through the first six games of a season, any competant sports fan should have some idea of how most of the teams around the NFL are doing.

For instance if you take a 6-0 team and compare them to an 0-6 team, it should be fairly easy to determine which is doing better. It shouldn't be difficult to tell which team has a shot at the playoffs.

Through six weeks, the Carolina Panthers have taken us fans on a roller coaster, and it hasn't always a fun one.

In fact, at times I have felt sick to my stomach and begged the ride to stop. (Please see my previous article.)

But through it all, the Panthers have showed us two things about them. They can beat the easy teams, and will get trucked by the good ones.

The Panthers are 2-3 coming off back to back wins over the flopping Redskins and the abyssmal Buccaneers. Previous to these victories the Panthers were destroyed by the Eagles, Falcons, and Cowboys.

They have a game coming up against the Bills, a 2-4 team. Which is then followed by teams like Arizona, New York, Minnesota, another with the Falcons, and two against the Saints. The list goes on.

Now lets get onto some good news.  Since Week One, the Panthers have, slowly but surely, made some improvements. After the disaster in Philadelphia, the turnovers have decreased and the defense has slowly improved.

Basically the Panthers are a team with a lot of positives and lot of negatives.

The positives are that we have a stout offensive line that provides holes for a powerful running game.

We have a defense that is looking better and better each week with Ron Meeks' new scheme. They held Dallas in check, and then shut down both Washington and Tampa Bay. We have a winnable game in Buffalo coming up as well.

The negatives however make me take a step back. Our schedule after Buffalo is brutal. We have an aging quarterback and a suspect receiving corps. But, if we keep improving then we have a chance.

With the Bills next week, if we win that game, we'll be 3-3. But, again, all our wins will have been against non contenders.

But if the defense continues to improve and the running game becomes more and more established headed into the Arizona showdown, then we have a chance. If not, well, read my previous article to find out what will happen.