Carolina Panthers Sticking With Delhomme...For Now

Austin PennyAnalyst IOctober 28, 2009

The Carolina Panthers are sticking with Jake Delhomme—at least through Sunday.

Head coach John Fox said after practice Wednesday that Delhomme would be under center Sunday in Arizona, putting to rest any ideas that backups Matt Moore and A.J. Feeley might have a chance at grabbing the starting role.

Fox said that, in his eyes, Delhomme still gives the Panthers the "best chance to win." A city full of fans and a growing number of NFL analysts beg to differ, but that doesn't matter.  

Delhomme leads the league with 13 interceptions through seven weeks (six games) and has shown a tendency to overthrow his receivers all year. No Panthers wide receiver has caught a touchdown pass this season, and Delhomme only has four to his credit—all to tight ends.

Calls for Delhomme to hit the bench have been coming in by the truckload this week since his three-interception performance at home Sunday in a loss to Buffalo.

Delhomme now faces the team where his epic downfall started—the Arizona Cardinals.  In January, when the Cardinals came to Charlotte for a highly-anticipated playoff matchup, Delhomme brought the Panthers' hopes for a Super Bowl return crashing down on the heads of those in attendance and watching at home, tossing five interceptions and losing a fumble in an embarrassing 33-13 loss.

Since that dreadful night, the Panthers have been in what seems to be a daze of sorts, as they have lost eight of their past 10 games since (including preseason). Delhomme has not righted the ship, and continues to put up shocking numbers in the turnover department.  

The usually confident and charismatic Delhomme was reduced to a shell of himself Sunday at the post game news conference, fighting back tears as he tried to explain what went wrong. After learning he would be starting in Arizona, Delhomme sounded almost less than enthused. 

He said that he would have understood if he was benched—"How could I blame him?" were his exact words—but went on to say he was still looking for redemption. "...I was hoping it would be me. I’m going down swinging. I don’t know any other way to put it," said Delhomme, his confidence visibly shaken, "Would I sit here and tell you it’s through the roof? I mean, that would be a lie. I still do have a lot of confidence, but it's frustrating. A couple plays a game are just not … And that’s something you work on, that 'forget it' mentality.” 

Let's home Delhomme can "forget it" quicker than Panthers fans and turn his play around.