Dolphins Vs Panthers Preview: "Direct" Snapper

Jeffrey BoswellAnalyst INovember 19, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 15:  Steve Smith #89 of the Carolina Panthers jogs on the field during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

Believe it or not, the Panthers are just one game out of a wild-card spot after Sunday’s 28-19 win over the Falcons. At 4-5, Carolina trails four other teams with 5-4 records, and although the playoffs are months away, Carolina’s fortunes have vastly improved lately.

They’ll try to keep that momentum rolling when the Dolphins visit Bank Of America Stadium on Thursday night.

“Hey, what happens when the ‘wildcat’ meets a Panther?’” says Steve Smith. “The same thing that happens when a Panther meets a Panther for a bathroom rendezvous---‘fur’ flies. If there’s one thing Panther cheerleaders aren’t, it’s shy. Talk about a direct 'snap-per.’”

“Anyway, after two touchdowns last week, it looks like Jake Delhomme and I are finally on the same page—the sports page. We’re actually appearing in the box score. For much of this season, without a lot of action coming my way, the grind of the season was getting to me. I felt like I was punching a ‘time clock,’ which, despite rumors to the contrary, is not Ken Lucas’ nickname.”

Regardless of all the talk that the “wildcat” is losing its newness and is therefore less successful, the Dolphins still prefer to run it like it’s going out of style. Last week, Miami rushed for 199 yards against the Buccaneers, with Ricky Williams posting 102 of those.

“The Panthers are playing like the team that won the NFC South last year,” says Williams, “so it won’t be easy in North Carolina. I’m not sure why they call it the ‘Tar Heel State,’ but I can only surmise that tar is as pesky on one’s heels as it is in one’s pipe. That’s not from personal experience; of course I learned it second-hand.”

The rushing attacks of both teams will dictate the pace of the game, but Steve Smith gives the Panthers an edge, mostly because he can catch the ball. Smith scores on a 14-yard pass from Delhomme late, then celebrates in the end zone with a pose imitating teammate Captain Munnerlin, a act which is not forbidden by the NFL.

Carolina wins, 27-20.