Jake Delhomme, who recently had Tommy John surgery this off season, seems to be back in form. The Rajin' Cajin' has led the Panthers to a 4-2 record and a 3-way tie for first place in what seems to be a competitive NFC South.
Jake has shown glimpses of his 2003 season when the Panthers made a run to the Superbowl. Early in the season the Panthers upset the Chargers with a Delhomme threw a 14 yard touchdown pass to Dante Rosario. Jake played extremely well against the Falcons throwing for almost 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, in his most recent game, he had a lousy passer rating 38.6 and threw 3 interceptions. Aside from the horrible game against the Bucs during week 6, Jake is definitely back as an elite quarterback.
At home, no defense wants to face the Panther’s passing game especially with explosive wide receiver Steve Smith and the acquisition of former Panther Muhsin Muhammad. Steve Smith sat out for the first two week as a part of a suspension for hitting a teammate during training camp. Delhomme has the same weapons he did when the Panthers were on top of their game. He has thrown for 1,338 yards, 5 touchdown, 5 interceptions (3 of which came in week 6), and a measly passer rating of 79.4 this season.
Although his stats may seem mediocre, his presence on the field is undetected by statistics. Jake riled up his teammates after taking a serious hit during week 2 when Carolina hosted Chicago. The Panthers were down 17 to 3 before making a 17 point comeback to win the game due to Delhomme’s leadership. Jake is having success at home but needs to start producing on the road. Statistically his game on the road is weak and the Panthers seem the most vulnerable in their game.
Look for the Delhomme to play very well this season with a likely chance of leading the Panthers to the playoffs. Once the Panthers establish a consistent running game, Delhomme should be unstoppable with Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad at his disposal. It’s simple, when the Panthers run well, they pass well.