I told you so.
(Note: This article is a response to the last one that I wrote. You can read that one here.)
The Carolina Panthers faced off against the Oakland Raiders this last Sunday in an offensively disgusting game. The quarterbacks for both teams (excluding Marques Tuiasosopo, who replaced Andrew Walter for only a few downs and ended up completing one of two passes for four yards) combined to complete 21 of 59 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown, and six interceptions.
Jake Delhomme was the worst of the two. He completed only seven of 27 passes (his receivers were at fault for only one or two incomplete passes) and threw four interceptions in the worst game of his career. He played so poorly that he actually became the second quarterback since 1970 to win a game after throwing four interceptions and completing less than 30% of his passes.
Seemingly the only offense that showed up on the field was that of DeAngelo Williams and Justin Fargas. Williams literally had the game of his career, racking up 140 yards and one touchdown on just 19 rushes (7.4 yards a rush), while Fargas had 89 yards on 22 rushes (four yards a rush). And other than that, this game was run by the defense—the Panthers' defense, that is.
Carolina's defense had another amazing Sunday this week, and proved once again why they are one of the top defenses in the NFL. Julius Peppers alone had seven tackles, and sacked the quarterback three times for a total loss of 20 yards. The Panthers' defense intercepted two passes which, when not compared to the Raiders' four, is a pretty decent statistic.
The most amazing thing Carolina's defense did on Sunday was overcome four interceptions thrown by their quarterback. If you take a look at the above statistic in a different light, the Panthers' defense became the first defense since 1970 to lead their team to a victory despite a horrible performance by their quarterback. This defense works together seamlessly and, as I've said before, they are not to be taken lightly.
Sunday's game was another perfect example of the Panthers' inconsistency. The Panthers got lucky again this week - they were playing the Raiders. But, as I said last week, Carolina can't expect to have an off day like this in the playoffs and come out with a win. If they want a realistic chance at making it to the playoffs this year, they need to figure out how to be consistent. And if they want a chance at winning a playoff game...let's just say they have some work to do.
The Panthers are currently the number three team in the NFL (behind the Titans and the Giants) with a 7-2 rating. As a Panthers fan, I am incredibly excited about my team this year, and I hope they are able to pull together and start playing consistently from week to week. If they do, I think they have a very high chance of making the playoffs, if not the Super Bowl.