Panthers Blitz

Sad Panthers Fan wonders if her team is ... good?

Posted October 10

Wait so ...

Guys ...

Might the Panthers be ...

Good?

The NFL is a weird place where simultaneously everyone and no one is good. Except the Kansas City Chiefs, who are just crushing everyone, while Alex Smith has a QB renaissance. See? I told you the NFL was weird.

Look, after beating San Francisco in Week 1, I wasn't convinced. After a gross win over Buffalo and an even grosser actual loss to New Orleans, I was convinced that we were bad.

A win at New England and a win at Detroit later, both of which saw the Panthers get out to big leads, and ... I'm not so sure. I think that we might be good, and I don't know how to process it.

Doesn't mean I don't have things to complain about!

Oh is that a big lead? Pardon me while I set it on fire.

EVERY time.

This week, it wasn't the fault of the defense going into prevent. And other than one drive, I didn't take huge issue with the aggression of the play-calling on offense (although that drive was enough).

It was 27-10 with 9:31 to go in the third and it was that same score still going into the fourth quarter. But I knew what was coming. I've seen this movie before. Sure, the Lions have a penchant for this. But as I saw Matthew Stafford limping around out there on a thigh wrapped in like eight rolls of athletic tape, I knew it was going to happen. I KNEW IT.

The onslaught didn't even start until six minutes remained, but, because I knew it was when and not if, it didn't feel as bad.

Somehow, though, it didn't happen COMPLETELY. Thank God. By the way, when the Panthers run late-game offense like this, third downs become simultaneously the most exciting and nausea-inducing plays. I could literally go get a drink from upstairs and walk back down after a punt and the Panthers will already be facing third down. Cam was magnificent on third down though, especially late, but man oh man was my stomach in knots. That last third down conversion when he found Kelvin Benjamin was almost literally a game-saver. But they sure know how to keep me in suspense!

Hi, Matt Kalil. It's me, Lauren. For one week, good job.

I've been mean to him in the past. I'm not sorry. But this week, both my eyes and the numbers seemed to suggest that Matt Kalil was an extremely functional offensive lineman. So here is your reward, sir. You're welcome.

Cam is ... good?

That was as good as I've seen Cam Newton look in a game from start to finish (I may be nitpicking, but that interception at the start of the New England game was pretty bad) since ... 2015?

It's almost like having actual practice time and a healthy shoulder will make you look better as a quarterback! Weird. I was told he was just garbage all along! Huh.

But as shocking to me as Cam playing well, his receivers helped him out, finally. Devin Funchess looks to be coming into his own the last two weeks. In New England, it stuck out to me how well he was running his routes (yes, I do know what those are) and in his hometown game at Detroit, he was making all kinds of tough catches. Kelvin Benjamin looks like KB again, and Ed Dickson ... I mean ... you know, I'm not a football expert but I would suggest covering him. Detroit thought otherwise, seemingly. I'm not complaining!

Does it worry me that the Panthers couldn't really run the ball? Yes. But it worries me less now that I know that the passing attack will be better than competent.

Distraction Watch!

Look, it's been discussed. If Cam had just apologized right off the bat, we wouldn't be here in the first place. But he didn't. His apology was fine. We can move on. (If you don't think he should've apologized at all, you shouldn't even be reading this because we are not a match for each other. But pro tip: don't try to tell me what I can and can't talk about. Thanks!)

It's not the first time that Cam couldn't get out of his own way. What amused me to no end, though, was the constant reference to "The Distraction" throughout the game. I mean, technically, it was! But what's funny is that during most NFL broadcasts, you hear that word tossed around about things like domestic violence allegations, rape allegations, you name it. "Distractions!" Joe Mixon dealt with "distractions" last year for Oklahoma. Ray Rice is a "distraction." Colin Kaepernick would be a ... oh wait.

So next time you hear that word about something much more serious, remember all the ways it has been used.

Cam Fashion Watch!

Since I wouldn't know what a route is anyway, here's something from my puny non-football brain – WHO IS CAM WEARING OMG?!

(I'm kidding. I've very rarely ever said that sentence sincerely. Okay, never. I have walked up to a stranger in public and said "What are you wearing? I want to buy it. Well, not literally buy it OFF of you. I ... sorry bye" as I mumbled under my breath "I want someone to dress me.")

I'm not sure what to call this look, really. It's kind of 70s. The Rosie the Riveter hat is whatever. Look, Cam is my QB, and I still like him as a player, and he's probably a fine enough person, but if you think I'm going to get all in my feels because he wears Rosie the Riveter on his hat with hearts around it and talks about learning what she did during World War II, you don't know me that well.

Especially not now that a 25-year-old beat reporter is supposedly having her address posted onlineand getting death threats.

(And yes, I'm aware of her racist tweets from 4-5 years ago. I'm also certain Newton didn't know about them when he made the comments, since he didn't even know her name. That doesn't excuse the tweets – it just makes them irrelevant to this particular incident. I'm also certain that none of those things warrant death threats.)

Like I already said, I accept Cam's apology and we can all move on. Don't think, though, that it's never going to get brought up again by me or anyone else. Newton lost one sponsor that he was evidently going to lose anyway. He'll be just fine. He doesn't need me or you or anyone else to defend him.

This is a league where Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones would rather insist his players honor the national anthem a certain way than that they don't commit crimes against women. It's also a league where many fans chose to boycott over the peaceful protests during the anthem rather than the NFL's numerous bungled domestic violence investigations. Priorities, right?

Cam never harmed anyone, man or woman. He made a silly comment. That's it. A dose of perspective for sure. As long as he stops talking about it, I'm willing to stop too.

Quick parental lesson.

My kid, as it turned out, was sick.

As with anything in this life, if it feels too good to be true, it probably is.

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