The 2018 Carolina Panthers’ season was symbolically summariz

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The 2018 Carolina Panthers’ season was symbolically summariz

Postby zhangzk » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:52 am

The team came out firing Youth Luke Kuechly Jersey , with halfback passes for touchdowns, aggressive play calling, and a defensive effort akin to the best of times we had grown accustomed to and had missed for the last 13 games.Make no mistake, this Panthers team came to play, and they gave a likely Super Bowl contender one of the hardest games they’ve played and will play this season. The defense came to shut down Drew Brees and Sean Payton, and, stats be damned, they did. They kept an inept offense in the game after a crazy trick play got them their first and only points, you really cannot ask much else against a team as talented and diverse offensively like these New Orleans Saints. This game wasn’t just Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, this defense as a unit showed up and gave that offense hell. Even in the waning moments, when all seemed lost, Ron Rivera trusted his defense to make a stop and they did just that with a miraculous forced fumble by James Bradberry that flew into the endzone and created a touchback. If the offense capitalized and won, this would have been one of the greatest late season efforts in Carolina Panthers history. Sadly, as much as the season has showed us, this team cannot capitalize on opportunities.I firmly believe this team can be great , but I stress the word CAN. The offense has pieces that can break a game, however collectively they’ve only seemed to break themselves as of late. Cam Newton cannot shoulder the burden of this offensive passing game alone, and Christian McCaffery cannot be his only outlet. These pieces need time to gel, and that’s okay. The 2018 season seemed to be a prime opportunity to break the classic even-year mold and allow this team to be an every year contender, however, after watching 14 games I can plainly see that they need more time. This offense has flashed tremendous game breaking ability, but they lack the consistency that you see from the better NFL offenses, and the same can be said about the defense. In every game except this one.I was shocked by what this defense brought to the table against their greatest foe to begin the season. This Saints coaching staff wrote the book on how to beat this defense in 2017, yet with a lesser on-field product a year later this defense damn near won the game by itself. They got after Drew Brees, they did well against the run, and the defensive backs made plays on the ball I wasn’t expecting, based on 13 other games as a body of work. This defense surprised me, this defense surprised them.The Panthers are a team built on the players, momentum, personality Cheap Trai Turner Jersey , and heart. I, as a fan, was saddened to see them lose, because I saw something from this defense I wasn’t sure I would see again. They played with heart, they spit in the face of one of the best offenses in the game today, and they made them work like hell for that victory. That may be disappointing now, but it gives me hope for the future. Because this team found the fire that made them successful in the past. This team played with heart. This team can still hang with the big guys.And come 2019? The NFL better be ready for the storm on the horizon. Over the last four years the NFC South’s Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints have been among the league’s better teams. The Panthers have gone 39-25, the Saints 38-26, and the Falcons 36-28 in the regular season since 2015 and each team has made the playoffs twice. Oh, I almost forgot, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also a professional football team with a pirate ship in their end zone.Despite their regular season success, the Panthers, Saints Cheap Donte Jackson Jersey , and Falcons are becoming synonymous with choking in the playoffs. 2015 - Carolina Panthers, Super Bowl 50The 15-1 Panthers averaged a league leading 31.3 points per game in the regular season and 40 points in two playoff games. Not surprisingly, they were 5.5-point favorites against a well-past-his-prime Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.But under the glaring lights of the Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers picked a very bad day to have a very bad day. Mike Remmers couldn’t block Von Miller and the Carolina coaching staff never adjusted to contain him. Mike Tolbert lost his first fumble of the year. The Panthers punt coverage team gave up a totally bizarre 61-yard punt return. The Panthers offense botched a chance to attempt a field goal at the end of the second quarter. Graham Gano doinked a 44-yard field goal off the upright. Carolina committed 12 penalties, several of which were totally unnecessary mental gaffes.And despite all this, the Panthers got the ball back with 4:51 left trailing by just six points and couldn’t close the deal. Yes, I’m still bitter about this. 2016 – Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl LIAtlanta jumped out to a 28-3 lead in the third quarter and seemed to have put the game on ice. After all, no previous Super Bowl winner had ever made up more than a 10-point deficit to win the big game.But then the Patriots pulled off what is perhaps the greatest comeback in NFL history. With 3:02 remaining in the third quarter they scored a touchdown but missed the extra point to trim the deficit to 28-9. With 9:44 left in the game the Pats kicked a field goal to pull to 28-12. With 5:56 remaining a touchdown and two-point conversion made it 28-20. Later, Julian Edelman’s unbelievable leg catch set up a final touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game at 28 with just 57 seconds remaining.The game went to overtime, Tom Brady won the coin toss and the rest is history. Some look at this game as the greatest comeback ever. For others, Atlanta gagged up the biggest choke job in NFL history.2017 – New Orleans Saints, the “Minneapolis Miracle”The New Orleans Saints faced the Minnesota Vikings in a tough divisional playoff road game. It looked like the Saints were going to punch their ticket to the NFC Championship game after a Wil Lutz field goal put New Orleands up 24-23 with just 25 seconds left. Minnesota got one final possession and advanced the ball to their own 39 yard line with 10 seconds remaining. They had no timeouts left. At this point the Saints had a 97.4 percent win probability, per ESPN. Quarterback Case Keenum threw a predictable deep pass to Stefon Diggs down the right sideline. The Saints rookie safety Marcus Williams broke on the ball but instead of knocking it down he dove low, missed Diggs completely Da'Norris Searcy Jersey , and allowed Minny’s wide receiver to race 61-yards for a shocking walk-off touchdown.The Vikings celebrated. The Saints choked. 2018 – New Orleans Saints, the Robey-Coleman no-callLet’s be clear about this one: The Saints got hosed on the pass interference that wasn’t called against the Rams Nickell Robey-Coleman late in the fourth quarter. If the refs had done their jobs the Saints would have likely kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to head to the Super Bowl. Instead, they lost in overtime. But let’s be clear about another thing: The Saints choked. After jumping out to a 13-0 first quarter lead at home with their deafening crowd, they somehow allowed the Rams to outscore them 10-0 in the second quarter. New Orleans went up by 10 late in the third quarter but couldn’t seal the deal. And remember, the Saints got the ball to start overtime and could have won the game with a touchdown, just as Tom Brady did in this year’s AFC Championship game. Instead, Drew Brees threw an interception on the third play of the extra period. Brady showed us what clutch looks like in overtime. The Saints showed us what it looks like to choke. The Panthers, Saints, and Falcons are good regular season teams, but let’s hope people in the South know how to perform the Heimlich. There’s been a whole lot of postseason choking going on down here.
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