So far, it looks like the Carolina Panthers are in for another mediocre season

in sports •  2 months ago 

I wouldn't say that I am a super sports fan. For the most part I just find out about the scores after the fact and don't even bother to watch the games. There is an exception to this though and that is the NFL. I was an NFL fan most of my life but this became even stronger when North Carolina got their own expansion team. Prior to that we were kind of obligated by proximity to be Washington Redskin fans, and I never really liked them very much and since they aren't even in our state, I didn't follow this bandwagon.

When the Carolina Panthers were introduced to the league back in 1995 before the stadium was even complete. They were almost immediately a force to be reckoned with.


src

In the very first season that the Panthers had their own stadium in Charlotte they finished first in their division and went 12-4 for the season. This got all of us home fans worked up only to be disappointed badly for the next 5 years where they would only have two seasons where they won 50% of their games. In 2001 they went 1-15. They turned things around in one year though and in 2003 and 2005 they made the playoffs and even made it to the SuperBowl where they lost to the Patriots in a come-from-behind victory for New England.

Since then they have made the playoffs 5 times, which I suppose is good enough when you look at the rest of the league but the most disappointing year was one of the most winning when they went to the SuperBowl as the only undefeated team in the entire NFL only to completely forget how to play as a team as they went on to lose SuperBowl 50 to the Denver Broncos 10-24 in a very frustrating and one-sided affair.


image.png
src
The much ballyhooed Cam Newton just couldn't make anything happen that day despite a season filled with epic and consistent play

In recent years Panther fans have been extremely pessimistic to the point where when we play poorly, it is kind of expected. I suppose you could say that as a team, and as a fanbase, we are quite jaded. I know that when I tune into games it is more of a keep your fingers crossed sort of dream that they are going to do anything other than completely suck and the preseason this year kind of gave us hope that we might be decent this year after shutting out Buffalo and defeating Washington. Then the regular season hit. Two embarrassing losses in a row started our season out 0-2 and the recent victory over New Orleans didn't do much to redeem our spirits.


image.png
src

If you don't follow American football I'll point out a basic feature that kind of ensures your team is going to struggle the entire season. If the offensive line can't give the QB just a little bit of time to try to make plays happen, said plays are not going to happen. Unfortunately it appears so far the the Panthers might have one of the worst offensive lines in the entire NFL.

This was a big problem with Cam Newton who was a running QB and considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of the past 20 years. Baker Mayfield and P.J. Walker, who most people have never heard of, don't stand a chance if this situation can't be improved. I am a big believer that defense wins football games but you also need to be at least a little bit capable of putting some of your own points on the board and thus far this season it is just frustrating to see the Panthers even try. The fact that the club can't even seem to decide who is going to play quarterback, constantly subbing Mayfield and Walker in and out of the games. There is also talk about putting veteran Sam Darnold back in the slot as soon as he is finished being injured. Most fans kind of loathe Darnold because of past years' performances where a completion percentage of around 50% was expected and interceptions were all but guaranteed.

Perhaps I am being a bit greedy because there are a ton of teams that do far worse than Carolina does. I think I just place so much emotional importance on them because they are the only team in the only sport that I actually care about. It's just so disappointing to have your hopes dashed every week. Maybe I should stop placing so much importance on a silly game.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!