Sunday, October 5, 2008

Week 5: Playing the JV

Brethren: I witnessed the Carolina Panthers absolute and utter destruction of the Kansas City Chiefs in live and living color from Section 539 in Bank of America Stadium this early afternoon -- and let me tell you, it was nearly unbelievable how thoroughly the Panthers beat another team from the National Football League.

It's not that I think the Panthers are the best team ever and the Chiefs are the worst, but that 34-0 drubbing clearly showed that on certain days, the Panthers can do whatever they want on a football field. The defense set the tone from their very first series, forcing the Chiefs into negative yards and a punt. The running game then set the table, opening huge holes and cutback opportunities for DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart. That then opened up the passing game, getting Smitty involved and unleashing Moose on a slant that went for 47 yards and a TD.

It was as complete a game as I've seen over the last few years. The game honestly reminded me of the Giants and Bears playoff games from the 2005 year, except back then, that was just Smitty dominating opponents. Today, it was the defense, priding themselves on getting that goose-egg; the running game, controlling the clock and breaking off big plays, and Jake, stewarding an efficient throat-slashing of a clearly inferior opponent.

Today was brutal. Today was beautiful. Today was hopefully the very beginning of a long march towards February. It's the kind of game that lets you start dreaming big as you board your plane from Charlotte to New York. It lets you think, "I wonder how this team would fare against someone its own size."

Today, the motherfucking Carolina Panthers put their stamp on a game, and even if it was against a team that looked like a JV squad, it doesn't happen often in the NFL.

More musings, desde:

Brethren (cont'd): There's really not much more to say, but here are a few patented bulleted thoughts:

- The platoon system at running back is certainly working. Williams had his big game we've all been waiting for, but you have to recognize that having Stewart to spell him and keep the ground game working had to keep him sharp and in shape to bust out the big plays.

- Not enough can be said about the defense. Utterly dominant today. From Pep and the quick front four, to the ball-hawking LBs, to the white-on-rice DBs, it was a full unit effort. Quite impressive to watch.

- Being at the stadium definitely let you in on some things you don't catch on TV. Like the way Pep waves his hand at the crowd behind the end zone, egging on them to scream louder and taunting the opposing huddle. That was cool to see.

- And the TopCats are hot, even when they're not doing their lesbian things.

Nacho's got more, but onwards and upwards to a divisional rival I truly despise next week as the Cats travel to Tampa to face the Bucs. If today was about taking care of business early and often, next week will definitely be about taking control of the division. Let's do it.

Nacho: I wore a cape and dressed a stuffed monkey in a full Carolina Panthers uniform to the bar yesterday. The Panthers' surgical removal of the heart from the still-beating chest cavities of the Chiefs was a fun one to watch as a fan. I enjoyed swapping "DeAngelo Williams is frustrating a lot of people on their fantasy benches" barbs and eventually spent my day focused on the Redskins/Iggles game.

The Panthers rolled, and we eventually put Josh "Chainsaw" McCown under center. I led a rousing chorus of "Hail to the Redskins" after every score. Heck, Nick Goings saw significant play time. It was a great day of one o'clock games, and another middling day of 4pms.

Now, of course, the real season begins. We're through almost a third of the season, and we played one team with a winning record. Tampa Bay, again, is a hard team to read, but they seem to be squeezing out victories left and right. Everybody's talking about the NFC East and how good they are but I think they're gonna beat each other up so much, it's gonna be the other team with a bye week in the first round whose most dangerous. Mark my words.

Onward to that place that has a fucking Pirate Ship attached to it.

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