The Panthers march into Bank of America stadium this week riding a 2 game winning streak. Not-so-anxiously awaiting are the slumping New Orleans Saints. Carolina’s winning ways (much maligned by mainstream media) have come on the back of a ferocious defense. The offense is missing injured wide-out Kelvin Benjamin, but true to the team motto, they continue to keep pounding. The Saints, on the other hand, look to be a sinking ship. Captain Drew is steering with one arm tied (perhaps painfully) behind his back and his first mate has been replaced by insert player name here. To his defense, Brees has been staunch in his attempts to repel Father Time's advances, but his arm is the equivalent of a half done linguine noodle. Adding to the dead-weight, his accompanying shipmates on the defensive side resemble cavemen trying to invent fire in a monsoon. We’ve all seen those amazing ball hawking skills exhibited by the (S)aints secondary last week. The poor guy is probably still looking for that ball. Seriously, teammates really should check on him.
Carolina has been winning, albeit U-G-L-Y, but hey wins are wins, right? Leading the charge is our charismatic QB Cam Newton, he of superhero tales of daring do. His receiving core….is the subject of maddening media debate and criticism. A preseason injury to Batman (Kelvin Benjamin for those not in the know) may have dented initial sky-high expectations, but the team has soldiered on. Defensive stalwart Thomas Davis and his partner in pain Luke Kuechly bring the rain to opposing offenses, while Josh Norman and his posse in the secondary keep WR’s in check. A year ago the NFC south was a bag of dirty diapers set aflame, and the media will never let Panthers fans forget that our second (ahem consecutive ahem) division championship came on the tail end of a losing season. We’ve made history in our division and people still find fault, ignoring proper credit. Maybe this year we kick down the doors and shout to the world that we are for real, we are here to stay. You don’t have to like us but you will recognize us.
My prediction this week is 31-13 Carolina as the Panthers punch another hole in the stern of the S.S Payton.
By Jay Holman