It sure did feel like it. The beat-down delivered by the Philadelphia Eagles to the Carolina Panthers was the worst Monday Night Football game that I can remember. It may have been the worst Panthers' game I can remember, and I’ve see some bad ones. I’ve sat on the 5th row through a 33-3 massacre by the Saints; I’ve paid a regretful amount of money to see Peyton Manning carve up Carolina, and we all watched the 6 turnover playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Hell, we’ve seen some pretty ugly blowouts this season, but tonight's game takes the cake.
It’s splitting hairs to quantify the worst Panthers performance, let alone the worst MNF game ever, but this game has to be in the conversation for both when it is all said and done.
The Panthers stunk. No ifs, ands, or buts….well maybe some butt. There just isn’t anything moderately positive to take away from this game, except perhaps that the late garbage touchdowns to Kelvin Benjamin spared Carolina from the worst Monday Night Football performance ever.
Starting with two turnovers in Carolina’s first three offensive plays, the Panthers played horribly. DeAngelo Williams, who rarely fumbles, coughed it up on the first series, and Cam Newton threw a INT on his first pass attempt. The Panthers offensive line looked, well, pathetic, and the receivers ran sloppy routes and had untimely butter-fingers. While everyone feared for Newton’s safety, his play was dangerous--to his defenders anyway. Yes, many were holding the rusty razor blade at some point Monday night. Newton finished with 3 INTs and 2 fumbles, ganking a couple garbage TDs and free yards in the last 5 mins of the game.
Flipping to the defensive side, there wasn’t anything much better to report. Charles Johnson suffered an injury during the first defensive series, alluding to Carolina’s wounded nature. The defense tried its best to survive early, but all efforts were futile. Carolina’s secondary was about as bad as Thomas DeCoud and Roman Harper looked, and they really can't get better given their age and talent. It doesn’t matter how good the Panthers linebackers are, or how much Greg Hardy would have helped the pass rush, the Panthers' defense has been garbage since week two. Carolina has given up 30+ points three times since week three, and ranked near last in every statistical category. One can only imagine how this beating will affect the stat sheet.
This loss will result in significant fallout. The team is shell-shocked, and there will be some heads rolling when the beating that is 2014 is finished. It’s hard to think that this bloody corpse can do much other than just die this season. The Monday Night Football debacle has to be viewed as debilitating, if not fatal.
Seriously, after this performance, how are we supposed to counter this claim?
What do you think? Was this the worst Monday Night Football game you can remember? Has there been a worse beating in Panthers' history than this? Settle the debate by leaving a comment below. Someone in Panther Nation has to step anyway.
Here’s a look at historical MNF beatings. It really doesn't help...I can attest.