Sunday December 6th. Game day. Our opportunity to reach 12-0. Only Drew Brees and his 4-7 New Orleans Saints stand between us and equalling our biggest win total in a season, all without a defeat. With all that in mind, I'll keep today's piece short and uplifting and our boys can deliver the real present with the W.
On This Day: 12-6-2009
I've looked back through every season of the Carolina Panthers existence within the NFL and it seems today is only the third time we have played on this day. Our first excursion ended in a heartbreaking 28-31 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers back in 1998. I'm not going into that on game day though.
We next played on this date 11 years later. Like today, we were facing an NFC South rival, and hopefully the co-incidences continue and we get the win today like we did six years ago. On that occasion though we played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the margin of victory was 16-6.
It was a hard fought victory too. Jake Delhomme had broken a finger on his throwing hand in the previous weeks loss to the New York Jets, and DeAngelo Williams was missing too. With the offense shot at, John Fox turned to a Jon Beason led defense to help and boy did they deliver. Tampa Bay had rookie quarterback Josh Freeman under center but the Panthers picked him off five times, three of them in the red zone. Beason himself grabbed two of the interceptions and Chris Gamble ended any slim chances of a fight back with the fifth pick and 18 seconds remaining.
On offense Jonathan Stewart delivered a big game with 120 yards, complete with a 3 yard, first quarter touchdown. John Kasay nailed his three field goals and the extra point to complete the scoring. I'd be perfectly happy to see a repeat performance from Stewart today, just so long as the outcome of the game remains the same.
Inspirational thought of the day: We all know Sam Mills is the inspiration for our superb motto 'Keep Pounding'. His speech is unforgettable and his legacy lives on within every member of this team and always will. So today when you send your tweets and messages in support of our team, remember this, Sam Mills wore number 51. 5+1 = 6. Take this as a sign and let's double the 6 to 12-0.
By Dan Rawlinson, UK