Carolina Panthers: C3 Three Up and Three Down

Three Things The Carolina Panthers Did Well

I had the pleasure of going to this game so I got to see firsthand what the Carolina Panthers did very well! It wasn’t exactly easy to see because I was in the nosebleeds, but the new big screens helped! Going into this game I was really worried that it was going to be a shootout. The Detroit Lions offense has a lot of weapons and the best wide receiver in the NFL. I didn’t think that the Panthers could matchup with all of the talented players on the Lions. I predicted the Panthers losing this matchup 28-17 and I was wrong… but it feels great to be wrong! The Panthers defense was able to tame the Lions and shutdown Megatron! This game was a great test and it showed our true colors.

So, what three things did the Carolina Panthers do well?

1.    Super Mario – I was tailgating and I felt my phone vibrating. I reach into my pocket and read the message from ESPN. The message said, “Greg Hardy will not play today.” We all know what is going on with his case, so the Panthers would have to shut him down at some point. If Hardy wasn’t going to start, then who was? The answer was Mario Addison. Addison was a force all game, racking up 2.5 sacks and getting in Matthew Stafford’s face. The defense did a great job of pressuring Stafford and keeping his fantasy football numbers down.

2.    Calvin Who? -
I cannot say enough about how well the Carolina Panthers defense covered Calvin Johnson. He might have had 83 yards but for him that is less than normal. Melvin White and the Panthers defense did not let him get in the end zone, and that was the recipe for success! 

3.    Cam Staying Safe – It was Cam Newton’s first game of the season and he looked a little rusty at first but then he figured it out. He did not try to overdo it and he made a lot of smart plays. He did not try to force it and it looked like he has matured as a quarterback. As long as Cam doesn’t turn the ball over the Panthers will be successful. The Panthers will look to Cam to manage the game throughout the season and rely on our defense to carry the workload.

Three Up by Justin Raymond
Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19

Three Things the Panthers Didn't Do Well

The Panthers looked dominant against the Detroit Lions yesterday at "The Vault".  Fans had so much to cheer for. In a 24-7 beat down it would seem there is not much that the winners would have done that needs improvement. Well that was not the case in this win. Carolina did many things exceptionally well but here are three things they will need to work on.

1. Mike Tolbert- The "the fire hydrant" or "bowling ball" did not have a good game. As a whole Carolina did not run the ball well, again, only 62 yards rushing. Now the negative number of yards for Tolbert may just be bad play calling or bad offensive line play. Whatever the case it is something  Carolina must improve.

2. Average yards per rush- The Panthers had a dismal 2.6 yards per carry average. Last week vs Bucs Carolina only averaged 3.4 yards per rush. Some work to do in this part of our offense. For Carolina to achieve maximum success this season an effective running game must be established. 

3. Cam sacked 4 times- This is not good. Cam already has a bad ankle. We have to protect Cam and make sure he stays upright. Due to his surgically repaired ankle he has lost some of his giddy up. It does not show when he is going but right as he is right before taking off that burst of speed just isn't there.

Great win for the team this week. But like with all great teams Carolina can't become complacent. These are areas we can improve on. Not trying to bring everyone down but it is only week 2. Let's celebrate but keep a clear perspective as well. 

Three Down by "that Freak'n Puerto Rican" aka @JoeRiollano

5 Things from the Panthers Home Opener You Couldn't See on TV

I had some good time to reflect on driving home from Charlotte to Greenville, NC (4+ hour drive) about the game, and 5 thing stood out that someone couldn't see on TV.  I really wanted to do seven, but figured that would get a little long.  Just note, the weather was awesome after torrential rains on the Saturday drive to Charlotte and Google Carthage, NC.  Trust me, this little town is awesome and if you are from going to G-Vegas, this is a pretty awesome route.  Ok, so here are five things you probably couldn't see on TV.

1) Detroit fans travel remarkably well.  Either everyone wants to get out of Detroit or every single person from Michigan is a +Detroit Lions fan, because Lions fans show out.  This is my first time ever encountering the Lions fanbase, which is surprisingly active for a team with a pretty miserable history.  They were also remarkably upbeat during the tailgate and were just pretty pleasant overall. A pack of fans in pajamas and lion head like toboggans be-bobbed around the Vault and Uptown Charlotte.  They may have come upbeat and to have fun, but eventually left somewhat downtrodden. By the end of the game, you could see a little of the defeatist that must hang over a good bunch of these fans.

2) Bank of America was particularly loud.  I've never been to a prime time game at Bank of America, but I have been to several Sunday 1 pm and 4 pm games.  Today was one of the louder home games I've been to this early in the season.  This was a great home-opener.  Panthers fans are known for being a little subdued at times, but today there was a real excitement in the stadium.  Any times that there was a momentary lull in the crowd noise, the defense made a big play to get everyone on their feet.

3) Greg Olsen photo-bombed Thomas Davis in the Panthers' game program.  There was a typo in Thomas Davis's full-page feature,  where Greg Olsen's name appeared instead.

4) The new video boards are awesome.  When they put these babies on full screen, it's just a work of art.  The clarity is insane. I know this isn't an earth shattering revelation, but they looked damn good. The ribbons look great as well. I found the ribbons a bit busy and hard to gleam information from at times. The problem was that the images simply repeated over and over, so be sure to just pick a spot and kind of use that as your go reference point.  I found myself scanning around and it was just kind of sensory overload.

5) NFL means No Fun League.  An NFL looking official, (more than a ball boy and less than part of the officiating crew) tried to prevent Cam from giving a football to a fan after the 2 point conversion. Cam literally shrugged the guy off and gave the ball away anyway.  This wasn't a simple communication failure where the guy thought Cam was about to toss or hand him the ball either. This guy clearly tried to stop Cam. He then went and talked to a member of the officiating crew in what looked to be like he was reporting the incident.  I read somewhere a couple of months ago that the NFL made it illegal to give the ball to a fan as Cam has done in the pass.  I can't verify if this is true, but surely there is some sort of penalty for giving the ball away, even if it is a small monetary fine. Cam doesn't look to care either.  This guy had no chance of stopping Super Cam, lol.

FANatics Open Discussion: Will the Panthers Win Or Lose and Why?

Here's your chance to go on record as to today's Home Opener.  I say we fall behind early but win late due to the play of Monsters, Inc! and the Lions having to play a third string RT.  Vote now and leave a comment as to why.  GO PANTHERS!!!!

On the Line: Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers

C3 On the Line series bets the Carolina Panthers line and discusses the literal stakes on the line. On the Line is not betting advice, but a means for football discussion.

It’s early and optimism abounds.  The high-powered Detroit Lions face the Carolina Panther on Sunday in the proverbial battle between offense and defense.  The line currently has Carolina as a small favorite, but given the traditional 3pt home-field advantage, this game is basically a pick’em. There’s more than points, however, On the Line for the Carolina Panthers than a few points.  A win against this profile offense would go long way to proving the Panthers season potential.

As of 9/12/14

All Bets Are In:

Professor’s Bet: Carolina Panthers -3  (Taking the Under 44)
It’s a pick’em, and I pick Carolina. Sunday’s match is a statement game for this defense. Calvin Johnson is a force that can’t be stopped. He’s going to get his tomorrow no matter what. Carolina’s front four will maul a banged up Detroit offensive line, and limit Detroit’s production to only CJ. If Detroit has to start UDFA Cornelius Lucas against Greg Hardy, look for Stafford to have a tough day. Add to that Detroit’s trouble in the secondary, and Cam’s return could make for an exciting display. I’m thinking Carolina will put up more points than usual and suppress Detroit’s offense. 27-17 Carolina.
Justin Raymond’s Bet: Detroit taking the points (Taking the Over 44)

My earlier prediction of this game has the Detroit Lions winning 28-17, and I am sticking with this. The Lions offense can score and the Lions defensive line is powerful. I am not saying that the Panthers don’t have a chance at winning, but this game will be a true test to what the Panthers will be a capable of this season.

Commish’s Bet: (Taking the Over 44)

Detroit’s high-powered offense collides with Carolina’s D in Charlotte. Defense wins this one as the Lions are a dome team playing on the road and facing the best defensive front they’ll likely see all year. Matt Stafford’s mobility may allow him to get some balls down the field, and they’ll certainly score some points, but beyond Detroit’s defensive line, there isn’t much there. Derek Anderson did a fine job last week, but he’s no Cam. The Carolina zone defense means eyes on the QB and if he scrambles, he’ll take away half the field by himself. Double Megatron, and Stafford will have to be more patient and methodical than he likes to be. Bush and Bell will find the yardage tough...other than short pass dump-offs. Megatron will still get his 7-100-1 line but the Panthers have the Sentinel in Kelvin Benjamin, who will negate a lot of Megatron’s production with some of his own. The Lions’ streak of 12 games without allowing a rushing TD ends. After a late Lions’ surge, Carolina takes it 27-24, taking the “over” here.

Mel Mayock Bet Carolina -3 (taking the over 44)
Before the season I picked this as a W for our beloved Panthers. Then I watched Calvin Johnson run roughshod over the Giant’s secondary and I had to rethink things. Here’s my prediction: Cam come’s in a bit rusty, goes three and out and the Lions take an early lead. But did you see Monster, Inc! Sunday? And I don’t mean my Fantasy Football team. As the game goes on, look for the Detroit running game to be severely limited by Star and KK. And with a 3rd- string RT, I look for our pass-rush to get to Stafford and for our D to take over. So long as Cam evens out and doesn't get pounded by Donkey Kong Suh, we should take over late and win pretty big. Carolina 31-20 is how I see this one playing out.