Saturday, December 6, 2008

Is it Monday Yet?

If you're a fan of any team in the NFC South. This is thee weekend of the regular season!

This Monday, the Carolina Panthers will play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium. Its a game I've had marked with a special star on my Panthers schedule since the preseason.

I love this team.

This is our 2nd appearance on Monday Night Football since ESPN took over 2 years ago. I'm no expert, so I'm going to leave the X's and O's alone. Instead, I'd like to focus on the facts.

Here it goes.......

Home vs. Away
Carolina is undefeated at home. All 3 of the Pucs losses have been road games. The game kicks off from Bank of America stadium in Charlotte. We haven't come this far to lose. Advantage: CAR

On Thursday the NFL named Carolina defense end Julius Peppers as the NFC's Defensive Player of the Month for November. Thank GOD! I hope he gets it for Decemeber as well. Pepp was starting to scare me for a while. Did you know the Panthers have had 13 sacks in the last 5 games? However, Pucs QB Andy Garcia has one advantage here...he does a heck of a job escaping the pass rush against us. Somehow he seems to get sacked consistently by everyone else. Sounds like a fluke to me!

O is for Offense
The Bucaroos will have to utilize their run game. If they can somehow pull that off, then it will open up their passing game. At running back, two of my favorite guys - rookie J.Stewart and DeAngelo Williams will rotate for Carolina. D-Wills is coming off the best game of his career against Green Bay. [Nuff said] Plus - Smitty (WR Steve Smith) is always ready to strike. The key for Carolina is consistency. Jake Delhomme must find open receivers (like Smitty) and avoid the worst three letters on the stat sheet: INT.

In the Huddle
This game is ultimately going to come down to coaching. In a sense, Panthers Coach John Fox is playing for his job [but aren't all NFL coaches?]. He still has a lot to prove despite their record. Plus - Carolina needs this win to claim first place in the division and, perhaps, the No. 2 seed in the NFC. [I'm gonna need a side of potatoes with all that's at stake here. Whew! ]

Black Panthers? Yes, it's that serious.
I hope the rumors are true. The Panthers may unleash a new Black helmet under the Monday night lights. Here's the story.

Is it Monday yet?
I know I'm not alone when I say I am literally bubbling with anticipation for all the great games going on this weekend. But Monday is by far the only thing that could hold a candle to Christmas Eve in December. I never thought I'd say this but... Is it Monday yet?!

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