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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
People in the Carolinas love their Panthers. Last year, we were waaaaay proud of them, even though they wound up 3 points short in the Super Bowl. The team went further than outsiders thought possible.

The off season hurt the team. Almost all the secondary was lost to free agency, then the offensive line disappeared with free agency and retirements.

The season hurt just as bad, maybe worse. Star running backs Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster were lost for the season, as was their backup, Rod Smart. All-World receiver, Steve Smith was lost. It got to the point where players had to wear name tags, so they could learn each other's names (not really). They were 1-7, trailing San Francisco 20-3 at half-time.

Then, the magic returned. Carolina came from behind to defeat the 49ers, then won their next 4 games. They actually have a wild card spot, pending the last 3 games of the season.They go to the playoffs if they win all three, maybe 2 out of 3.

However .... before anyone gets too excited, here is a reality check. The 6-7 Panthers must play Michael Vick's Falcons at Atlanta this Saturday night. Frankly, Vick has owned the Panthers like no one else. He rushed for over 100 yards earlier this season when the Falcons won 27-10.

After the Atlanta game, the Cats travel to Tampa Bay and then host New Orleans. I know neither team is having a good year, but Tampa Bay is tough. Expect a determined, gritty game. New Orleans always plays Carolina tight. So, don't believe the sports shows which now predict a Carolina run. It could happen, but I'm not sure there is enough magic for the NFL's version of The Replacements to run the table.
 

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umm... well.... I live in Maine, and I'm wearing a WORLD CHAMPION New England Patriots shirt at the moment, and underneath that shirt, there is a superbowl shirt that says "splat the cats" (thought you might like to know)...
However, I do think they will run the table and make the playoffs.
They were bitten HARD by the injury bug this year.
 

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I must be a disgruntled Carolinian :) --not a fan of the Panthers--but I have no team to brag about this year :frown: my boys suck and my second team sucks sooooooooooooooooo I'll just drink and be merry for the Superbowl :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe.

The Replacements (2000)

There once was a movie about a magical team made
of replacements players...

sks_hunter, others are also predicting the Panthers will run the table and make the playoffs. If they could do that, then who knows how far else they could go? It would be an astounding feat, unparalleled in sports history.

Yes, a five game winning streak is impressive, especially for a team which was floundering at 1-7 ...

But, the combined record of the teams Carolina dispatched in that run is 22-43. None of the five teams had a winning record. Frankly, there aren't too many teams in the NFC which have a winnning record! Beating 2-11 San Francisco, or wounded 6-6 St. Louis, is much different than facing Michael Vick and the 10-3 Falcons. You know the commercial that shows a kid taking a Michael Vick thrill ride? It's no exageration! The guy should be wearing a red cape and blue tights!!!

~~~~~~
Michael Vick Amusement Park Ride .......................... Superman!

Still, Tampa Bay (5-8) did handle the Falcons 27-0 two weeks ago, so it is possible. Could Jake DelHomme be Shane Falco and lead a team of replacement players to the playoffs?

Maybe.
 

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AClay47 said:
sks_hunter, others are also predicting the Panthers will run the table and make the playoffs. If they could do that, then who knows how far else they could go? It would be an astounding feat, unparalleled in sports history.
AClay,

unparalleled in sports history? I think not.

The 2001 Patriots were 5-5 in week 10, then went on to 9 straight victorys including the Superbowl.

The 03-04 Pats have won 27 of 28 games, and if Corey Dillon hadn't missed the the Pit game, they would most likely be 28-0.

And judging by the teams they have left this year, Miami 2-11, Jets 9-4 and San Fran at 2-11, chances are good that it will be 30-1 at the end of the regular season.

The Jets game is a home game and the Pats have not lost a home game since 2002.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That was a great run in 2001! Nine victories is a row, including a Super Bowl victory is amazing - and unparalleled!

However, the 2004 Panthers were not 5-5 when they began their run, and they're playing with guys some of whom weren't even on the practice team. Even after winning 5 in a row, they have a losing record! They would have to win two straight just to be 8-7! For a team of replacement players to go from 1-7 to the playoffs would not surpass the accomplishments of the 2001 Patriots, but it would be a first in NFL history. To equal the super bowl accomplishment of the '01 Pats, the Panthers would have to win 12 straight games in one season with a battered, depleted roster. It became more depleted yesterday, when they lost their starting center, Jeff Mitchell to a sprained knee and possibly defensive back, Chris Gamble, with a groin injury.

I'm not counting on the magic continuing. All three remaining games are against Division rivals, who would love nothing more than to knock the Cats down a notch. Even one loss could eliminate all chances of playing in the "tournament." Next week the Rams are favored to defeat Arizona, and Atlanta is favored to whip the Cats, so there should be a change in the standings. St. Louis would move into the last Wild Card spot. Still, the Rams then play Philadelphia and the Jets in their last two games. It will be tough for them to sweep their last three games, so even if Carolina loses one, they may still have a shot at the playoffs.

Maybe.
 
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