Week 3 in the National Football League has brought about change and new hope to the city of Charlotte and for the Carolina Panthers. Matt Moore spent most of the last few seasons on the sidelines behind Jake Delhomme, as he struggled at times. Now it is like looking into a mirror with a different result.While the Panthers are 0-2, Coach John Fox has decided to go back to the drawing board and go with Golden Boy, crowd favorite Jimmy Clausen on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Last season Moore was 4-1 as a starter with a 98.5 passer rating, this season, 0-2 record with a 41.8 passer rating and 6 turnovers. Clausen replaced Moore in the 4th quarter against Tampa Bay and immediately led the Panthers to the Buccaneers 1 before being stopped on 4 downs. Clausen finished 7 of 13 for 59 yards and one interception. This week he will start against a Bengals defense that had four interceptions and held Baltimore to 259 yards in a 15-10 win.
A fan throwing in the towel on the season after a 0-2 start is one thing, but when there are signs that the organization is doing the same. Lets just call that bad business for the NFL in Charlotte. The Panthers will chalk it up as growing pains for the future. The offense has not looked good all preseason or regular season. In four preseason games, the Panthers offense has never put the ball in the end zone. Doesn’t matter if it is Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen, the QB needs people to throw to. Someone other than Steve Smith. So, are the Panthers playing for 2011 0r 2012 with Clausen at QB, Rookies Brandon LaFell and David Gettis at receivers. The receiving core of Jarrett, LaFell and Gettis has accounted for a combined 6 catches and 80 yards.
The Panthers are a team of youth, this week that youthful roster will take on the Cincinnati Bengals. If Clausen hands off to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, sprinkle in some Mike Goodson. Helping of Steve Smith with a surprise showing from an unknown like David Gettis or Armanti Edwards and you might get not only a win, but more important confidence in your offense. But don’t hold your breath. My prediction: Bengals 24, Panthers 14.
About the Author
Written by Chris Jones
Resident of Charlotte, NC and avid sports fan from little league to professional to extreme. Bachelors degree in broadcasting with a minor in physical education. Associated with sports most of professional career by freelancing in college then moving on to work for ESPN and ABC Sports for 17 years. When not attending, watching or playing sports, spare time spent as a basketball referee in North Carolina.