Panthers (1-10) lose a heartbreaker to Cleveland (4-7) in the final seconds 23-24.
Carolina made a rally back to stay in the game, and in the final seconds rookie QB Jimmy Clausen connected with WR Brandon LaFell for a chance to win the game. John Kasay ended up missing the field goal, and Panthers fans reached a new low. It’s one thing to get annihilated and know that your team will lose by the start of the half. But to give hope for a glorious win, and lose because of a last second missed field goal is just plain deflating.
In all honesty, it was better for the team to end up losing this game. Not because of draft picks (although it doesn’t hurt), but I always hate to see a team that simply got out-played win the game. It gives the team a sense of undeserved self-satisfaction. Many players would be satisfied just to put a W next to the match-up, get a little cocky, and get smashed up the next week.
Maybe the Browns organization didn’t deserve a win either; but nobody can deny Peyton Hillis of cracking a smile when he looks at the final score of this one. He decimated the Carolina defense with 131 yards rushing, 3 rushing touchdowns, and led the team with 6 receptions for 63 yards. You would have to look back in the day at Marshall Faulk, of the 2000 St. Louis Rams, to find stats like this.
Clausen showed a little fire by reaching his career high in passing yards (even though it was still under 200 yards), and RB Jonathan Stewart almost got up to the century mark on the ground. Other than RB Mike Goodson, who played the game of his life (even I have to admit that it was an absolutely phenomenal performance), the Panthers seemed bleek up until the end. Almost like they didn’t care if they won or lost.
Hopefully next week we see a little more of a spark from the lesser known players. Don’t forget, this is the rebuilding period of the season, and the Panthers have to utilize the potential talent they have. Stop wasting time having Jon Beason and Jordan Gross out there on every play. Are they basically guaranteed a spot on next years roster? If yes: Then why are they hauling ass out there, and risking injury? I understand that you can’t send all back-ups out on to the field. Also, the Panthers did a good job of introducing Captain Munnerlyn and Jason Williams to the game; but I want to see more of that.
I guess we’ll have to stay tuned for next week to see what Fox does against the Seahawks. I’ll be rooting for the Panthers along with everyone in Carolina, but I would rather see some unknown make a splash into the field. I couldn’t consider it a serious win for the team if it was by the likes of Steve Smith and Jonathan Stewart.
Just a side note: If you have ever considered yourself a Panthers fan, and stopped watching the games because of their record… Please stop the charade. Real fans are out there watching for the future of this frachise, while you sit on your couch watching “How I Met Your Mother.” In fact, do us all a favor, and just stop watching the NFL all together.
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Written by Billy Madison