Good News. Bad News.
“The road to glory is paved with blood, sweat, and tears.” “No matter how bad things may seem sometimes, they will get better if you work hard.” My grandfather told me those two pieces of advice when I was younger and it has helped me through some tough times. Right now I’m sure Panther Nation could use some words of encouragement after the average play by Carolina so far this preseason, including a poor performance against the Jets. With that said, the Panthers can still play better and are working hard to take the next step.
Cam Newton looked poised and didn’t get injured. The defense was solid against the Jets with rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly having 10 tackles and Thomas Davis getting a sack. In the preseason teams are not running their full offense. With all the players starting and running the full package, play should improve.
Cam Newton only had a paltry 50% completion percentage and one touchdown. His non-nonchalant effort to recover the ball he fumbled against the Jets was somewhat surprising. The lack of clear talent at the wideout position was clearly evident after the receiving corp was shut down by Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis.
The offense will have Steve Smith back for the regular season. Cam Newton will be free to play like he did last year and run all over the opposing defenses while chucking the ball down field. The Panthers have enough depth at running back to weather the storm if Jonathan Stewar’ts ankle injury is worse than they are letting on.
With Peyton Manning dismantling the 49ers defense, Andrew Luck and RGIII looking strong, and the Seahawks even looking good, one of the most potent offenses from last season should have played better as a unit. The Panthers showed signs of amazing talent, but still played inconsistently at best. The number of injuries to multiple players have exposed the teams lack of depth at key positions.
It’s only preseason.
The regular season is a few weeks away and soon all this talk will be moot. I believe the Panthers will play well enough to improve on last years achievements and grab one of the wild card spots. They still don’t look good enough to dethrone the Saints and win the division, but anything is possible once you make the playoffs. They have talent, Cam is in his second year running the offense, and a few weeks will be good to heal up the bumps and bruises. Soon, they will have the same record as anyone else and all this will just be a memory. Just remember these few things: “Always look on the bright side of life.” “Good things come to those who wait. “ I believe. Do you?