17 November, 2008


November 17, 2008

Or “Pounding the Ground”. All of the “grinding metaphor” comes flooding over me today- “Lions Grounded”, “Back to the Grind” “Ground Control to Jake Delhomme”, “Freshly Ground”, “Coarsely Ground” "Hittin' th' Ground"…

You get the ideal. Feel free to add your description.

An odd feeling once again came to me yesterday, sittin’ with Dear O’l Dad in the Section of The Seer. While disappointed that the Lie-uns managed to put ten points on us right off the bat, there was never any panic in my mind, never a doubt that we would win this game. Never. And sure enough, just like that, the flimsy dam Detroit built to contain the running attack burst, and we witnessed the very best rushing performance the Panthers ever had. In the Crazy Joe world of football, I would run the ball on almost every down if I were having success. ESPECIALLY if you are AVERAGING 8.5 YARDS PER CARRY like yesterday! I really like the quote that Jordan Gross made in the Disturber this morning- “Offensive linemen love run blocking so much more than pass blocking. You get to be the hammer as opposed to the nail”. Great quote, Jordan. Let’s hope you and your line mates can keep this going. I also heard DeAngelo call the run game “Foxy Ball”, which confirms on the professional level what I’ve been saying for years. It was a thing of beauty, yes, but let’s get real-

This was the WINLESS, 0-10 LIONS!!!

This is a team you are supposed to beat, and soundly. I’d imagine that a successful rushing attack in the NFL, as opposed to a Big 12 or Big 10 running game, predicates a lower score. And I wonder if I’m telling you that just to make us all feel better, but for those of you who are confirmed Panther loyalists that embrace the Foxy thought process, you would be quick to fault where I’m going with this rant. For those who analyze and are forward looking,
You’re following the Cedar Street Seer’s trepidation. Yes, according to Foxy, there’s no such thing as an “ugly win”, and there’s no good loss. You read the quotes, and he’s got a point. You can listen to the spin of the players complimenting the play of the Lie-Uns. But lost in the euphoria of yesterday’s win, is a glaring concern I’ve got.

The Detroit Lions are near the bottom of the league in run defense. The result was expected. So passing the ball wasn’t necessary, but for the second week in a row-

Jake Delhomme didn’t look so hot. Ok, he was better than last week, but the level of play we’ve seen from him the past two weeks is beating NO ONE left on our schedule. So what happens, oh, NEXT WEEK, when we face a team we DIDN’T RUN ON the last time we played them? And what is Davidson pulling out of his playbook if the Duckies are successful at stopping Stewilliams? And then, the Packers get their turn, and so on. All of a sudden, I’m wondering if Jake’s repaired elbow is wearing out? The man for whom the surgical procedure is named for has stated in the most successful patients, the arm feels better than ever- At first- And then begins to wear out. It’s possible we’re seeing this happen with Jake, and I hope to Almighty God that I’m wrong. But folks, the easy part of the season is NOW OVER.

The Duckies are smarting right now. I’m sure some Duckie Blogger who would be my counterpart in Atlanta is now writing about the doubts he now fosters about his team getting embarrassed at home by a beat-up Broncoids team that has had SERIOUS defensive problems and a one-dimensional offense. But they have a chance to get their season back on track with a victory-


If we rush for the same yards we did back in September, we will lose. Especially if Jake hasn’t shaken off what’s kinking his game. If we don’t pressure Ryan, we will lose. The time for cautious, conservative game planning is over. The Panthers now have to go on the ATTACK both offensively, and defensively. I don’t think we’re having a problem with the defense. We seem to be making big play after game-deciding big play. But if you have to count on the defense for over half the game, you wind up wearing them out! Remember the Vikings game? The offense, Jake in particular, is what worries me. Even if your running game is superior, eventually you have to throw the ball effectively, without turning it over. And yeah, you may be right when you crack on me for being overly negative in the light of yesterday’s performance. Of course I’m glad we won, of course I’m thrilled to death with the offensive performance. But I think I’ve got legitimate concerns, and I’m keeping a subjective perspective. Our success for the remainder of the season ABSOLUTELY DEPENDS on the effectiveness of one Jake Delhomme. QB ratings of 80 and below may doom us. Of course, if we wind up whackin’ the Duckies, which I’m CAUTIOUSLY OPTOMISTIC we’ll do, I’ll reserve my bitchin’. If we lose-

I’m turnin’ it loose.

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating. The next six games are the crucible of the season. Let’s see Davidson throw some creative wrinkles in the attack that the league hasn’t seen yet. What about involving Smitty in some more end-around plays? What about running the “single wing” again? It started our rally against the Cardy-Noles, right? We absolutely HAMMERED the Duckies at their pond with it two seasons ago! And THAT was DeAngelo’s first year, remember? I’m sure there’s more in Jeffy’s bag ‘o tricks he could throw out there. And on defense? Blitz, Turkey-Vac, BLITZ!!!




ON PRACTICALLY EVERY DOWN!!! LIVE IN THE BACKFIELD AND DISRUPT!!! I sincerely believe we now have the players to do it. If we are playing up to our potential, we can run the table to January. While it’s likely we lose a close one at some point, I still don’t think we take this 8-2 start and finish 8-8. But let’s look at the last six games real quick and see how tough this is going to be-

This weekend- at The Duckies – The Duckies you all know about now, ad nauseaum. Turner, Norwood, Ryan, blah, blah, blah. They have the offensive firepower to beat us. Granted, we’ve beaten The Saints and Cardy-Noles who have even BETTER games, but we beat them at home, and we seem to struggle in domes, particularly THIS one. This is a game where we had better strap it on, and get after them, cause guess where Tampa Bay is this weekend? Yep. The Lie-Uns. I don’t think they’re going to be the first team to lose to them this season. One good stat-
Right now the Duckies are 22nd in the league at stopping the run, so Jake may get away with low numbers this week.

November 30th - at Green Bay- The Packers are fighting for their playoff lives, and played like it in thumping, and I mean THUMPING DaBears yesterday. They have a really tough game against the Saints next week who are also fighting for playoff survival. Should they lose in N’awlins, this game will be MONSTEROUS for the Packers. By this time, the weather will begin to be a factor, but hell, we’ve seen Seifert take Beurlein and his Frisbee-catchin’-dawgs up there to the Tundra and win. Here's another great stat- As of this week, Green Bay is near the very bottom of the league at stopping the run. Jake gets one more week to get well. Another game to strap it on and GIT IT!

December 8th – MONDAY NIGHT GAME WITH TAMPA BAY- This game, should we manage to win or split the past two, will be an ENOURMOUS GAME with PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS of a most serious level! The Bucs have Detroit over there, and the Saints at home before this one. We very well may be tied when this game is played, and this WILL BE for the division. Success will be predicated on how well we will be able to run on them, and if we can GROUND (hey there’s that metaphor again!) Garcia into the BOFA turf!

December 14th – Denver Broncoids at home- This will be our final home game before the playoffs. Denver has surprisingly taken a two game lead on the Chargers at this posting, and by the time they get here, they may have this WEAK division and a home playoff game already locked up, and may not have much to play for as Tennessee and Pissburgh will likely take the first week bye. I think this is the easiest game of the six. The team with no defense will certainly not stop Stewilliams and pressure on Cutler will ensure a Panther victory, and possibly a clinching of a playoff spot.

December 21st – At NOO YAWK GEEEEEMEN-If things hold to form, this for all the world is looking like the fight for home field supremacy. I think both teams absolutely leave every bit of it on the field. Depending on the manner of how this game is won or lost will determine the playoff fate of both. Remember the season ending game against the Pastry-Rots for the G’ints last year? These two likely play AGAIN January 18th, and both would MUCH prefer to be home.

December 28th – At N’awlins Saints – We close the season with a game that could be meaningless in playoff positioning, or absolutely CRITICAL to one or both teams. Hard to predict at this point, but I’m thinking the Saints’ starters will be fighting tooth and nail against Josh McClown, Nick Comings and Goings and company.

Gee, that was fun! The league is so much more fun when the team you pull for is 8-2 and relevant! Of course, you’d better hope like hell that-

1- Delhomme’s arm AND head is ready to go and be at, or near the top of his game.
2- Josh McClown has his best game if Jake does not.
3- Turkey-Vac has the defensive game plan to see us to February.
4- And this is MOST important- No one gets hurt.

So, in true Foxy Fashion, I’m not getting too high over this win over the winless but still-proud Lie-uns. Glad to win, but now this is when you EARN the championship. And I like our chances, but I'm startin' to get all shnerkly in my gut with anxiety. To all the Fanz headin’ to Duckie Town, cheer hard, stay safe, and come home ready to ride this starship to January!


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