28 December, 2008


December 28, 2008

It almost felt like a pre-arranged agreement between the two NFC South opponents. One, with a DOMININANT running game, and a complimentary passing game with an all-world wide receiver, and the other with a passing game that could whoop the Klingon Empire All-Stars, but with a defense that couldn’t stop a bucket of Tribbles. And the star QB needed enough yards to beat the record of a Hall-of Famer. At first, it appeared that arrangement was put on hold, but once Foxy felt that 20 points was enough, he’d have Turkey-Vac pull in the leash of that “deadly” pass rush “koff-koff” and give o’l Brees enough yards to down Danny-Boy’s single season passing record. BUT-

Someone forgot to tell Foxy that they MIGHT try to win the damn thing!

Ok, I know most of you don’t believe that horse-hockey. I don’t either. But from a certain vantage point, it sure SEEMED that way! But THIS edition of the Carolina Panthers has been impervious to the opponent’s rally. In almost every game, all year. Mini-Soda had the lead early in the second half. Tampa had us from kickoff. The Duckies as well. And but for karma’s capricious breath at the end of the Giants game, we could add them to the rally-buster tally. When Brees found his boy Lance Moore in the end zone for the tying score with mere minutes left, I felt a little anxious, but the strength of the ’08 Panthers was about to take the field.

That’s right. THE OFFENSE.

And right on cue, y’all saw what happened. And as befitting the sole remaining Original Panther, John Kasay made his FIRST game winning kick of the year. That’s right. His FIRST of the year! Look it up if you don’t believe me. He hasn’t had to do that ONCE this season. That’s very telling about this year’s team. There’s no question in my mind that this collection of athletes wearing the Panther silver, blue and black with enough time at the end of the game, can always put themselves in position to win. ESPECIALLY if that cagey Cajun wearing #17 is moving these fellas down the field. And that “little” dude wearing #89 is there to catch those Tommy-John enhanced missiles. Don’t forget, there’s that mercurial #87 there, too, who was CLUTCH today.

But there’s a glaring weakness on this team, and it prevents full Fox-Ball from being played, and now, there’s no fixing it. You know what I’m gettin’ ready to say, so I’m not going to belabor the point. Our defense is NOT Super Bowl caliber. Our offense IS. So, Wildman has his mint condition ’68 Chevelle washed, waxed, gassed up and ready to take Sweetie to the holiday ball – BUT – The heater’s on the blink, and Sweetie will have to bundle up on the way to the big dance. Not to mention Wildman. But he wouldn’t think of havin’ to set Sweetie in that beat-up pickup of his, so he’s got to run wut he brung. As it goes with Fox and this team. Even with the two weeks rest, this defense at BEST is good enough only to blunt a strong offensive attack. It is what it is, friends. Only draft and free agency next year is helping this unit. So whaddya do, Foxy? Huh? Huh? Huh?

You may have thought of this, Foxy, but USE YOUR OFFENSE AS YOUR DEFENSE! We’ve got the massive line, the blocking receivers and tight ends, the ballsy QB and the powerful SteWilliams. If we’re gashing the Duckies/Fleeguls/Cardy-Noles/Vikings for time-gobbling drives of 6,7,8 minutes, we’re giving the defense time to rest, and keeping the offense from finding a rhythm. And there is NO QB on the playoff rolls in the conference that is equal to Drew Brees, and that INCLUDES Kurt Warner. NO ONE, and that includes the mighty GEEEEEMen, has been able to stop Stewilliams OR Moose and Squirr- uh, Smitty. As long as Jake doesn’t turn the ball over, this is a very distinct game plan with a great chance of success. And history has shown that THIS is Jake’s time. He’ll deliver, for sure. And, here’s the big part-

We’re at HOME.

Where we’re 8-0, and the budding 12th man is learning how to cheer for this team. Whos’ teams fans are coming en-masse to our house come January 10th? See that list from the last paragraph to get an ideer. That’s right. The stadium should be FULL of noisy Panther fans for yet another terrific night game.

And the lucky few there will have lubricated themselves in the Cedar Street Lot where Bus Master James has parked the mighty Panther Party Prowler, and Head Coach Dano has fired up the legendary “JoKer Smoker”, and the rest of you lovable PantherFanz have joined us for a cherished playoff tailgate party.

We got two weeks to salivate, anticipate, and dream!

Captain Foxy’s left the scattered debris of the NFC South dreadnoughts to float in the space of the regular season, now consigned to the history books. Defensive Engineer Turkey-Vac tinkers with the shields, but he’s got some time, as the XO Davidson has the phaser banks at full strength, and the maxium compliment of photon torpedos ready to fire!

The Super Bowl awaits, Fanz! Engage the Panther Drive!

Stay tuned, I’ll be back later in the week with the first playoff handicap-

Gotta Comment?
E-mail me, The Cedar Street Seer (who went 8 correct out of 12 for the playoff teams, and 12-4 for the final week of handicapping!)


26 December, 2008


December 26th, 2008

Well, I hope every one had a nice holiday- We’ve got a few more days until the drudgery of January comes in earnest- BUT! For 12 NFL teams, ONE of them being the Carolina Panthers, January will be quite an exciting month! For the six teams that already have their playoff ticket punched, there’s palpitations and anticipation galore! And I’m not counting YOU, Arid-Zona Cardy-Noles. We now come to the end of the regular season, and as befits this most entertaining season in years, there are 10, count ‘em, 10 contests CRITICAL to playoff seeding or to simply making it! Last week I tailed off a bit, going 7-8, but I’m confident in finishing the season with a flourish! Before I dig into the handicap, let me review the playoff standings-




TENNESSE, PISSBURGH & INDIANAPOLIS all locked in respective seeds
BALTY-MOORE- Clinches #6 seed with a win OR a New EnglandLand loss.
MIAMI – Clinches the AFC East with a win, clinches #6 seed with a TIE AND a Balty-moore loss and New EnglandLand win. Will be eliminated with a loss.
NY BRETS – Clinches the AFC East with a win AND a NewEnglandLand loss.
NEW ENGLANDLAND – Clinches the AFC East with a win AND a Miami loss.
DENVER – Clinches the AFC Worst with a win OR a tie. Will be eliminated with a loss.
SAD DIEGO – Clinches the AFC Worst with a win. Will be eliminated with a loss.


ATLANTA - 10-5

DALLAS - 9-6

NY & ARID-ZONA are locked into their respective seeds. CAROLINA and ATLANTA have clinched playoff berths.
CAROLINA – Clinches the NFC South and #2 seed with win OR tie.
ATLANTA - Clinches the NFC South and #2 seed with win. Clinches #5 seed with Dallas loss. At worst #6 seed.
TAMPA – Clinches #6 seed with win and Dallas loss. Will be eliminated with a loss.
MINI-SODA – Clinches NFC Norris division with a win OR a Chicago loss.
CHICAGO – Clinches NFC Norris division with a win AND a Mini-Soda loss. Clinches the #6 seed with a win, and Tampa AND Dallas loss. Will be eliminated with a loss.
DALLAS- Clinches #6 seed with win. Eliminated with a loss.
PHILTHYDELPHIA- Clinches #6 seed with a win AND a Tampa, Mini-Soda AND Chicago loss. Will be eliminated with a loss.

And with that- Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere we go!

Four weeks ago, it was inconceivable that the Bucs would be on the threshold of missing the playoffs, but three consecutive losses later, here they are, in the first of the “Critical 10-pack”. To tell the truth, the once – heralded defense collapsed against the run. The good news is that the upcoming opponent SUCKS at the run. The bad news is that their defense is actually pretty decent, particularly against the pass. I’m anticipating a low-scoring game, and that line of -13 for the Bucs is ridiculous. There’s no doubt in my mind that Tampa wins, but believe it or not, I like the Schraiders to cover against those banged-up Buckies, who await the 4:15 games to find out their playoff status. Figure that.

There’s no question in my mind that every NFL fan, and even the dispassionate observer will be interested in this game that will be infamous in the very worst of ways. The Lye-uns are on the cusp of going 0-16. The Packers have been one of the leagues’ greatest disappointments, despite the great play of Favre’s successor, Aaron Rogers. For this game, there is plenty motivation to play well on both sides, but as things have gone for the entire year for Detroit, I don’t expect the result to be any different. I don’t think there’s been a single time this season when I’ve picked the Leos to even COVER, that they’ve done so. I won’t even muster any holiday sprit to give them that again. The line is -9 for the Packers, and I’m leaning that way, despite the long injury report for the Pack. Detroit becomes one of the massive train-wreck stories of the new century.

In the second of the “Critical 10-pack”, these two storied rivals renew the tussle at The Linc. The Iggles let a gift game fly from their grasp last week against the punchless DeadSkins, and this is the last stand for both teams. The Cowpuppies have been maddeningly inconsistent in all phases of the game this season. Philthy has also been struggling, and this should be a similar slugfest to the game last week. If Brian Westbrook gets enough touches to slow down the pass rush, Donavan McSnabb should be able to move the chains enough to keep Romo the Homo and his whiny prima donna receivers off the field. The Eagle “D” is still very active and hard hitting, and I have a feeling they will be at their best this week. The team historically HATES the Cowbabies, almost as bad as their Neanderthal fans do. The Linc will be loud, and even though the playoff die will be cast by kickoff, the Iggles will be fired up. Philthy is favoured by -1 ½, and I’d encourage you to take them, and watch the CowGirls perform a December collapse one more time.

In #3 of the 10-pack, The Vikings host the #1 seed in a game that one would think would be a Christmas present from Tom Coughlin to the Vikes. Not so fast. I firmly belive that the G’ints would want to play their starters for a fair portion of the game, to keep them in game shape. But let’s be real. It would be foolish for the team to risk injury at this juncture of the season, and I would expect the second string to come in by the second half. The Vikings HAVE to have this game, and I think they’ll give a better effort this week. But these backups for the GeeMen have a lot to play for as well, as the scouting departments for many teams will be looking at these players in the offseason, and this is their audition. There’s no doubt that the fight in the Vikings will be bigger than the G’ints on this day, but the GeeMen will still be playing ball, and I like NY to cover the +6 ½ points.

Game #4 features a Texans team that’s starting to get its act together, despite losing at wretched CrOakland last week. They are seriously motivated to end the season on a winning note and once again go into the offseason as the league’s biggest tease. Da Bears, on the other hand, are in desperate need of a win. The bad news is that the offense, their team strength in this season, is rapidly slacking off in production. The defense is aging and nothing like the Midway Monsters they were back in ’05. I think the Texans will be more than ready for anything Da Bears throw at them. They’ll be at home, and the Texans will end the playoff story for Chicago this day. Take the Texans and the 2 ½ points.

In Game #5, an angry Panthers team looks to correct some procedure flaws against the disappointing Saints, who, despite being an offensive juggernaut, surrendered points and yardage in huge amounts this season. The storyline is clear- Drew Brees needs 400 yards to eclipse Dan Marino’s single season record for passing yardage. And as I said in my last rant, the team will be obliging that goal. That makes the defensive game plan easy for the Panthers – Rush Brees as much as possible and disrupt those passing lanes, as the Saints WILL NOT beat these ‘Cats on the ground, despite Pierre Thomas’ emergence as a quality back. Offensively, the Panthers look to have a great deal of success running the ball. If they were able to gash the Mighty GEEMen for 156 yards last week, I can imagine what they’ll do against the feeble Saints. They will keep the ball from Brees enough to keep this contest from morphing into a shootout. The Panthers are banged up a bit on the defensive line, but they’ll be strong enough to contain New Orleans, especially if Julius Peppers can turn himself loose, as I’m expecting to happen. Take the Panthers and the -3 points, and we crowd the lot in two weeks.

The most improbable of seasons for the Duckies reaches the end of its first chapter this week with the closest thing to a “gimme” against the Lambs, AT The Pond. Mike Smith has taken a group of centerpiece players, and created a team that is not only competitive, but winning. Sorry, Panther, Buc and Saints fans, we will be dealing with these *$^%@#&*%+% for years now. The Lambs get to deal with them this Sunday. With a playoff berth wrapped up, do you imagine the Duckies would be overconfident and complacent? Not on your life. With a chance to usurp rival Carolina for the #2 seed, I’d expect them to beat St. Looey WORSE than a rented mule. It’s the biggest line of the week, at -15 for the Duckies, and I don’t see any scenario where they don’t cover. Sucks, but I’d take Atlanta.

Great. The Bungles start playing better ball at the end of the season, with the equally wretched Chefs coming to town. With nothing to play for except jobs in the anticipated post-season house cleaning on the horizion, I’d expect the best game out of both teams. Unfortunately, the best game is below the NFL average for these guys. KC’s “D” is among the league’s worst, and I’d expect the Bungles to move on them. Likewise, the Chef’s new-found Thigpen-led attack should be able to gash Cincinattah as well. I’m anticipating a highly entertaining shoot-out for the holiday visitors sitting in the Paul Brown Stadium stands. I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other in this game, but I’d lean to the home Bungles by -3.

Game #7 in the delectable smorgasbord of Week 17 “BIG GAMES” finds the major disappointing Jaggy-whyers coming to the Capital of Chesapeake for an expected fanny-whoopin. The Ravens are uber-confident after trashing the Cowbabies’ final game at the Stadium With The Hole In The Roof, and there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t be fired up with the final playoff spot firmly in their grasp. They are superior in every phase of the game right now, and they will have a laser-beam focus this Sunday. This is the mortal stone-cold-lead-pipe LOCK OF THE WEEK – Quothers by -12 ½!

With their seedings set, this game pretty much amounts to a pre-season game in its personnel. While I’d expect the starters to play a series or two, both coaches want to go into the playoffs healthy, and this could be the yawner of the day, and the toughest to handicap. The Titans are favoured, but I like Indy at home by the +3 points. Just ‘cause.

Although they’ve clinched the #2 seed, the Squeelers rushing attack remains a concern for the team. A weak Brownies team would be a good place to start patching that up, but the postseason remains problematic for that phase of their game. While Awfulsberger and Co. can expect to start the game, I’d think much of the reserves will be playing the second half. For a season full of high expectations, ClevelandLand would like nothing better than this season to end as quickly as possible. For a game that has all indications of going ugly right away, I’m hesitiant to pull the trigger on a 10 ½ point line, but this is the proud and nasty and ANGRY Squeeler team, at HOME, and these are the beat-up disjointed Brownies. With a dead Crennell walking. Take the Squeelers and the -10 ½.

Ahhhh, but for the Denver/Sad Diego game in primetime, this would be the 18 oz. Porterhouse on the NFL menu this Sunday! Actually, it still could be, if we could imagine that Hoculi-less tilt in So. Cal to be a snifter of 100- year old brandy and a brace of Cuban hand-rolled cigars! Oh, dude, I’m just salivating now! Back to the contest- This game #8 in the critical 10-pack has it all – stars, jilted stars, overrated stars in the twilight of their career, reclamation stars, a long-time historic rivalry, fate, irony, and stark, in-your-face KARMA. All of which has the potential of trumping mere X’s and O’s. All of a sudden, the BRETS’ stout defense has gotten feeble, and Favre seems to no longer be able to throw those incredible deep balls he once did. The team as a whole has looked below average since their road upset of the previously undefeated Titans in Week 12. But for a fortuitous fumble return against Beefalo two weeks ago; this is a team with playoff hopes extinguished. In the meantime, Miami has a strong defense and rushing attack, and Chad Pennington has been a great game manager this season. I’d suspect he’d go after the BRETS’ suspect defensive backfield, and Henning will be sure to unleash his “Wildcat” on Jenkins and Co. If I’m Mangini, I’d lean on Thomas Jones to attack that gap in the linebackers due to chief run-stopper Chan Crowder’s absence, and limit Favre’s role in the offensive game plan. To me, that’s their best chance of avoiding the embarrassment of a final home game upset at the hands of the arch-rival Dolphins. Vegas has given the home BRETS -3 points- The Cedar Street Seer says wrong team favoured- Take the NFC EAST CHAMPION MIAMI DOLPHINS straight up!

But for the interest of a few pockets of Northwest NY, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connect-ti-cut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, this #9 game is WAY overshadowed by the Miami/BRETS monster tilt. The Pastry-Rots are playing great ball to end the season, and a great reflection of Dr. Cheatin’-Chick’s coaching prowess. The Bills showed a lot of fight against a weenie-pop defense in Mile High Stadium last week, but these New EnglandLanders are playing to stave off elimination, and they are NOT Denver’s wilting defense. Buffalo will want to play hard for Dickie Jauron, but it won’t be enough. I think they are overmatched by an inspired Patsie club, who will overcome them late. And the cruel, cruel reality for New EnglandLand is that even a victory may not be enough, and for only the second time in recent NFL history, an 11-5 team misses the playoffs. The line is -6 ½ for the visitors, who I’d lean to.

Euuuuucccchhhhhh. This is a game I’m hatin’ to call. I knew the wretched, wounded SeaDoggies would fight hard for exiting Mike Holmgren, and I knew the Cardy-noles would be a smear on the Gillette Stadium field. So here we are in the confluence of final game blahs, the once mighty- Sea Dawgs ending a most forgettable season, against a Cardy-noles team that took until Week 14 to claim a awful, pestilent division, feasting on the other miserably weak divisional opponents, while getting clobbered by the rest of the league. All the good flowery things I said about the team after the game against the Panthers? I take it back. They will be the playoff’s first casualty. Going into the contest, it’s clear to me, on paper, that Arid-Zona has the better talent. That hasn’t equaled wins at this juncture of the season, and without a serviceable run game, makes handicapping a Cardy-Noles game a bit easier. I like the size of the fight in the Sea Dawgs right now, and I like for them to cover the +6 points, and after next week, no one will be talking about the Arid-Zona Cardy-Noles until the ’09 NFL draft.

An important part of Forty-Niner history took place this week, and it may have gone unnoticed by many of us- Niner ownership has announced it will consider lifting the “interim” tag from Samurai Singletary, and make him the new head coach. Bravo. BRAVO, I say! In my opinion, I believe this is a move, if coupled with some other good personnel and player moves, will reap great benefit for the team. This group of players has already shown they’ll fight hard for him – imagine what he’d do with some SERIOUS talent! On this Sunday, Mike gets to make his final case for sealing the deal. The DeadSkins are just like that indicting nickname. They end the season as they began it. Adequate on defense, listless on offense. The Niners are favoured by -3 at home, and that’s good for me. Niners finish on an up note, and serve notice to the Cardy-Noles for next season.

As I pointed out earlier in the post, after getting fat and gorged on prime NFL contests all day, the regular season ends with an indescribable brandy and pungent delectable stogies! This is DEFINING NFL karma of the BEST KIND!
After the cruel game-rape applied by Ed Hoculi in Week 2, it seemed improbable that the flow of the season would lead here after the enigmatic Broncoids had a perceptibly insurmountable 3 game division lead! But, to our great fortune, San Diego got out of the doldrums, played inspired, if not great, ball, and meanwhile, the league figured out the wretched Broncoid defense while dismantling their one- prong offensive attack. The math is simple in this game. The winner claims the division and #4 seed. The loser is out. For me, this call is easy. A seemingly listless Buffalo team gashed the Broncoids at home, exposing every Denver flaw. The Chargers shocked the Bucs right under the shadows of that cool pirate ship. At this point of the season, the Bolts are better than the Broncoids in every phase. Can you see where I’m going with this? Vegas does. A whopping -9 points go to the Chargers. And they will be convincing in handing the Broncoids a crushing, demoralizing defeat. And Shanahan will have to explain to Pat Bowlen how he let the playoffs escape the certain jaws of victory and persuade one more season out of the disgusted Denver ownership.

There it is fanz, the final prognostication of a fantastic regular season! While I haven’t been quite as spectacular as the games, I’m still guaranteed a winning record in my inaugural! I’d like to thank all of you who’ve read the rantz and prognostications and commented, good or bad. It’s been fun and I look forward to doing this for the playoffs right up to February! I hope to see many of you at someone’s willing abode for Sunday’s Mega-Tilt!

Last week - 7-8
Season - 110-94

Gotta Comment?
E-mail me, The Cedar Street Seer

22 December, 2008


December 22, 2008

I’ve finally “D” compressed from the huge Panther watching party at Phil’s expansive digs. A big thank you to Phil and John and Laurie for all of their work and “D”edication in making that a fantastic afternoon and evening, and the fun and fellowship was definitely comparable to the fun and fellowship in the Cedar Street lot. And the mustard-base pork was “D”lectible! Of course, we were all there for the BIG GAME. Those of you who saw it know what you saw. This, in the light of sports entertainment was no “D”issappointment- But if you’re a Panther fan, odds are you are a little “D”isconcerted. I know I am. By now, I “D” duct, you get a little ideer of where I’m going with this “D”iscourse.

It’s all about the “D”.

“D” as in Deficit. Defensive Deficit.

“D” as in Derrick Ward.

And “D” is the grade I’d give the “D”-fence of the Panthers in the fourth quarter. All I’ve heard today is how bad we were missing that humongoid slab of beef we call Maake Keomoauteu, and yes, I buy that. But SOMEONE, SOMEONE has to make more plays “D” fensively, whether it be a linebacker, someone from the “D” fensive backfield and MOST “D”efinitely from the “D” line. At this point, I “D” duct that this “D” line is the “D” etriment of the team. Oh, yeah, we sacked Eli three times. Great. Did we stop “D”errick Ward or the completions for first down? Uh, that would be “NO”. BUT! Even while I “D”ish out some “D”grading comments about the really painful loss about last night’s game, I have to “D”igress from that “D”iatribe.

“D” also goes with “D”angelo Williams. ‘Nuff said.

“D” also goes with “D”elhomme. No turnovers, and a great game manager in games like this. Again, when the Carolina Panthers score 28 points, and all on the ground, that would usually indicate a win. But OH, for the fickle musings of a capricious karma that suddenly pushed a line drive Kasay kick left, we would be rejoicing. As Han Solo blew the adversaries out of Luke Skywalker’s flight path on the way to “D”stroying the “D”eath Star, so did the loving touch of a benevolent karma give wind to the wings of the Balty-Moore Ravens, and power to the bolts of the San “D”iego Chargers, and the door lay wide open for Foxy and Co. to approach the target, release the metaphysical proton torpedo, and down the Giants’ exhaust port it goes.

But she became contrite, as she always does. She fumbled Adrian Peterson’s carries, and miscued Tavaris Jackson’s snaps as the $&*#%^#@_$%+&# Duckies managed to beat the Vikings at home. Bad, Bad, karma!
(And, oh yes, “D” is for the “D”amn “D”uckies, too!) But for us, it seemed she removed the gauntlets, and stroked us yet again with the loving touch of benevolence for 59.56 minutes of last night’s game.

Not to be, not this evening, friends.

With the fleeting virtue of objectivity, what we should have seen was two EXCELLENT football teams playing to their advantages for most of the game, showcasing their strengths. It was a wonderful game to watch, especially when you compare it to the garbage that the rest of the league had to endure on this much anticipated weekend of NFL football. For three hours last night, the nation was treated to a contest that was played about as well as one could have hoped. There WERE some defensive plays from both teams, but the plays of note came from the offenses. I would be amiss if I didn’t heap MOUNDS of credit on the Panther’s offensive game plan. Foxy could have taken a few more chances in the second half, but in retrospect, I would have found it foolish to stray from a scheme that WAS working! 28 points, y’all. How often do the Panthers lose when we score 28 points? How unusual is this, that the Panther offense is the strongest part of their game right now? But it is disconcerting, that the defense isn’t playing at the same level. Turkey-Vac has exactly FIVE days to get things right enough to beat the Saints on Sunday, and then, two weeks to get this “D” up to playoff caliber, or all of this good feeling comes crashing down perhaps as early as the first round! Lingering on this loss however, is counterproductive. Last year at this time, the MIGHTY New EnglandLand Pastry-Rots played an inspired Giants team at the end of the season, and beat them, but the Giants were competitive enough to stay within victory’s grasp for much of the game. Sound familiar? We were even better than that Giants team in this game. Of course, we know where the GEEMen wound up. “D”on Banks of Sports Illustrated has an enlightening online article I’d encourage you to read about the over-valued #1 seed-


Still feel badly about the overtime loss in an intensely played game with TONS of heart and effort from both teams?

Wanna look again at the Week 16 carnage from the “contenders” in the 2008 NFL Playoff sweepstakes?
The media was SOOOOOO eager to reclaim the Cowpuppies to the ranks of the elite after they dispatched the G’ints last week. Someone forgot to tell the Ravens they were supposed to be good, and they ran all over them. Dallas resembled NOTHING like a playoff team Saturday night. Arid-Zona would like to get on a hot streak going into the playoffs, right? They were BUZZARD-BREATH AWFUL against the Pastry-Rots yesterday. New EnglandLand could have played their second string and still whooped the Cardy-Noles for this game. The mighty Squeelers got smelted by the Titans in a huge statement game, and made Ben Awfulsberger look quite average. Tampa Bay was so far away from playoff shape in their bumbling loss to the Sad Diego Chargers, who are now suddenly in charge of their destiny against the miserable Broncoids, who, oh yeah, got THUMPED AT HOME against a Bills team that was DONE and without their starting running back after the first quarter! Mini-Soda fumbled away the golden opportunity to seize the Norris Division, also AT HOME, to the Duckies! A WRETCHED DeadSkin team pretty much sunk the playoff hopes of the Philthydelphia Fleeguls, when a mere McSnabb touchdown would have won it and put them solidly into wild card position. Perhaps the sweetest vindication of all for Packer executives, and anyone else in the Favre Summer Preseason Sweepstakes, was the absolute aging of Brett in the humiliation of the soon to again be J*E*T*S at Seattle, in a snowstorm that was once his natural element. This confluence of underachieving clubs makes the bumbling quartet of geeks in the Altel commercials look like Army Rangers. So, you wanna put our loss to the Giants in league with this sorry octet? Don’t tell ME about it. While I’m rather disappointed about the defensive lapse in the fourth quarter, I can almost rationalize that our defense was facing an offensive line that was as capable as ours. It was just a matter of who wore out first, and again, remember-

If the wind doesn’t put on that gust with .04 left on the clock-

This is quite a different rant.

So what’s down the road? Again, we can’t focus on this loss with a very game and motivated Saints in their dome this Sunday. “D”rew Brees is a scan 400 yards away from breaking “D”an Marino’s single season passing record, and I’m certain his teammates will be obliging. That in of itself is noble, but The Panthers have a “D”ivision to win, and THIS game friends, goes volumes as to what words THIS most important entity writes about our Panthers-


Lest the cruelest “D” of all snatch it from us-


In no way shape or form am I going to bitch about being 11-4 and on the cusp of the "D"ivision.

Unless we lose to the Saints.

Let’s keep up the passion, the faith, the energy, and yes, the “D”edication as Engineer "D"avidson gets the phaser banks recharged on the Starship Panther as we


And friends and Fanz-

Have a truly happy holiday. I’ll be back Friday with the final regular season picks.

Gotta Comment?
E-mail me, The Cedar Street Seer

19 December, 2008

....WHAT IF???

December 19th, 2008-

A thought just occoured to me as the game of the century (so far) approaches-

Injuries are a huge part of the game, which is basically a choreographed collision sport- And I hope and pray no one ON EITHER SIDE comes to any harm.

But in the event should Eli Manning not be able to finish the game-

Guess who his backup is?


I'll bet you didn't know this, and I didn't realize it until this morning...


Let your mind wander at this point...

Two days and nine hours to kickoff at this point...

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18 December, 2008


December 18, 2008

In three days, a scant two weeks after the “latest biggest game in franchise history”, to quote John Fox, our Carolina Panthers take the field at the Meadowlands for the single most significant regular season game the team has ever played. It will be a primetime game, seen by everyone who cares not only about the teams that will be playing, but those who simply love the game. I don’t have to tell you what’s at stake. This is a TITANONORMOUSMEGAHUGE, use all of the adjectives that fit, GAME! Three weeks ago, the Giants were the measuring stick of the league. After the Plaxidnent, the team became mortal. Now that injuries have started to pile up on the GeeMen, all of a sudden, the door’s been opened for a new challenger-


But it won’t be easy. First, the stadium will be under a full winter assault. This will obviously favour the running game. The winds will influence passing and kicking, as it always does this time of year. Second, the stadium will be filled with hostile New York fans making incredible decibels of noise, greatly affecting the visiting offenses’ calls at the line. Third, the home G’ints are a championship football team. Pride and heart are tremendous motivating factors, and they will sorely want to prove not only to the nation, but to themselves, that they are not falling apart despite looking bad in losing two straight games, one of them at home. But here’s the good news- John Fox and his staff, as you might already know, are quite familiar with the whole New York vibe. The Panthers have played here, in December, and played very well. They will be prepared, and they should have a sound game plan.

So what do they do?

I have a breakdown that I think is the blueprint for victory this Sunday night. On offense, it’s of the utmost importance that the running game be given a chance. The Giant’s defensive line has a gap- Nose Tackle Fred Robbins, their main runstopper, has been struggling with a shoulder injury, and hasn’t practiced. Obviously, the run will need to go through his replacement. If we can average AT LEAST 3.9 yards per carry, it will be tough for the Giants to keep us off the field. Both Stewart and Willams posses the kind of breakaway speed that demoralizes and beats up defenders. It’s also vital that the Panthers are able to neutralize the crown noise assault with an effective silent snap count. Drives stymied by false starts are not going to be acceptable in this game. It’s very likely that the Giants will commit a bulk of their defensive resources to stopping the run, and this is where Moose and Squirr- uh, Smitty come in. Should that happen, that would leave single coverage in the defensive backfield, and this is a matchup that favours the Panthers. Steve Smith has the explosive potential to make the Giants pay for the commitment to stopping the run. Should the Panthers find themselves in passing situations, the backs will have to commit to pass blocking, because Justin Tuck is every bit as formidable, if not moreso, that Julius Peppers. Failure to pick up the Giants’ pass rush in the event the run game is stuffed will doom chances for victory. John Fox knows quite well how to win here. I guarantee you he’ll be patient, and conservative to start. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him play the field position game at first, giving the running game a chance. We might punt a few times while we beat up the defense. And MOST importantly, WE MUST NOT TURN THE BALL OVER!!! That goes without saying.

On defense, our number one task, similar to the Giants’ game plan, will be to stop Brandon Jacobs and who ever else totes the rock for these guys. I guarantee you Jacobs will play, but he’ll be less than 100 percent. He’ll be attacking the spot Kemoaeuteu anchors, but Maake may also be less than 100 percent. This is where the strength of our defense should make a difference. Because the Giants will commit the run as well as we are, our edge in linebacking strength should contain the yardage potential. Having Davis, BEASTon and Diggs plugging up gaps in run defense should force Manning to pass- and that’s where our safeties had better be able to cover the tight end. I have this feeling that Kevin Boss will be the primary target for Manning in the absence of Burress. Without Plaxico, the Giants’ receiving corps is simply ordinary. On the defensive line, SOMEONE, whether it be Brayton, Johnson or Lewis will have to make a play should Peppers continue to face double teams. Peppers himself needs to find that next gear he has to bust through these counter-measures. As I said before, Pep is the wild card. Should the Panthers slow the running attack, then a ferocious pass rush will be needed, and the secondary will need to keep their coverage tight. Chris Gamble should be able to blanket the remaining best receiver, Amani Toomer, and Lucas had BETTER be able to cover the OTHER Steve Smith, the #12 for the GeeMen. I have a feeling that in the beginning, Coughlin will be every bit as patient and cautious as Foxy, and will be playing field position. Meaning, special teams could be huge in this game. Coverage on punts and kickoffs will be VITAL – the better team in this phase of the game gives them the best chance to win, given the conditions and fairly even matchup factors. And guess what? The Panthers are better statistically here. And THIS, this could wind up being the ultimate key to victory in this game.

There you go FanZ- That’s my prescription for victory. Should the Panthers do these things well, be prepared for three weeks of exhilaration not seen since our Super Bowl season! I absolutely cannot wait. I hope to see many of you this weekend-

If not-

In the lot in January!

Gotta Comment?
Email me, The Cedar Street Seer


December 18th, 2008

Two more games to go in this glorious season, y’all! Thanks for hangin’ on with me as I went through a pre-’08 Pantherlike swoon. I’ve gotten some serious correction, with a decent 9-6 mark last week, CORRECTLY handicapping that Indy-Leos game, and the Chefs-Boltz game, not to mention the BLOWOUT for the Panthers! This will be a week of separation for most, if not all of the playoff contenders. This week we’ve lost the Saints, Packers, and the DeadSkins for all intents and purposes. We’ve got a ton of clinching scenarios and I’ll run through them in a few more screen spaces… First, we examine the playoff status before I get into that, and the week’s handicapping-




TENNESSEE- Clinches #1 seed with a win.
INDIANAPOLIS- Clinches playoff spot with a win and loss by any AFC East team.
DENVER- Clinches AFC Worst Division with a win or Sad Diego loss.




NY GEEMEN – Clinches the #1 seed with a win
CAROLINA – Clinches the #1 seed and NFC South with a win. Clinches the NFC South division with a Tampa loss. Clinches a playoff spot with a loss by Tampa, Atlanta or Dallas.
MINI-SODA- Clinches the NFC Norris division with a win or Chicago loss.
TAMPA – Clinches a playoff spot with a win or Atlanta, Dallas, or Philthydelphia loss.
ATLANTA – Clinches a playoff spot with a win AND Tampa, Dallas, Philthydelphia loss or tie.

Allright- Biggest week of the season!!! Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere we go-

The elitist bastard NFL Network offers one more one-sided contest for our consumption for Thursday night. Last week, I couldn’t touch a –17 point spread for the Colts. This week, they are favoured by 6 over the Jaggy-whyers, who surprised the hell out of me by beating Green Bay last week. I guess the Packers D is really that bad. The Colts defense, on the other hand, will handle these guys. Coach Dungy, who is the black Tom Landry, has done a magnificent job with the team this year, and it will carry at least to the divisional rounds. Indy won’t overlook their divisional rivals this week, I guarantee it. This will be done by halftime, and the Colts can look forward to closing the season with the Titans.

For a second helping from the elitist bastard NFL Network we get a TREMONSTEROUS Saturday night tussle between two teams with a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Both defenses are playing terrific ball right now, but the offenses are a little suspect. Dallas’ offensive team is a ticking time bomb, and not only is Marion Barber hurting, so is Romo the Homo. The Ravens offense is young and inexperienced in big games, as is rookie coach Johnny Harbaugh. For a second consecutive week, I’m waiting for Romo to make a game-killing mistake. This is going to be somewhat of a repeat performance of the Dallas/Pissburgh or Ravens/Pissburgh game. Field position will be critical here, and the better special teams will go a long way to deciding this one. Don’t discount the presence of ball-hawking Ed Reed. Something tells me he is going to make a difference in another body-bag kind of game. The Cowbabies are favoured by –4, but I’m leanin’ to the Ravens.

Uh-oh. Saints, out of the playoffs. Leos, 0-14. Seven times in NFL history a winless team, INCLUDING our Carolina Panthers, have notched their first win over the Saints. That has GOT to be on the mind of all involved with this appetizer of a game that registers on the interest meter like some nice stuffed mushrooms before the main course. The Saints DON’T want to lose to these guys, and Detroit DOESN’T want to go winless! Something is going to give in this contest. Detroit, with the exception of the Thanksgiving Day fiasco, has played competitive ball late in the season, and I think they’ll do the same here, sensing a chance to snag a victory, and not join the WRETCHED ’01 Carolina Panthers in the Hall of Shame. The Saints are favoured by –7, and they do tend to play well in a dome, but I like the Leos to at least cover. I just gotta hunch.

Before the loss of defensive MVP’s Hanesworth and VandenBosh, I thought this would be BodyBag Bowl 2, but since the team was exposed at Houston last week, I’m thinking this is a game the hungry Squeelers execute better, ESPECIALLY defensively. No one in the league is playing better D than Pissburgh right now, and all they’ll need to do is play field position and kick field goals. Roethlisberger gets a break this Sunday, and they get to close out the season and the #1 seed at home to Clevelandland next week. The Squeelers are favored by -2 points, and I say they win straight up.

The presence of Samurai’s Niners makes this game against the Sacrificial Lambs bearable. I knew they’d be a tough out for the Dolphins last week, and they will not lose to what I think is indeed the worst team in the league. The Lambs had their two-game shot this season, and they’re looking forward to their warm-weather offseason destinations. I’ve said it several times in this feature, and I’ll say it again- the SF players are responding to Singletary’s coaching like a coquette in front of a jewelry shop. Ok, I never said it like that, but he’s got these players fighting, and if he isn’t offered the position permanently, SOME NFL team, immediately following the end of this season, WILL. This game is part of his portfolio and interview process. He won’t screw it up. They are favoured by –5 ½ , and they will win BIG.

Uggghh. Remember what I said about last week’s Seattle/St. Looey game? Applies here. Won’t handicap it, won’t pick it.

This is a game that Miami MUST win to get to their penultimate game against the Brets next week. The Chefs are STILL fighting and playing hard, and Herm Edwards has GOT to be credited for keeping everything competitive. They will fight hard against the Fhish, but they’re lacking defensively in Broncoid proportions, and the Dolphin defense is playing particularly well. Tony Sorpano seems to me to be too good a coach to allow this team to look past these guys in getting to Noo Yawk. If they blow this game, he’ll be the one I’ll fault. But they won’t. Stone cold lock this week, Dolphins by –4 over the Chefs. At least.

A game full of trends to note: The Cardy-noles have struggled mightily when traveling east. The Patsies tend to perform much better in winter weather, which is forecast for this game. The Cardy-noles are pretty much locked in the #4 seed spot, and NewEnglandland is fighting for their playoff lives, and may not make it even IF they win their last two games. Cassle INDEED had the game of his life last week after his pop’s sudden death, and he might deflate here. The Patstry-Rot defense remains short –handed, but I’m favoring the cold-weather team. The Cardy-noles will get the Seadogs at home to close the season, and avoid going into the playoffs with an 8-8 record. For this game, the old axiom (which I DO like to occasionally trot out) about the size of the fight in the dog applies here, and the Patsies have the bigger fight. The line is –7 ½ for the Patsies, and I like ‘em in this one.

Two weeks ago, this looked like the next to last mark on the way to the NFC South checkered flag for the Buckies. Now it looks like the Buccaneers car is way too loose, and there’s no caution flag thrown to stall the race and pit. Carolina exposed the age of the defense, and now, with Garcia hurting among other Bucs, all of a sudden, with Denver losing last week, this game becomes vital to the Chargers, who sense a chance to make one last push to respectability, if not the playoffs. For two straight weeks, a punishing rushing attack has taken advantage of the Buc’s run defense, and here comes another of note. While LT hasn’t been himself this season, you can bet he’ll give his best this week. He can get back to a 1000 yd rushing season with a decent effort. They’ll be no scoreboard watching for the Boltz, as the Denver/Beefalo game is a 4 o’ clock game. A loss won’t be fatal to the Bucs, but they do need this game to have a chance at the division, and to guarantee a playoff spot. The size of the fight will be strong for both teams, and I’m anticipating a scorefest. I’ve got a straaaaaaaaaaange feelin’ about this game. The most benevolent karma continues to grace Panther Nation. The line is at a paltry -3 ½ for the Bucs, but I’m leanin’ to the Chargers!

I can imagine there’s some Texans fans upset that NOW is when the team has decided to play some good football, when the playoffs won’t happen. It IS entirely possible that Houston is building momentum for ’09. Problem is, that there’s a whole offseason to get through before you can resume that big “MO”. As it is, Matt Schaub is leading a very efficient offense that’s going to be tough for a listless Schraider team to stop. The Texan defense is also beginning to see dividends from their top selection of Mario Williams. Not too dumb now, are they? A winning season, their first, is certainly motivation enough for these guys, and I don’t see any scenario where Houston doesn’t clock CrOakland by at least the -7 points they’re favoured by. Take the Texans big.

I’ve got a squeamy, gishy, uncomfortable feeling in this game. Mike Holmgren will be coaching against his old QB’s team, who by the way, is struggling as of late, which you absolutely DON’T want to be doing at this point of the season if the playoffs and beyond is your goal! If the defense doesn’t score on the stupid fumble of JP Losman last week, we might be talking about desperation time for the Brets. I got news for y’all. It IS desperation time for the Brets! I see Vegas is a little nervous, too, favouring the Brets by a mere -4 ½ points over a wretched Seattle team. I’ve been doggin’ the SeaDogs all year, and I have this weird feeling they are going to rise to the occasion. The Brets have done poorly on the Worst Coast all season, and I won’t buck the trend. I can’t believe I’m telling you to do this, but take the SeaDoggies and the points.

By the time the teams take the field at Invesco, the Broncoids will know their playoff fate. Should the Chargers beat the Bucs for the 1 ‘o clock game, they know it’s a MUST WIN game or else they must face the very same Chargers, IN Sad Diego for a do-or-die game. The Bills will be playing loose and motivated to despoil the Broncoid season. And Denver will be playing tight. While the Buffalo D isn’t the Panther D, the Broncoid offense, playing at home, should generate enough points to win, if the wretched defense can keep the Bills from scoring more. Why do I think this will wind up being a shoot-out? The line is a whopping -7 for the Coloradians, and I’m leaning to the Broncoids, but BOY would I love to see the Chargers win, and the Broncoids lose, and set up that pathetic matchup for a pair of underachieving football teams.

Right now, the Vikings are playing their best ball of the season, and Atlanta is beginning to regress. Perhaps their prize rookie is hitting that proverbial wall. This is the wrong time to be doing that. The Duckies will be playing a tough defensive team, and one that has their own power back. Even though the Duckies will be playing in the comfort of a dome, it’s a dome full of excited Mini-Sodans who will also be making a difference in this game. If the Duckies can get them quiet early, they might have a chance. Pat Williams, the Vike’s defensive stalwart, will be out for the remainder of the season, and that gives them a little hope of gashing that potent D. However, I think the Vikings’
defense and Adrian Peterson make the difference. Get your ten wins next week, you *($^##@ Duckies, and prepare to fight in the leagues’ toughest division next year. But on this day, victory will belong to the Vikings, who are favoured by -3 ½ .

Another tale of teams going in opposite directions. Somehow, the Fleeguls have found another gear, and another source of energy and confidence. With three straight wins, and ONE of them over the once-mighty GEEEMen, they are a breath away from serious playoff contention. The turnaround has come about with defense, a rejuvenated Bryan Westbrook, and a resurrected Donavan McSnabb. The DeadSkins, on the other hand, are in full meltdown mode. Coach Zorn’s arrogant stance with Clinton Portis and then astonishing self-defamation doesn’t help his standing with his players. I think the difference in attitudes will be palpable in this game. The line favours the Fleeguls by -5, and I think the Iggles win this one big, setting up a death match with the hated Cowpuppies in one of the most hostile environments to play in at Lincoln Financial Field-

The only stadium in the league with a jail.

Speaking of hostile environments, the Panthers come to Giants Stadium in the traditionally cold, wintery North Joisey December. You’d think that would be a problem, but they’ve done this before, and in the playoffs, no less. And shut them out. Don’t think the G’ints have forgotten that. But this is a different Giants team – their big playmaker, Plaxico Burress, is done. Their big bruising running back, Brandon Jacobs, has an injured knee, and his effectiveness will be limited. Down a couple of starting offensive linemen makes this an easier task for the visiting Panthers, who, by the way, are a different Panthers team than the one that blew them out in the ’06 playoffs. They’re BETTER. They are built for game situations like this. If the Panther’s FIVE GUYS can get the kind of push they’ve been getting for the past three games, they can quiet this hostile Noo Yawk crowd (save for Dano and James- be careful, guys!) and get control of this game. Peppers is the wild card in this game, as I’ve indicated in my last rant. A dominant performance by Pep seals the deal for the ‘Cats, and the vibe just feels so positive. G’ints are favoured by -3 as they should be, but I like the Panthers to win, STRAIGHT UP, and the NFC path to the Super Bowl must get through Cedar Street first!

It’s possible that before the Giants/Panther game kicks off, Da Bears will already know their playoff fate before this Monday Night tilt. Should the Vikings win, they will be finished. Should the Duckies sink the Vikings, then the game becomes a must win over their oldest and fiercest rivals. They SHOULD be able to puncture that wretched Packer defense, but they will have to do a better job against that potent passing attack led by Aaron Rogers. And speaking of Rogers, he’s NOT the reason that the first post-Favre season was a losing one, but the mess created by the un-retirement issue will be the lasting legacy of Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy if a playoff berth isn’t forthcoming next season. This could wind up being TWO disappointed teams as opposed to one downtrodden team and one fighting for playoff life. If things go to my vision, this will be a disappointed and feisty crowd. And I think the Packers will add to the disappointment. Da Bears are favoured by 4, but I really like the Packers to grind their hated rivals nose in the dirt.

There you go, PantherFanz! The Cedar Street Seer sees the end of the season, and a nice winning margin for my first year’s clairvoyance efforts!
Again, Godspeed to Dano and James and anyone else from Panther Nation heading to JZ this weekend. Some of you I’ll see Sunday. The rest of you tune in for what I hope is a rant of joyousness not seen since we went to the Super Bowl-

Last week- 9-6
Season- 103-86

Gotta Comment?
E-mail me, The Cedar Street Seer

17 December, 2008

16 December, 2008


December 15, 2008

In the past, a tremendous effort like the one put forth by our Panthers against the Bucs last Monday night would often be followed by a thud, a clunker of a game the following week, as it goes with many teams. Many folks in the media and in Panther Nation expected much of the same thing yesterday, with the huge game against the GEEEMen looming NEXT Sunday night.

I did not.

The fact that New York was constantly mentioned, and referenced by the same media and fans, brought forth the same rebuttals from Foxy and Co. – “Our focus is on Denver”, as it should have been. The buzz has been on the New York Giants ever since the end of the Buccaneers game, and has steadily increased in vociferousness daily. But for those of us who had not lost sight on the following opponent, the trends in both the Panthers and Broncoids were apparent, and I didn’t think the game was going to be close. But we STILL had to keep a laser beam focus on the Coloradians, and get them out of the way.

Right again, Cedar Street Seer.

What was great to see was the balance of rushing and passing, continuously keeping that Denver defense guessing, and pure, unadulterated Foxball was the prescription for victory. Greater still to see was the defense SHUTTING DOWN one of the leagues’ more potent offenses. Not once, not after the Broncoids’ first TD, not after they took a 10-7 lead in the first quarter, did I EVER think the outcome was in doubt. I never questioned the coming beatdown, because I believed, and strongly, the mismatches that favoured a resounding Panther victory! I won’t break the game down in this rant as it’s been done ad nauseum over and over by all of the media outlets you pore over after a game like this, and I won’t be telling you anything new. So now, as this version of the Carolina Panthers closes out the season, I again revisit the progress of this team. What’s decidedly different about this edition, over that of the past teams, including ’03 and ’05?

1-The running attack is the best it’s ever been, and that’s also because of the best O line we’ve ever assembled.
2-The offense is producing points at a level that’s also record-setting.
3-The defense, while not as dominating as say the ’03 version, has the center of it’s strength in the linebackers and safeties, and not the D line, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
4-We’ve regained the home field advantage, and in a big way.
5-We’ve come from behind, late in games, to rally, and win.
6-So far, we have managed to handle prosperity, and the white hot spotlight.
7-This collection of athletes exemplify “TEAM”, and there is no shortage of good, veteran leadership. The value of that can’t be overemphasized enough.

Even in our championship seasons, there’s always been a late season swoon where inexplicably, the Panthers would lose two or three in a row, and have to rally to make the playoffs. That scenario just doesn’t exist this season. It’s a rarified event, for the Panthers to be 11-3 with just two games to go. And looking damned good doing it. So, with Denver firmly sealed in the record book for the season, at last, we can start thinking about the Giants.

And it’s put me in a New York state of mind. A week late, to be sure, but now I’ve joined the rest of Panther Nation that was fixated on the BEEEG APPLE right after the Bucs were beaten.

While some would argue with me, I think Gotham is clearly the center of the football universe. Come on, TWO NFL teams call Giants Stadium home! It’s a traditionally difficult place to play, ESPECIALLY in December, where the cold winds swirl about the bowl, and the hostile but passionate fans create a true home field advantage. Ownership has deep pockets and is not adverse to writing big checks for desired players. The market is huge, and is ALWAYS featured in primetime viewing. The media’s glare is continuous and unfaltering on New York teams, and oh, by the way, most of your major networks (not FOX) are based there. Playing a New York team IN New York is always a big deal, and is usually motivation enough for teams going there. And here, here in Gotham City, is where our Panthers are headed in six days for the biggest regular season game of the existence of the franchise. I’m not sure I need to tell you what the stakes of this game are- and how simple our destiny is. With this team we have, the road-grading defensive line, the explosive running backs supported by that line, the leadership of Jake Delhomme, one of the winningest big game quarterbacks in the league, and our hard-hitting safeties and linebackers, we are poised to make one big statement about this team in a season that’s with every passing week appears to be one that has been lovingly touched by a very benevolent karma.

All we have to do is win this game. That’s all. If we win, the NFC path to Super Sunday MUST go through OUR stadium! How incredible, after the wretched stink of last season, would that be! And it’s within our grasp! I no longer think the Giants are the unbeatable juggernaut as the wounded and flawed teams from Philthydelphia and Dallas have beaten them, and soundly. Something has happened to the cohesiveness and effectiveness of the G’ints personnel- and now I’m thinking there’s matchups that are going to favour the Panthers this Sunday Night. This isn’t a team we’re going to get into a shootout with. This is a game that is going to be very, very physical, and one that I believe this team is capable of playing. And it starts with those FIVE GUYS I ranted about last week. IF they can continue the blocking and pass protecting they’ve been providing for the past three games, there’s little doubt about the outcome. There’s one more factor. Our defense will HAVE to make plays, and I think they understand fully what they must do. They’ve done it against four of the NFL’s most prolific offenses, and been victorious. I think they do it again. Of course, the play of Julius Peppers remains the wild card. If he has one of those dominant performances again, it will be tough for the G’ints to overcome us. For the past three weeks, the team has been up to the tasks of increasingly vital games to the playoff push. A dramatic win in Green Bay. A resounding victory at home to the Bucs. A balanced beatdown of the Broncoids yesterday. And now, New York looms. How vital are the next two games to the season? Incredibly enough, should we stumble this weekend, and then collapse to the Saints the following Sunday, there’s a real chance, that at 11-5, we miss the playoffs, depending on what the Buckies, Duckies and Cowpuppies do. I can’t fathom that happening. This team is getting hot at precisely the right time, playing a team that is stumbling at the worst time. Similar to the swirling karmatic flows and eddies of the season, I firmly believe the game favours the Panthers, and that’s not just x’s and o’s. That’s part of the Cedar Street Seer world, of which you live in.

The end is in sight, Fanz! It’s like Dorothy Gale and her Ozian friends exiting the dark forest where the Cowardly Lion lived and seeing the Emerald City for the first time! Except that we won’t be asking any wizard for anything when we get there-


And it will bear itself out Sunday Evening. Godspeed to Dano and James and any other PantherFanz heading to the game this weekend, may you get back safely as we plan the first of TWO playoff parties in the lot while the team-


I’ll be back with the handicap Thursday morning, and possibly some other musings that are burbling.

Gotta Comment?
Email me, The Cedar Street Seer

11 December, 2008


December 11th, 2008

Ok, now I’m gonna act like I’ve been here before. I got positively giddy with my 12-4 performance last week, and now, like canning another nice jump shot like I did in church league, I’ll just shoot down the court and get ready to play defense instead of hi-fiving all of my teammates. But I am pretty pumped to log MY BEST PICKING WEEKEND OF THE SEASON at 13-3! That’s a steamrolling akin to Stewilliams’ mighty three bucks put on the Buckies on Monday. I’m ready to do it again. This week features some HUGE games with both elimination and clinching scenarios, and one of them involves OUR Carolina Panthers. Here’s a quick look at the playoff pixtchure-




TENNESSEE- Can clinch the #1 seed with a win or Pissburgh loss.
PISSBURGH- Can clinch the AFC Norris Division with a win.
BALTY-MOORE- Can clinch a playoff spot with a win, and loss by any NFC East team.
DENVER- Can clinch the AFC Worst division with a win.





NY GEEMEN- Can clinch first round bye with a win.
CAROLINA- Can clinch playoff spot with win and Duckie or Dallas loss.
TAMPA BAY- Can clinch playoff spot with win and Dallas loss.
MINI-SODA- Can clinch the NFC Norris division with a win and Chicago loss.

With that, lemme tear into this week’s games like an early Christmas Present!

For those of us fortunate enough to get the NFL Network, those elitist bastards have a playoff-type game tonight. This is pretty much an elimination game for both, but the stakes are so much higher for The Saints. They found their long-lost running game last week with Pierre Thomas, and a healthy Reggie Bush made a great contribution. Meanwhile, Da Bears got a great game out of their back, Mr. Forte, and Orton ‘eard many an ‘oo for good passing yardage. The bad news for the Saints is that this game is at chilly Soldier Field, and they’ve not done well on the road this year. The good news is that Da Bears’ defense is but a shell of it’s former self. I’m thinking this is going to be a shootout, believe it or not. Last one with the ball might be the winner. A loss for Da Bears will leave them hoping the league suspends the Viking’s Willamses. A loss for the Saints will finish them. The line’s at 3, and I lean to Da Bears. Sorry Saints, see ya next year.

I would expect the Packers to come down to the comfortable confines of AlTel
Stadium as professionals, knowing that their playoff chances rest with the capricious whims of an unfeeling karma. Which, officially, is 98% certain elimination. The play of the defense has pretty much doomed them this season, but Aaron Rogers, in my opinion, has been every bit worthy to succeed Bret Favre. I think his stellar play will continue here. Jacksonville has mailed the season in, and what was one unthinkable has certainly been on the mind of owner Weaver. Jack Del Rio’s job may be in jeopardy. The players won’t care. The Packers are favoured by 2 ½, and I think they wear the Jaggy-whyers out.

The Lions are on the cusp of infamy. And all for the wrong reasons. And Indianapolis has put itself on the cusp of a remarkable comeback. And both are hallmarks reflective of their respective organizations. Just on opposite ends of the spectrum. I could see the motivating factor for both sides, but I just think the notion of going through a 16-game season winless would motivate ME to play my ass off. I’m certain that the Lie-uns won’t roll over and die for the Colts, but they seem overmatched in this game. I really don’t want to touch that –17 point spread for the Colts at home. At SOME point, Detroit HAS to win SOMETIME! The Saints come to Ford Field next week. Possibly without Duante Culpepper, I just don’t see a win this week. And I hate taking that –17 point spread. I don’t see the Colts getting up enough for a winless team this late in the season. I’m sure they’ll all be saying the right things, oh, Detroit’s a dangerous team, a bunch of professionals, blah, blah, blah, the company line, blah, blah, blah, but the facts remain. I might be a fool, but I got a feeling Detroit covers that +17 points. And no doubts about an Indy win.

This is a game that could go stinky in a hurry. The DeadSkins have collapsed in the last stretch of the season, and a loss to the dreadful Bungles would finish the season for them. The FredSkins are banged up everywhere, and all of a sudden, Jason Campbell can’t find the wide side of a Burger Barn. This game feels like a 12-3 game to me. Even banged up, I can’t see the Bungles beating Warshingtoon. The line is 6 ½, and I’m leanin’ to the Foreskins, who survive one more week.

Ahhhh, here’s a MONSTEROUS TITANIC HUMONGOUS game that Panther Nation needs to pay VERY CLOSE attention to! After the lickin’ the Bucs took against us Monday night, the Duckies have got to be salavatin’ about Mikey Turner and company doing their own road grading against the suddenly susceptible Buckie defense! However, the Saints exposed the Duckie’s own defensive shortcomings last week. Like the N.O/Chicago game, I fully expect this to be a shootout. Tampa’s not as bad as they looked this Monday, and I think they will be ready to rectify their defensive lapses. It will be tough against Atlanta on their home turf. A loss for the Bucs may seal their fate as a wild card team, but a loss for the Duckies makes their playoff chances more remote. There’s SEVEN NFC teams pulling like hell for the Bucs this week, and oddly enough, one of them is US, although I’m not sure I understand why. I just think it would be better for us for both teams to go into Week 16 at 9-5. The line is a meager –3 for the Duckies, but I think they’ll keep their home dominance going. Here’s a serious trend- NFC SOUTH teams are a mind-boggling 24-2 at home. Take the Duckies.

Only the resurrection of the Atlanta franchise could come close to the amazing rebound story of the Miami Dolphins this year. THEY were the laughable Detroit Lie-uns last year, and GM Tuna and coach Sorpano have taken a handful of draft choices, free agents, and the existing team and made them winners. And possibly poised to take the division. Bad news- the Phoney Niners are actually playing good ball now, despite having been eliminated from the playoffs last week with Arid-zona’s win. They are building a foundation for next year, and ‘Frisco ownership would be foolish not to see the response of the players to Samurai’s coaching. They definitely need to retain Singletary. They are going to be a tough out for the Fhish, who have struggled a bit of late, this Sunday. I like the Niners to cover the + 6 ½ points.

Ugghh. I’m wondering which broadcast team FOX is sending to this barnburner. I’m not even sure people in Wash State or Missouri are interested in this- wretched offering. There isn’t any matchup of note here, and I’m thinking this is coaching staff and players just riding out the string. Some are playing for jobs, some, like Mike Holmgren, are just waiting for the end of the line. The line is off, and I simply don’t have any feeling for this game whatsoever. This game will not count in my picks this week, cause I’m not taking either team.

The season’s over for the Bills, mercifully. They have looked abysmal in their last two games when the season was on the line, and gettable in their home stadium. The BRETS have the rest of the league scratching their heads as well after their last two clunkers. They come home with a chance to get the season back on track. They have the talent, the motivation, AND, however overrated he is, Brett Favre. I look for them to keep pace with the Fhish and Patsies, and certainly cover the –7 points they’re favoured by.

A team that’s looked damn good for the past two weeks gets the NFL’s best team in its house this week. What a better way to see where you are as a young developing team, than to play against the best! The Titans have the #1 seed to play for, and with Pissburgh and Indy waiting down the road, this may be their best opportunity to get it. That rushing attack, which is as good as any in the league, will be tough for the Texans to stop. I think the Texans will hang tough in this game, hence the teeny line. I like the visiting Titans and the slender –3 they’re getting, and to eventually wear Houston down. And Texans? Keep up the good work, and we’ll see you in the hunt next year.

Here’s another HUMONSTOUROUS TITANIC MEGAHUGE game of epic proportions! The leagues top defenses will be hitting as if the future of the planet was at stake! It wouldn’t surprise me to see a cart or two wheeled out in this one, although I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen. The last time these two met, it took a miracle for WorthlessBerger to squeeze out a lucky victory over an otherwise dominant Ravens team. This will not be a game for offense. This feels like a nine-sack game for both teams. Field position will be a huge factor, and the team that can run the ball better and NOT turn the ball over will win. The Ravens have more, and healthier backs. Vegas has the Ravens favoured by 1 ½ points and I agree. Take the Quothers, and the AFC Norris division race to get really interesting these last two weeks.

At first, this game gave me a really weird feeling. At present, the Broncoids have the NFL’s top passing offense. That’s great, we’ve already beaten New Orleans, Arid-zona, Green Bay, and Tampa, teams with outstanding passing games. Denver has one of the leagues’ WORST run defenses. Carolina has one of the BEST run OFFENSES. Hmmm. Shouldn’t be hard to figure out. All Denver has to do is win ONE game in the next three, and their playoff ticket is punched. Carolina is in a far more urgent situation. And they’re at home. And totally healthy. And I guarantee they’ll be focused, and the defense will want to prove themselves against Cutler and Co. The line is Panthers by –7 ½, and there’s no question in my mind that we cover that, short week and all. Say hello to the playoffs, Panthers!

All of whatever progress the Chargers have made or will make is far too little, and too late to overcome the Broncoids. Kansas City has continued to fight and play hard, and that bodes well for Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards. I think the Chefs desperately want to win one more for the coach that believes in them and the fans that support them. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them win Sunday and put the Bolts out of their misery. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me to see LT to bust loose, either. This games just a little difficult to call. Thinking about the trends of the past few weeks, I like the Chefs to cover the +5 points at home.

The Cardy-Noles already have their ticket punched, and it’s a guaranteed #4 seed. They’ve been pretty stout at home, and the Vikings could possibly be without Augustus in this game. And hanging over the Vikings like an approaching gulley-washer are the potential suspensions of Pat and Kevin Williams. Arid-zona’s shown that they are susceptible to a strong rushing attack, and AP and CT will certainly supply that. Vegas is having a tough time with this game, as am I, because as of this morning there is no line on this contest. One could make a strong case for either team to win. The motivation factor to me is stronger on the Viking’s side, and I’m leaning on them to win.

For the Pastry-Rots, this Worst Coast trip can’t end soon enough for them. With a return trip to the playoffs hanging in the balance, they found enough to overcome a game SeaDog team and keep pace with the Brets and Fhish. This should in no way be any kind of contest, unless Matt Cassel can’t play because of circumstances surrounding his father’s death. In which case, this would turn out to be a painfully excruciating defensive tussle. I for one, think Cassel would follow the example set by Brett Favre a few years ago, when he decided to play the day of his fathers death against ironically enough, CrOakland! And he torched them for a career high in touchdowns. And I think he does the same here. The line is NewEnglandland by –7, and I like them to win big.

Because of the Panther’s sudden luminescence, the G’ints now have to play TWO consecutive prime-time contests before closing out the regular season, and this will be the first. This is a MUCH bigger game for the Cowpuppies than NY. If you remember, they were embarrassed in every way possible in their game in Gotham. Don’t think they’ve forgotten it. They are playing much better right now, and I guarantee they’ll give the suddenly vulnerable GeeeMen a fight. Marion Barber is dinged up for Dallas, and NY is likely to be without workhorse Brandon Jacobs. NY will be anxious to give a better performance than the clunker they had at home to the Fleeguls. I still think that Romo The Homo does something stupid to cost them the game, as he’s always done in big games. Wrong team favoured by 3- I like the GEEEMen to win this game and set up that HUGMONGOID GAME against the Panthers next Sunday Night.

Week 15 gets a garbage game to end the week on Monday night that will be interesting only for folks in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, which sucks for the rest of the country after the peach we all enjoyed last week. The Brownies are done. DONE. The rejuvenated Iggles can sense a possible playoff push by dispatching the hapless Browns Monday night, and they will do it in every phase of the game. This could be the biggest blowout of the week. Boids, BIG, by possibly MORE than the –14 points.

Two more to go, Fanz- and then,


Last week- best week so far- 13-3
Season- 94-80

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10 December, 2008

Check Barbers face for fingerprints!

Smitty gets his:


December 10, 2008

Because of five guys, I suffered the worst hangover I’ve had in YEARS yesterday, and my mushed up mind couldn’t drag itself to the keyboard until this morning.

Because of five guys, Pantherfanz had one of its grandest affairs in many seasons.

Because of five guys, an “undersized” back and his rookie teammate gashed the supposedly INPENETRABLE Tampa Bay run defense for over 300 yards.

Because of five guys, The Carolina Panthers now firmly control their density, much like George McFly wanted to control Lorraine’s density in “Back to the Future”. And they also control their DESTINY, as well. Firmly, at that.

Because of five guys, the entire NFL nation now knows what we’ve known for a while-

The Carolina Panthers are a really good team.

And as a result, because of these five guys, The Panthers now get their second prime-time contest against the GEEEEEEEMen in Noo Yawk eleven days from now, with a very real chance of snagging the number one seed in the playoffs.

Many of you know of which five guys I’m talking about. Those of you who know football and aren’t focused on the quarterback or wide receivers or what the gabbing media jaws are saying know who they are. For those of you who are tired of me blathering on and on without making a point, they are, by the position of which they play, are –

LEFT TACKLE- Jordan Gross
LEFT GUARD- Travelle Wharton
CENTER- Ryan Kalil
RIGHT GUARD- Keydrick Vincent

These five guys, playing together for the first time since the start of the season, are now beginning to realize the promise of success we’ve hoped for from the get-go. Those of you who were at the game I’m sure saw what I saw. I saw a serious PUSH from these guys. Jake was never really pressured, yielding a wimpy sack early in the game, but as the contest progressed, I felt that we were never in danger, never going to surrender momentum, and never going to be stopped in the rushing attack. I’m sure it was better yet for the folks who saw it on TV and got to hear Jaws’ excited commentary. (I can’t wait to get my copy of the DVD Brain made for me!) I was so entranced by the excitement on the field, that I never took a moment to glance at the scoreboard for the quarterly statistics. It wasn’t until I got out of the stadium, drunk and happy, that I realized that these five guys busted Stewilliams loose for


Against the Buccaneers! One of our fiercest rivals! On NATIONAL TV! The implications of this performance continue to pour on me like a football bacchanal. How far away last season feels now! Remember our “big game” against Romo the Homo’s Cowpuppies last year? How we went “kersplat” on the national stage? In stark, vivid comparison, how good does Monday night feel? To have the white-hot spotlight energize the fans and the team and not melt as many an NFL pretender has done. Pretender. That’s a word that’s been attached to many teams in seasons past. Cleveland. Green Bay. Buffalo. Tampa Bay. New Orleans. Yes, and this team coming up, Denver. And us. And Denver is all of a sudden a scenario that becomes serious. But I’m digressing momentarily. I want to get off the five guys for a second, and go to ONE GUY-

And it’s not Jake Delhomme.

It’s Ken Lucas. Just like the offensive line, one underperforming or weak player has potential to collapse the whole unit. For the past three games, our pass coverage has been below average. And I think we can focus the blame on KL. Oh, yeah, his teammates are not gonna throw him under the bus, they will behave like the pure team players they are and assign blame collectively. But it’s clear that Lucas is the weak link in a unit that MUST play better if our postseason dreams are to be realized. I think I’m gonna start callin’ him TOASTY Lucas if he continues to get scorched the way he’s been getting scorched! I’m sure you remember the long play to Bryant in Monday’s game where not only did he blow the coverage, not only did he commit a penalty in blowing it, but he allowed him to score! The offensive coordinators of Denver, New York and New Orleans are certainly going to game plan to attack him now! Turkey-Vac has got to get his side some help in practice, and create some schemes to facilitate that. For me, this is the one huge concern I have about this team going forward this season.

Back to the five guys. I would be amiss if I didn’t recognize the efforts of Hoov and Moose and the tight ends in the run blocking schemes. What a pleasure it is to have players that lean towards the skill set positions to knuckle down and do the hard work it takes to make the run game so potent! And I’m talkin’ about the one player closest to diva status we have as well. I saw Smitty put on a few nice blocks, too. Yes, I’m singling out the five guys on the O line, but it does take eleven dudes playing together to execute the game in a way that brings you closer to victory. And when all 47 dudes are of the same mindset, then you can start thinking about championships. But along with all of the good gooey goodness of the awesome win of Monday, comes the next test for The Panthers.

How to handle prosperity.

We’ve shown that we can win from behind, and on the road. We’ve played so much better at home. We’ve resuscitated the run game. So many things are starting to turn in our favour in this season, even more so that in our magical ’96 and ’03 seasons. One thing we’ve not been able to do is succeed when we are suddenly in the spotlight, and heavily favoured. All that good feeling and high expectation collapses with a loss at home to Denver. Remember two weeks ago, the BRETS were the toast of the league after beating the Titans? Remember who they lost to, at HOME the following week? Yep. The Broncoids. Who lost to CROAKLAND, for God’s sake the week before! Who is the one team to beat the Duckies at home this season? Yep. The Broncoids. This game, in my opinion, will be as critical as any we will play this season. While we firmly control our destiny, the margin is still uncomfortably thin. The good news is, that Foxy and company realize this. I heard the words “focused on Denver” several times from Foxy and players mere hours after the intoxicating victory of Monday. For the sake of the season, Foxy, you’d better be right. Denver has a potent passing attack, and an opportunistic secondary, and we might be in trouble should we have to get into a passing shootout with them, especially after a short week. But there’s more good news. Denver’s defense has been consistently bad this year, especially against the run. DINGDINGDING! Hey, Foxy, think this is a weakness worth exploiting? All the defense has to do is blunt Cutler enough, and let the FIVE GUYS pave the road for Stewilliams and Co. This to me, would be a simple formula for a critical victory in a critical race not just for the division, which by the way, becomes so much tighter should the Buckies overcome the Duckies this weekend, but for the top seed in our conference! I implore the team, AND the fans-

Focus on Denver. One hundred percent. I cannot stress enough how important to the seasons’ success that is. Dispatch the Broncoids, not by a field goal, not by a touchdown, but DECICIVELY! Ovecome them on the ground. Make them choke, and early, on their own fatal weakness, and then, as the fourth quarter melts into the cool December evening, THEN, and only THEN- do those five guys and the rest of the team think about the New York Giants.

But despite the possible negatives, I cannot escape the fact that for the first time in our franchise history, we are 10-3, and we are going into the last three games on a head of steam generated by one of the most defining forces in the game-

The rushing attack.

The forward pass is so much prettier to those who don’t appreciate the game fully. But the running game is that force that wins championships. It’s the weapon that wears down even the best of defenses.

And it’s all because of five guys.

Whet your appetites for some good smoked “HOSS MEAT” Sunday! It’s gonna be a great day in the lot, no matter what, as we


See you with the handicap tomorrow.

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06 December, 2008


In two more afternoons, we as PantherFanz, a legion of fans of the Carolina Panthers who are within the broader scope of fans known as Panther Nation, will begin a party of whose magnitude hasn’t been seen since, well, since last year.

But the game is so, so much bigger than that.

I don’t have to tell you what’s at stake. You already know the ramifications of a loss or win. A loss will make a division win tough, and lead to perhaps a guaranteed #5 or #6 seed, and the playoffs on the road. This in of itself isn’t necessarily bad. How many home playoff games did the GEEEEEEEEMen win last year? I hope that’s point taken. But how good would that be to WIN a huge, monster, titanic, (fill in your favorite superfluous adjective), game here in our own stadium? To leave the game in the frosty December air joyous and rapacious after a decisive victory over one of our fiercest rivals? I don’t have to tell you about that, either.

So, for the benefit of those of you who don’t scour the sports websites and listen to the endless blather of the so-called experts who analyze and over-analyze and go over every stat, trend, and matchup to produce a forecast, and blow even more effervescent fragrance towards and into Chucky Gruden’s anal orfice, I’m going to give you MY personal keys to the game.


Here it comes.

This is really, really important.

In order for us to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we will have to have more points on our side of the scoreboard than they do.

Simple as that.

So, how do we get there? You’ve probably heard ad-nauseum how potent the Tampa D is. Yah, Yah, Yah. So potent they had to scramble at the end of the game with the powerful Kansas City Chefs to eke out a victory. So potent they opened the game against the WINLESS Detroit Lie-uns by allowing the Leos 17 unanswered points. So potent they allowed the rudderless Cowbabies to run roughshod all over them. They CAN be penetrated, but Davidson is going to have to be smart about it. On offense, we will have to give the run game a chance. For the first time this season, our O line is completely healthy, and most importantly, are playing the best ball of the season. If we can maintain at least a 3.5 yards per carry, there’s no reason to get cute. Wouldn’t be bad to throw some to the running backs as well. I would still have Jake chuck a few downfield to keep the defense honest, because I do think Tampa’s D will emphasize stopping the run initially. Should the running attack have some success, then getting the ball to Smitty and Moose will be of the utmost importance. Smith has shown time and time again that he will make the most difficult of catches, and he’ll show it again. There is NO ONE in the Tampa secondary that can cover him. It would also be worth it to involve Smith in end-arounds and other creative plays. It’s also of the utmost importance that the line protect Jake long enough that he can find the open receiver. If he’s constantly pressured, it will be a long and miserable night for us in the stands. But I’m confident our game plan will yield enough points against this particular team, in the now comfortable confines of our home stadium.

Now, this is a really important part. On defense, we have GOT to make Garcia feel VERY uncomfortable. They will try to run, but I have a feeling that we’ll do a better job on the freshly-re-minted Cadillac Williams and Warrick Been-Dunn Before. Garcia will be rolling out on us a great deal, and throwing on the move. He’s made a CAREER doing that. So did Michael Vick, to a large degree, until we opened up a can of Thomas Davis on him. I would have Turkey-Vac get TD to spy him on virtually every play. If he can be kept in third-and-long situations, our secondary should be able to keep the plays in front of them. There’s no one in Tampa’s receiving corps that scares me or anyone else’s defense. As our defensive strength lies in our linebackers, I would have them involved in aggressive blitz packages, until the front four could generate enough pressure on their own, which I kinda doubt they’ll be able to do, given the past performances. Perhaps an interesting formation with either one or two linebackers in coverage, with Davis the designated rusher would frustrate Garcia enough to force him to make mistakes with the ball! Let me make this clear. We MUST stop Garcia from doing what he wants to do. That’s it. No other offensive player can hurt our defense like he can. We stop Garcia, and the game is ours. All of Turkey Vac’s defensive game plans should be geared to this end. The wild card for us defensively will be Julius Peppers, and maddeningly enough for all of us who live and die with the Panthers, it ALWAYS is, from week to week. If he DOMINATES like he is capable of doing, and not shrinking as he’s done in the past, the linebackers have less to do up front, and can concentrate on the longer plays. If Peppers makes the kind of plays he does when he’s on, we win. I’m not a big football whiz as it comes to “X’s and O’s”, but I do love the game and pay attention to it’s nuances on every level. Make no mistake, if we are to win this game it will be won by the play of our defense. To a man, they are disgusted with their play of late and know that it’s go time NOW. The vibe in the locker room today has been off the chain. They’re ready to go.


There’s one more vital, and I do mean VITAL ingredient to this win, should it come to pass.

And this is going to come from us, and only us, the Panther fans, not JUST Panther FANZ.

How many Bucs fans will be in the stands on Monday night? Do you think it will be anything like the fans the Cowpatties, Packers and Squeelers bring? If there will be 2000 Bucs jerseys in the BOFA, I would be shocked. The job of US, the fans of Panther Nation, will be to MAKE NOISE LIKE OUR LIVES WERE IN DANGER!!! I cannot stress this enough! Every time that Tampa gets the ball we should be screaming like Chucky was fixin’ to perform a cruel surgery on you without anesthesia. The offensive game plan they want to execute REQUIRES key elements be able to listen to calls Garcia makes on the line of scrimmage. And we, Panther Nation, have the capability of disrupting that with a punishing attack of decibels not seen since the 1997 playoff against the Cowbabies. Last year’s edition would have never seen that kind of vocal support from me, because the overall effort was not deserving of that. Seeing Travelle Wharton gun down the field on Stewarts’ big run was the kind of effort I thrive on as a fan. Individual players, yes, even Pep, have turned in that kind of performance this year, and I’m planning on rewarding them with the passionate vocalization they are needing for that extra “ummph” as one might call it, to stretch just that little bit more to knock the ball’s trajectory off as to create an incompletion, or even better, an interception or blocked field goal, extra point, or fumble. To piledrive an opponent back just a bit more to clear a path to a debilitating sack of Garcia. Yes, they are getting that vociferous vocal support from me, from Kathie, from everyone in my section. I admonish the rest of you to do the same. Even if we should find ourselves behind, we should continue to blast the Tampa offense with everything we have. The game does depend on it, in THIS particular setting.

And on offense? Be quiet and let them work. Cheer a competion, a nice pancake block by Hoov or Otah or Moose or any fired up Panther. Scream for a nice run or touchdown, but otherwise KEEP YOUR PIE HOLE PLUGGED when we have the ball and for GOD’S SAKE DON’T DO THE WAVE WHEN WE’RE ON OFFENSE!!!

So there you go Panther fans and FANZ alike. This is my prescription for a Panther victory this Monday night. We do this, and it won’t matter what the Duckies or Saints or FredSkins or Bears or what anyone does. Our playoff destiny will be firmly in the paws of the Panthers, as we would have it be.
There’s no questioning our party capabilities, because all of that will be manifest with all of the perfunctory aplomb by Head Coach Dano, James, Chuck, Patrick, Chris, PeaDad, BLu, etc. and all of you core PantherFanz that make this thing go. Let’s see this translated to the game and keep the intensity going for the Broncoid’s visit next week in another CRITICAL game, 'cause you know,


I was BORN a Panthers Fan......


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04 December, 2008


December 4th, 2008




That’s the way you want to go into the stretch run of the season! And that, my friends, is the record I predicted for the Panthers in the preseason. Three more to go- and the playoff participants are beginning to come into focus. The seeding has yet to be determined, but barring anything disastrous, you can pretty much count on the Titans, Squeelers, Ravens, Broncoids, GEEEEEMen, Panthers, Buckies, Duckies and Cardy-noles playing a game or two, or JUST MAYBE three in January. And a lucky pair will be playing a game in February.
With that in mind, I begin my drive to get on a two-week winnin’ streak… I’ve already broken down the playoff standings one rant ago, and you can scroll down and see it when you’re finished calling your bookie after reading this-

Whhhooo Boy, another beauty for the elitist bastard NFL Network. A thoroughly engrossing battle for AFC supremacy…. Ehhhhhhhhccch. This is it for the Chargers. Really. Strange to think, I kinda saw this in the AFC Championship last year when LaDamian Thomlinson was sulking on the sideline when the Bolts still were in the game against the Pastry-Rots. That overall malaise has crept into the rest of the team. The talent level is pretty much the same as it was then; it’s not executing, or responding to Norv Turner. Strangely enough, there’s still a chance, however remote, that EITHER team could make the postseason, dependant on a total collapse by the Broncoids, which actually COULD happen. There’s a lack of inspired play in all phases of all games from both participants in this whining dog of a game, and I am so hesitant to touch this stinker. Ecccchh. I just don’t wanna. Vegas is giving the Schraiders a whopping ten points. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them win. Reluctantly, I lean to the Schraiders to cover, and for Sad Diego to hang on to life for one more week.

The Sunday slate begins with a potential blowout at the LukeDome. The Colts are getting it together at the right time, despite an ugly victory at Clevelandland last week. Even without Bobby Sanders in the defensive backfield, I don’t see any reason why they don’t tattoo the Bungles. The line’s ENOURMOUS at 13 ½, and I’m takin’ it.

If Da Bears are going to go for the division championship, it starts here. Jacksonville is one of the biggest underachievers this year; never mind that the injury bug has hit them particularly hard. You still have to play the game and fight. They’ll be in the frosty December confines of Soldier Field, and Da Bears will be playing for their postseason lives. I have the feeling Del Rio’s lost his Jaggy-Whyers this year, and it will “bear” itself out in this game, and the remainder of the season. Da Bears are favoured by 6 ½ and I’ll take that.

This is another do-or-die game for The Packers. Their only chance for a shot at the playoffs is to win the division outright, and it starts with this game. Rogers is leading a prolific passing game, and if they can keep the Texans’ resurgent rush at bay, they’ve got a chance to win this one game. Matt Schaub comes back for this game, and he leads an underrated passing attack. This could be a lot like last week’s game against the Panthers. This late in the season, teams like Houston tend to play well. I think they play well here. I think the Packers will win, but it won’t be by the –6 they’re favoured by. Take Houston to cover.

The meltdown began in earnest for the Brownies when Quinn broke his finger. And now, eliminated from the playoffs, they go to league-leading Tennessee with Ken Dorsey at quarterback. This for all the world looks like a blowout, and I don’t even see pride as a motivating factor for those brown-and orange-and white unis. Another big line, and I think the Titans toy with these teenies. Take the Titans and the –13 ½.

The suspensions of Pat and Kevin Williams really hurt the Vikings. Badly. They were part of a trio of monsters on the defensive line that excelled at stopping the run, and now, only Jared Allen remains to face relentless double-teams for the remainder of the year. Even though they are one game ahead of Da Bears, and two ahead of the Packers, they could collapse in these last four games. Not wanting to finish with the infamy of being the first NFL team to go 0-16 is plenty enough motivation for ANY professional sports franchise. The line is off for this game at this time, and I’m picking the Vikings by the slimmest of margins, much like their last meeting.

This is pretty much the end of the line for the DeadSkins. They are faltering at precisely the wrong time, and coming to play a team that’s now brimming with confidence in the Ravens. They will likely be without MVP Clinton Portis, and that will make scoring on that stout defense even tougher. A win doesn’t guarantee anything for the FredSkins, but it does keep them alive for one more week. A win pushes the Ravens closer to clinching. The line favours Balty-Moore by –5 and I like the Ravens to quouthe muchly.

Pride would be the only motivating factor I could imagine for the Iggles on this day. The G’ints have simply been playing a different kind of football from virtually everyone else in the league save Tennessee and Pissburgh. Donavan McSnabb and co. came back to life in last week’s game against the Cardy-noles, but I don’t think it matters here, nor does Plaxico Burress’ legal troubles. The GeeMen are favoured by a touchdown, and that’s good for me.

Now, looky looky, here! Look who’s favoured over those smokin’ hot Duckies! The Saints really do play a different game in the SuperDome, and I wouldn’t expect that to change for this game. The Saints DO have some life, albeit faint, but a win over the team they MUST beat to have a chance gives Drew Brees and those Frisbee-catchin’ dawgs the impetus to launch a vertical attack on these guys. Save for a dumb interception late in last week’s game, we might be talking about the resurgent Saints. I expect a shootout of Big 12 magnitude. Experience to the veteran, and prolific passing scores more points than running. In this game it could help New Orleans. I lean to the Saints and the –3 points, and to survive one more week, while Dallas, Philthydelphia and Warshingtoon breath sighs of relief…

Here’s a game that could trap, even doom the BRETS this week. Samurai’s boys played heroically at Buffalo, and even hung on in Dallas. I’d expect they’d be up for this game, no matter what happens in Arid-Zona. The Niners AND Singletary are playing for next year, and they won’t disappoint the faithful. There’s a reason NY threw a clunker at home to Denver, at CrOakland, and at Sad Diego. I think Samurai takes advantage of that. Playoff chokers those BRETS are, and this is my upset of the week. Even though the BRETS are favoured by –4 on the road I like the Niners straight up!

The NorthMen get a rare NFL game played in the Ontario Province this Sunday, and there’s a rumbling that the team could relocate to Toronto. Not that I or anyone that’s not from The Empire State could care. The Bills for all intents and purposes are done. The game they played at home against a team they were supposedly better than, a game they HAD to win, was so poor I give them no chance at finishing the season better than 8-8. And it won’t start here. The game will be played in a dome, and the weather won’t be a factor. Advantage- Dolphins. Trent Edwards will probably not be healthy enough to play. Advantage- Dolphins. Motivation? Advantage- Dolphins. Favorite? Buffalo by a point. Advantage?


What to make of Denver? Are they the team who LOST to these very same Chefs, AND the SchRaiders? Or are they the juggernauts that slew the mighty Duckies, Buckies and BRETS? I’m actually terrified of picking this game. Other than three games, the Chefs have actually been fighting hard. I don’t expect that to stop, and I think the Broncoids have a tussle on their hands. They’ll likely win this game, but I think the Chefs cover those +9 points as that Broncoid sphincter shrivels up in the Rocky Mountain air…

This is THE game that the Cardy-Noles simply need to take, and take convincingly. Even with Stephen Jackson returning for the Lambs, who’ve experienced their win total for the season, they are outmatched by Arid-Zona.
I’d expect the Cards to unleash all of the last two weeks frustrations on the hapless Lambs. They’ve been strong at home, and I’m certain that continues here. A win here clinches the playoffs, and they get it. By AT LEAST the –13 ½ points they’re favoured by.

The nation’s afternoon eyes will be focused on this game on Sunday. The Cowbuppy fans will be hoping for a victory, the ignorant ones are expecting it, the rest of them who hate them and the notion that these overpaid, overhyped hand-picked athletes are “America’s Team”, will be pulling for the equally hated Pissburgh Squeelers to knock nine knots in their ass! For me it’s like pulling for Joe Stalin over Hitler. I don’t think Dallas will be able to penetrate that Squeeler D at their house, hell, not anywhere. And seeing that the offense is the strength of the Cowbaby team, I don’t give them much of a chance against a team that LEADS the LEAGUE in demoralizing, demonic, dominating, defining defense that also NEEDS to keep the Ravens at bay. Vegas loves the Cowpuppies too much. Pissburgh favoured by a mere –3 points, and I say they whoop ‘em by many times that number. Hell, that might be what the Cowbabies SCORE…

The Pastry-Rots’ push for the postseason begins with a two–game road trip this Sunday Night to the immensely disappointing SeaDogs. Uncharacteristic turnovers doomed the Patsies last week against a punishing Squeeler team, I’d think a Dr. EvilCheck team doesn’t repeat that mistake two weeks in a row, particularly in the comfortable confines of Qwest Field. I think the team rebounds against a far lesser foe that’s playing out the string, uncertain of the coaching future of the franchise, and New EnglandLand, favoured by –5 points, wins decisively.

At last, a Monday night game worthy of hype and hyperbole- Two 9-3 teams at the top of the conference, near the top of the league, with a mere handful of marketable stars, but a lot of heart and team fire. The NFC South has been the crucible of the league this year, especially at home. Don’t think the Panthers don’t remember the ass-kickin’ they got from Tampa in Week 6. That will NOT be repeated here. A warm-weather South Florida team will be facing a frosty night against a team that will be pumped. The division is on the line more so for the Panthers than the Bucs, and it will bear itself out in the way the game will be called by the coaching staff, and the manner in which it will be played. The outcome will not be close. Vegas likes the Panthers by –3, and they will win by far more than that. The division may not be won outright by a Panther win, but it will put them in great shape for it with strange and bumbling Denver coming in the following week.

There you go, Fanz. Get them bets in and enjoy the games-
Trust me, I’m a clairvoyant. Don’t believe me?

Last week- YEAH, BABY!- 12-4
Season on a comeback- 81-77

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