Monday, November 17, 2008

Right Where We Want to Be

It's been a good season to be a Carolina Panthers fan. Yesterday, the Panthers notched a 31-22 win over Detroit to move to 8-2 on the season, the 3rd-best record in the NFL and tied for the best start in franchise history (with the 2003 NFC Champion squad). Even better? No one seems to have noticed. The national media is abuzz with chatter (deservedly so) about the Titans and the Giants. The airwaves are filled with pundits falling all over the Cowboys now that Tony Romo's back and they've won six whole games (six!). Sports Illustrated's Peter King places the Panthers as the 9th best team in the NFL right now, ranking them behind Tennessee, the Giants, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, the Jets, New England and Tampa Bay. Seriously?

Why is this good news? Because Carolina's always thrived on flying under the radar. When big things are expected, they tend to flop (see 1997, 2004, and 2006). When people are expecting mediocrity, they become world-beaters. The last six games on the schedule are going to be tough, but this team looks poised to make some noise come January. That's the only attention that really matters anyway.


Darius said...

To be fair, the Panthers have only beaten two teams with winning records, and they got crushed by their division rivals, the Bucs.

D.J. Williams said...

Pittsburgh and New England have only beaten two as well. The Jets and Colts have notched three. The Ravens? One. I don't think Carolina's resume is too shabby. Granted, though, the schedule gets much tougher from here on out.

The Bucs kicked the crap out of us, you're right. That was ugly. We made some early mistakes and dug a 14-0 hole, and Tampa's D is brutal when they can play with a lead. Honestly, I think the NFC South is going to come down to the rematch in Charlotte on Monday Night Football on December 8th.