PANTHERS - HALF MARK STATUS
After 8 games played and a bye week (so we're sitting in week 9 of this season), the Carolina Panthers are a 5-3 team.
They've been delt major blows as QB Matt Barkley,WR Mohamed Sanu and HB Johnathan Franklin are out for the season. That's three major starters out. Both Barkley and Franklin could have been back this season, but the management felt it was better to put them on IR to save cap space to ink in players.
Indeed, rookie QB Homer Davidson did a decent job, but when the defense has an off day, his rookie mistakes loose games. It was so decided to sign QB Matt Ryan from the UFA pool. His veteranship has since then helped the team in a good way.
As for Franklin, back-up Anthony Downs has not the same skillset and the GM felt an upgrade was needed. So to sign Montee Ball, Franklin had to be put on IR. Unfortunately, Montee Ball is now out for 4 weeks after the week 9 game. The injuty bug still affects Carollina this year.
WR Sanu was put on IR because his injury won't heal before the end of the season. The team had trade talk for another WR ; but looking back at the roster, decided to play WR Rashard Clarke who was left behind on the depth chart (shamely). Well, in the game against the Buccas in week 9, he had 4 balls caught for 140 yards and a TD. Quite a good way for a first career start as WR #1.
So here's the schedule so far :
1 vs Redskins : Won 31-27
2 at Cowboys : Won 24-22
4 vs Falcons : Won 26-14
5 vs Saints : Lost 17-31
6 at Lions Lions : Lost 13-14
7 vs Buccaneers : Lost 7-20
8 at Saints : Won 50-48
9 at Buccaneers : Won 45-38
As you can see, weeks 5 and 6 were winnable games, and rookie mistakes costed the victories. Matt Ryan cam for the Buccs game at Carolina, but was still too rusty. Weeks 8 and 9 showed that he's still a winner QB, with good revenge of home losses to the Saints and Buccs.
The rest of the schedule gives the team 3 hard games against the Rams, Browns and Bengals. A 10-6 team has the end is reachable. We hsold wait and see if that'd be ok for a playoffs spot.
(by O_Ratajczak on 10/06/2016)
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