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Saturday, November 8, 2014

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To Release or Not to Release The Kraken

This Panther season looks like it may be remembered most for the Kraken being on the Commissioner's exempt list.  And that loss has had a direct impact on the #2 ranked Defense from 2013 falling to 29th.  I won't say that his being out is the sole reason we are struggling.  But I will say he is is the biggest reason we are not still in first place in the NFC South.  His 15 sacks from a year ago, along with his fiery persona and constant pressure is sorely lacking.  Below is a brief discussion on both for and against bringing him back to the Panthers both immediately and long term.  Then I want to hear your thoughts.

C3 Podcast: Is This Rock Bottom?

Live 10 pm!

C3 Crew rallies after a difficult home loss to division rivals, the New Orleans Saints, that continues a seven week winless streak.  The Crew has a lot to say about the state of the Carolina Panthers and the outlook for the 2014 season.  We'll also look to the Philadelphia Eagles to see if the Panthers can slow the bleeding.  Tweet the show using hashtag #C3  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Meet The 2015 Carolina Panther Draft Picks According To Mel Mayock

I, Mel Mayock, am the lead Panthers Analyst for and their latest 2015 Mock Draft is out.  You can see it all here:  But I'm taking this opportunity to show you a little more on the two guys I've selected to be a part of the 2015 Panthers. This Draft has us projected to Pick 10th overall in the 1st Round and 42nd in the 2nd Round.  As I research those available, I focus on talent over need.  Those that only focus on need will rarely find elite talent.  However, need does come into play when two prospects are relatively close in talent.  For example, if there is an elite talent at a position of need and an elite talent at one that is not, the position of need will get the nod.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Saints Neuter Panthers on Thursday Night, 28-10

Okay Panthers's Halloween Day and officially time to panic.

The Panthers laid an egg at home last night, losing to the road warrior I mean road kitten Saints, 28-10 on Thursday Night Football.

Offense was at a premium for both teams in the first half as the Saints took a 14-0 lead into halftime. One of the two TDs came on a long, hard-fought, 4-yard drive of two plays thanks to a Newton fumble at his own goal line after a sack by Junior Gilette.

The other was set up by a highly dubious pass interference call on Antoine Cason. 

A third TD, the Saints' first of the second half, came on a 4th and goal QB sneak where Drew Brees tried the "jump-stretch" play that Cam has the size to do but Brees made it close. He still scored, having the ball break the plane of the goal line before he got body slammed back.

It was that kind of game. 

The Panthers got two turnovers 

Mark Ingram had 100 yards on 30 carries, so the defense made him earn it. Considering the manner in which the Saints scored their points, the Carolina defense actually played well overall. The problem is the offense couldn't do much to keep Brees & company off the field.

I do want to set ONE thing straight here and now: the problem is NOT Cam Newton. Cam is trying to do everything because he isn't getting much help aside from Kelvin Benjamin. And Kelvin dropped a TD pass last night.

NFL AM is showing a teaser right this moment "What's WRONG with Cam Newton?" 

You wanna know what's "wrong with Cam?" FINE!

- His offensive line had not one but TWO rookie UFAs starting! STARTING! Not only that, the certainly seemed to make the weak side of the offensive line truly weak. I don't blame the kids in there playing and trying...but you can't expect a couple of inexperienced and undrafted rookies to play like the line they have in Dallas these days. The Cowboys spent multiple high picks on theirs and over multiple seasons to get where they got their O-line to now. Dave Gettleman appears bound by some unholy contract NOT to get offensive linemen in the top two rounds.

Cam's targets are still dropping passes. Cam might get excited and put too much mustard on some passes, sure, but it isn't like his receivers don't see him EVERY DAY or know what he can do. In fact, Cam's first half interception was due to a pass bouncing off Breston Bersin's hands. Cam had the worst QBR (12.1) he's ever had in a half, and it was plays like that which contributed to it.

Certainly, Cam hasn't been perfect. His timing was off last night and he wasn't completely accurate on a lot of throws but a good WR should be able to adjust to a catchable but less-than-perfect ball placement to haul it in. 

Also, Cam pretty correctly feels that he needs to do all he can to help the team win. The running game went largely nowhere as DeAngelo Williams could only put up 20 yards on eight carries. Stewie had 46 on 8 carries for a nice average, but he got stuffed for little to no gain on half his attempts. Cam got the team on the board with a 10 yard diving-to-the-pylon scramble and run on 3rd and goal as the pass rush got after him almost as soon as he received the shotgun snap.

And Cam is the PROBLEM? Folks, open your eyes willya? He's the only one making things HAPPEN on offense! He got decent protection on perhaps a handful of drop-backs; the rest of the time he was running for his life. Last night, his passes were generally on target or "close enough" that the target should have made the catch but didn't.

If you look at any given game where the offensive line isn't protecting the QB well, you're going to see a sub-par game from the QB. Look at the Super Bowl last year. 

With the gifts the Saints' Drew Brees-led offense got last night, I'm surprised they only got 28 points. Both TDs in the first half were gifts, wrapped up in nice paper with a bow and they had to reach into their 4th down "trick or treat" bag for a third TD. Under those circumstances, the defense did as much as could be reasonably asked, I think.

I have been telling the fans (those that will listen) what's wrong with the team all year and the same things continue to be problem areas. Those are the offensive line and the defensive backfield. 

Until those needs are addressed, don't expect the Panthers to play too much better than they did last night.

Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye

Thursday, October 30, 2014

C3 On the Line: Saints at Panthers

C3 On the Line series bets the Carolina Panthers line and discusses the stakes of the game in the context of the Panthers season. On the Line is not betting advice, but a means for football discussion.

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Saints -3 (49.5 O/U)

Here we are again, the Saints are marching to town and the division could be On the Line as it was last season when they visited Charlotte.   The stakes are strikingly similar to last season’s Saints at Panthers matchup, but the circumstances are the polar opposite.  Here’s what C3’s On the Line piece for this game last season noted:

Two 10-4 juggernauts meet Sunday at Bank of America Stadium to decide the NFC South division champion.  The Carolina Panthers host the New Orlean Saints in what looks to be a match between two titans.  The high powered Saints’ offense will try to take their game outdoors and topple Carolina’s league leading defense.  There is clearly a lot On the Line for both teams....This is like having an NFC South Championship game.  

Well 2014 has hardly produced the two titans bound for the playoffs as in 2013.  The Saints offense has sputtered at times, and the Panthers’ defense is among the league worst.  Like last year, the spread is 3 points (last year Carolina was favored) and likely this game will go a long way in determining the division champion.  This season, however, there will only be one playoff team representing the NFC South, and it may just be the winner of this game.  Again, there is a lot On the Line.

All Bets Are In:

Professor’s Bet: Panthers -3   (Taking the Under 49.5)
My head tells me to pick the Saints, but my heart is in Carolina.  The defense showed signs of life last week, Star and Ealy played particularly well, and continue to see signs of offensive life.  Yes, the Panthers didn’t get into the endzone, but they did move the ball.  Hopefully, Shula, who has taken considerable heat, will rev up the offense a bit this week and get some results that ward off his termination.

The pieces have to come together at some point.  This week is going to have to be that week.  The Panthers back is to the wall after 1-4-1 in the last six weeks.  Another loss here would be devastating.  This to me is a division title match right here.  The team that walks out of BOA has to be the favorite to win the division.  Yes, New Orleans schedule gets tough and the Panthers gets easy.   I just don’t see Carolina winning in Philadelphia after a demoralizing loss at home.  There’s no choice, the Panthers have to get this win.  If they do, there’s a real chance they can parlay the victory into some real momentum.  Carolina 24-20

Commish’s Bet: Panthers +3 (Under the 49.5)

Tonight, all eyes in the NFL will be on Charlotte in a case of a “hot potato” ball game. Neither team has much that points to any sort of advantage over the other. Carolina’s offensive line (and team in general) has been completely decimated by injuries and the unit has been maligned lately even when healthy. Center Ryan Kalil can’t block TWO guys at once! We know the Panthers generally don’t play well at night, and the Saints don’t fare well on the road. Yeah - SOMETHING has to give, doesn’t it? Reminds me of the ancient commercial with “Mikey” eating cereal even though he “hates everything.” A bad road team going to play a bad night team on the road at night, ouch! I’m half expecting the Three Stooges to come out in the opening series and take up spots on the offensive line. With the Saints defense having regressed to 2012 and our own defense having played quite well last week at home, I’m just going to throw my hands up and say that the trend continues. The question becomes if the offense can put things together enough to score a few times. I think that they will, and a healthy backfield duo of Stewie and DeAngelo should help keep Brees on the sideline just enough to win it. Carolina 24-21

Justin Raymond’s Bet: Panthers -3  (Taking the Over 49.5)

Like I wrote in my latest article, the Carolina Panthers are a bipolar team and we don’t know what to expect from week to week. The offense shows up one game and the next game the defense shows up. When will they both come together? This might be the game where the Panthers solve this issue. The Panthers are at home against a rival team and should bring their “A” game. Brees has plenty of weapons on offense and the Panthers defensive secondary will have to step up, and make some plays. The only way I see the Panthers winning this game is if the defense can get to Brees and pressure him all night. I believe  that the Panthers will make this a good game, but they won't come out on top. Saints 28-24

Carolina Panthers: Fantasy Football Projections Week 9

After eight weeks of playing Bipolar football the Carolina Panthers are still first in the NFC South. They remain in first ahead of the New Orleans Saints because of the tie against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Panthers are going to battle against the Saints this Thursday night and the winner of that game will be the leader in the NFC South for another week. Who on offense will show up for the Carolina Panthers in week nine?