Ok I’m 1-0 and feeling good with the second game of the season coming up.
I’ve got a hunch that the Panthers will be feeling those good vibrations, too — to the tune of a 17-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
After getting punked in their own backyard in the first game of the season, the Panthers will be the ones dishing it out as they hit the road this weekend.
It was bad last week but trust me; it can’t get any worse for Carolina.
Jake Delhomme, the one at the center of Panther fan’s ire, won’t be responsible for five turnovers this weekend.
Reason No. 1: The offensive line, which was just as guilty for being MIA against the Eagles, should provide better protection for Delhomme this week and open more holes for the running backs after being dismantled in the trenches by one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Reason No. 2: Delhomme will make better decisions. That’s just what veteran quarterbacks do – they get better!
But if for some reason he has a flashback to that fateful afternoon on September 13, coach John Fox should not be shy about replacing him early with newly signed quarterback A.J. Feeley, who has been putting in extra time to learn the play book.
It’s on defense, however, where big plays can be expected Sunday.
Despite the big offensive output by Philly in the first half, the Eagles scored only once the rest of the game. Plus, the play of several key players was very encouraging.
Linebacker Thomas Davis had 16 tackles. Defensive end Julius Peppers had one sack, one forced fumble and four tackles. And Jon Beason, coming off an injury that had him out 19 days in the preseason, was getting back in the groove with four tackles and an interception against the Eagles.
Even new defensive linesman Louis Leonard came off the bench to record a sack.
Let’s also not put Atlanta on too high of a pedestal. For all of the success the Falcons had in 2008 with then-rookie quarterback Matt Ryan at the reigns, they are not close to being at the Super Bowl caliber level of Philly.
But more important, it’s only the second game of a long season. It’s way too early to pull out the “Fire John Fox” and “Dump Delhomme” signs. I’ll let you know when you can pull those out.
This Sunday, you can just sit back in your recliner, relax and enjoy the Panthers first win of the season.
Damon Ford is a public relations professional who has worked in the public and private sectors in Charlotte.