Well, the bye week is officially over, which begs the question…which Carolina Panthers football team will show up on Sunday against the Washington Redskins?
No one knows for sure, but I have an idea. Just check out the schedules for both teams.
Without question Carolina has a much tougher road through the long NFL season. The opponents they played so far – Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas — have a combined winning record of 6-4.
Washington’s schedule, on the other hand, is hilarious!
While one of their opponents – the Giants – is a perfect 4-0, the rest of their competition: St. Louis, Detroit and Tampa, are a laughable 1-11.
Of course the Panthers, who won 12 games last year with principally the same line-up of starters, could become part of that joke with their goose-egg record if they don’t come to play this weekend.
The fact that the Redskins are undoubtedly the weakest team Carolina has faced thus far should mean that they will have their way with them at Bank of America Stadium, right?
Now the Panthers do have the pieces to do it, but they haven’t shown the ability to put it together and make it work for four quarters so far.
Sure, the players want to win. and they believe they can, too, according to various quotes in the newspapers and sound bytes on television and radio programs this week.
But Washington’s players not only believe it, they know it, and they’ve got two victories under their belts as proof, including last week’s come-from-behind win against the Buccaneers.
Ok, you’re correct – a victory against a winless Tampa Bay team is nothing to write home to your mom about, but this triumph came off of the heels of arguably one of Washington’s worse losses in franchise history, a 19-14 shocker to the Detroit Lions who had previously lost 19 straight games.
Carrying that embarrassment into the Buccaneers contest, the Redskins could have simply folded and continued to stay in a funk after being down to Tampa Bay at halftime. However, somehow, some way, Washington recovered and found the resolve to pull out a win.
It wasn’t pretty, but they fought through adversity to finish the game strong, which is what the Redskins will do again this weekend for their third win of the season, 21-13.
Sadly, the Panthers, on the other hand, will continue their quest for their first victory of the season.
Damon Ford is a public relations professional who has worked in the public and private sectors in Charlotte.