Everyone is excited (with good reason) over the 49ers 2-0 start, but as with last week, we can't forget about our new other favorite team: the Carolina Panthers. We're back for week 2 of Panthers Watch 2009. We have yet to come up with a better name than that, so suggestions are welcome. For those who missed it last week, Panthers Watch 2009 is a way for us to keep track of the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers hold the Panthers 2010 first round pick, so the worse they do, the better the 49ers draft position becomes. The 49ers would have plenty of options with their pick and even if they were to trade it, a high pick is certainly a good thing.
Week 2 - at Atlanta Falcons
The Panthers dropped to 0-2 in a game I don't think many folks expected them to win. The Panthers were coming off an abysmal showing at home against the Eagles, but they did manage to show some life this week. Given their first two opponents, it's hard to tell how legit the Falcons are, although I do think they are definitely a decent squad. It's more a question of how good they could be this year.
The two teams exchanged scores for most of the game before the Falcons defense buckled down and the offense put them up 28-13. The Panthers didn't give up and even had a hail mary attempt at the end of the game. Alas, it was not meant to be and 49ers fans have one more reason to be happy right now. The Panthers did look like a real football team this week, and Jake Delhomme managed to cut down on the turnovers. He finished 25/41 for 308 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
I did manage to catch parts of the game on the NFL Red Zone channel. One drawback to the channel is that because they switch around in games you can't quite make out the flow of the game. Also, they didn't show much of the second half before the 49ers came on since the offenses stalled out for most of the third quarter. If anybody saw this game, are the Panthers offensive numbers legit? They outgained Atlanta, but they just did not seem to be getting the yards in the right spots.
Week 3 - at Dallas
Dallas is not exactly a great team, but road games are tough for anybody in this league. The Panthers have a bye the following week and I'm expecting them to head into the bye at 0-3. Of course, as I've always felt, Jake Delhomme can shock people at every turn. He could go into Dallas and throw 4 TDs for the W, or he could throw another 3 interceptions and Carolina gets blown out. Anything is possible. I don't think they get blown out, given some of the struggles of the Dallas defense. However, I think it's too tough a road game for them to pull it out.