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Panthers Watch 2009: When it rains it pours

A 49ers loss is bad enough.  An embarrassing loss is even worse.  Throw in a Panthers win and this day was an absolute debacle.  For some of our newer readers who have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, remember that the 49ers own the Panthers 2010 first round  draft pick.  Accordingly, each Sunday I'll be posting a recap of the Carolina Panthers game that day.

Week 5 - vs. Washington Redskins
I have to admit, I was getting rather excited when the Redskins went up 17-2 on the hapless Carolina Panthers.  The Panthers were staring 0-4 in the face while 49ers fans had to be excited about the rising draft pick.  And then the real Washington Redskins showed up.  The Redskins team that had struggled time and again this season against some pretty awful teams much of the season.  I actually had predicted this last week as a Panthers win, and this Panthers win might sting a bit more because of that.

The Redskins jumped on the board early with a touchdown less than a minute and a half into the game and seemed to be ready to roll after forcing a quick punt on the next position.  At that point the game slowed to a crawl.  After the Redskins stopped the Panthers  on 4th and goal at the 1 yard line, Carolina managed a safety to cut the lead to 7-2.  Washington put together a field goal near the end of the first half and a touchdown early in the second half to jump on top 17-2.  That was pretty much the end of Washington offensive highlights.  The Panthers stormed back in what has to be a pretty big win for them.  Not only did they get off the schneid and get their first W, but they had a pretty impressive comeback to do it.  It would have been easy for the Panthers to give up and call it a day, but they didn't.  I have to say, that has me worried going forward.  It was only the Redskins, but this is the kind of win that can turn a team's season around.  We'll see if Carolina can capitalize on it (we hope not).

Week 6 - at Tampa Bay
One problem with the Panthers getting a big win like they did today is that they get a chance to build on it against a pretty awful Buccaneers team.  The Bucs are 0-5 following a whuppin at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Not much is going right for this young team and this is definitely a winnable game for the Panthers.  I actually did predict a win over Washington followed by a win at Tampa Bay, while still finishing 5-11.  Consider me hopeful that the Panthers come out flat next week.  Of course, given how bad the Bucs seem to be (battling the Rams for those honors), a flat team could probably still pull out a road win at TB.