A Festivus miracle! Carolina Panthers win ugly

Break out your Festivus pole, the first official miracle of the season has happened. The Carolina Panthers defeated the New York Jets in a game that should have been a loss. For me, this is the best indicator yet that lady luck, a crucial playoff element, is starting to finally favor the Panthers this season.

Can you remember the last time both Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers defense both played poorly but still yielded a victory? Newton had only a 39% completion rate, the worst of his 2017 season. The Panthers defense apparently forgot they were playing Josh McCown and gave up more big plays than I care to remember. Still, the Panthers won. A true Festivus miracle.

Did you know Festivus miracles work in mysterious ways? Often times they involve things never before imagined. Sunday’s result was no exception. The two players that made the biggest difference in the game are probably unknown to your average Carolina Panthers fan.

Defensive end Wes Horton caused the McCown fumble that resulted in a Luke Kuechly touchdown. Kaelin Clay returned a punt for a touchdown, earning him the game ball in the locker room. Without these two specific plays, the Carolina Panthers would have had yet another loss after a bye week. Something Panthers fans are all too familiar with.

Yes, it would have been nice to have seen the Panthers dominate the Jets in all aspects of the game. But winning ugly is a bigly important aspect of any football team that expects to play in January. All teams must deal with adversity. All teams have games that look awful on the stat sheet, as this game does for the Panthers.

It is the team that wins despiteĀ those things that truly builds momentum. Understand that winning ugly is something that all great NFL teams do occasionally. For the Panthers, it happened at precisely the right time. December is near, the playoffs are in their sights.

So I say Happy Festivus one and all.

Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.

Jeremy Igo is owner of Carolina Huddle. Based in Charlotte, he has covered the Carolina Panthers for over a decade.