I'll never forget those drunk Cajun redneck fools in BOA in 2010 rubbing it in our faces after Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike combined for less than 100 yards. Little did they know they were literally setting up a full generation worth of return @$$ beatings by helping give us the #1 pick and Cameron Jerrell Newton. Thanks Saints. Enjoy the circle down the toilet bowl. PS-Loomis is a fugging idiot
Biggest rival? Helllll naw. Temporary roadblock. In 2012 we were insanely flat because we DID lose to our biggest rival in the GTFO our field game the week before. At the time we couldn't care less about those guys and truth be told who knew their team of 5th rounders, ped users, failure of a coach, and 3rd round QB would be anything. Falcons, Saints, Bucs, in that order. Redskins and Cowboys definitely have a more special place in hell and most would say 49ers too when considering our history with those guys. They've ascended quickly up the ranks and may have overtaken the Bears of the world, but if they return to mediocrity I think most would prefer they beat the Patriots, Steelers, or hell, even Jaguars, if it didn't effect us. Edit: they waxed us in 2005 but so did the Cardinals did in 2008.
As I said many times, in 2012 Cam threw the would be game winner in the dirt after THE most maddening game in franchise history, the Nakamura game. In 2013 if DeAngelo doesn't fumble we're the #1 seed, the playoff dynamics are completely different, and maybe we win the Lombardi. In 2014 we fought the good fight after a Hollywood script left us with one arm behind our back, and still had a punchers chance. Best case for them, even if they keep all their megastars (Lynch most likely to go first), they cannot keep the Kearse's, Irvin's, Okung's, Mebane's, Hauschka's, Baldwin's, McDaniel's, et al. Those guys have truly been the difference and their poor drafts have left them little in supply. Patience grasshopper. Only a matter of time.
People said Michael Jordan couldn't make mistakes and/or wouldn't win a ring either for 7 years before he won his first. Cam is growing and less face it, to win THAT game against a more talented team at their place, chances had to be taken.
Again, barring disaster, we're 4-0 with a bye week before going to a Seattle team that will be licking their wounds after a much tougher early slate. Injuries and the unknown COULD come into play after that but not winning 5 of the next 12 would be an even bigger disaster than dropping one of our first four. One of the easiest bets I have EVER seen. Nationally, people do not get the Panthers. And that's ok.
Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in the 5th is genius. But he also drafted Mark LeGree from App in the 5th. He also traded a 1st and 3rd and took on the salary of Harvin. In other words, he ain't perfect. He also has a clear different philosophy than GMan, who seemingly values the front 4 more than back 4 on D, the football player over the combine warrior who their guy likes, and clearly sees the value in keeping first round picks in 2015. GMan has been a part of 8 Super Bowl teams and is 2 for 2 here for division titles. I trust our guy.
Like hell they can. FYI, Sherman, Thomas, Chancellor, Wright, and Avril are already signed through 2018/2019. All deals but Sherman's are backloaded and his cap hit the last two years of that deal will still be 13/14 per year. Russ also wants an ungodly amount of guaranteed money. Something has to give. Sheer talent alone might keep them in the mix this year but football is also about chemistry and theirs feels amiss at the moment for countless reasons. Long term, you simply cannot have 5 straight drafts with no first rounder contributing long term, three straight stinker drafts overall, and an overrated QB hell bent on breaking the bank and still expect to keep rolling. Cannot.
A house of cards. They will have gone all 5 years post-new-CBA without taking advantage of the free gift of a 1st round talent for 5th year option. Carpenter/Jets, Irvin/no offer, 2013/Harvin, 2014/ trade back for Paul Richardson who's worse than Corey Brown, and Graham who'll be a goner after maybe a couple seasons. Their top pick this year is a felon who was off most boards, and they gave up draft capital equal to the #27 overall pick for Lockett. There is open dissension with guys like Bennett and Sherman/Chancellor/Thomas are all recovering from injuries.
Not as soon as they do. Theirs just ended their rookie deals and ours still have time. The ONLY guarantee in CLT is Cam and Luke IMO. You gotta have a drafting fool like we do with GMan. Whiffs or off years will happen, but they've had three straight stinkers.