Indy is a possibility. But I am predicting that he goes to the NFC East. Could Payton be the next man in Philly? I doubt Kelly survives 2015. Philly fans are obnoxious when they are winning--can you imagine the Kelly hate? The New York Football Giants? I am thinking Coughlin's stupidity vs. Dallas in week 1 will come back to haunt him, and I think he could step down and retire. Payton is good with older Qbs and he could make Manning great. However, he may win 8 games and take the East crown. I think Jay Gruden is safe in Washington for now, but if he can't turn near misses into wins soon, he could be out if a Payton is there. Just a hunch, but I see Payton in Philly. Non East possibilities: Indy, Detroit.
Atlanta has a much weaker schedule than we do. It concerns me. We could sweep them and lose the South. We play Seattle in Seattle, Green Bay--They don't. However, if you look at the East, North, and West, it looks as though the Panthers or Falcons will probably get a wild card. I see no team in the North beating Green Bay or finishing with 10 wins. I see no team in the East finishing with 10 wins. I see only Arizona finishing with 10 wins in the West, as they have recently. So, the Panthers only need to play .500 ball the rest of the way to make the playoffs. Not saying that is the goal, but if we want the South banner, we probably have to sweep the Falcons. While we are playing Seattle and Green Bay, they are playing North Dakota State and St. Paul Optimists.
What we are seeing is not a bad offensive line, it is terrible cap management. Sherman, Beastmode, Wilson, Wagner, etc etc etc. they cost some coin. I do not see Gettlemen getting us into a mess like this. Some positions are devalued here, but not ignored. Their Left guard was seen holding a cardboard sign outside the stadium a few weeks ago that read, "I will play offensive line for food."
We are notoriously slow starters. We lost our #1 WR. We lost Star for 3 games. We lost Luke for 3 games. That is a LOT of talent up the gut. We lost Johnson for a game. Wins don't have to be pretty. This team will gel, and when it does, it will be nice. Who in the NFC HAS beaten anyone?
I will speculate here (have not read the entire thread, so sorry if it repeats an idea) 1. Yes the ball was behind him. Funchess could have had it, but I would not call it a drop. Slanting into the heart of the LBs and DBs on the goal line is tough enough--try doing it running with your eyes totally behind you knowing every eye in the stadium is fixed on that object coming toward you at 60 mph. 2. Funchess did a terrible job of getting off the LOS and creating separation. I think the LOS and separation out of the cut are the 2 things holding him back. 3. Even though Dickson was open, I think Cam was (possibly directed to do so) intentionally trying to give Funchess a TD to boost confidence. It was not at a point in the game where we were on the ropes--we had a comfortable lead.
Our situation at DE was totally different then too. We had a healthy Johnson, Ealy, Alexander, Addison, and Horton. Johnson and Alexander go down, Horton underperforms, Ealy has a few boneheaded plays, and we go 97 snaps without a pressure (something like that). DE became a priority very suddenly. Point? If I were an UDFA, I would not have come to Carolina and I doubt we were looking very hard.
You are right--but Ealy was a projected first rounder that fell to us in the second. Johnson was third rounder and Hardy a sixth, I think, which lowered expectations for them. Ealy was playing inside a lot Sunday. That is tough duty. He is earning his stripes, but if he can simply keep getting better, and I think he will, he will be fine. Heck, if Delaire works out, we should feel pretty good about the future of DE. The stat that I found to be most impressive about Delaire: 5 solo tackles. I am not sure Johnson gets renewed, especially if you look at his production. I am not sure Allen is doing anything here except squeezing a few more drops out of the orange. I can see us drafting a DE this year though.