I am so happy about the Bayer game. I was at work and unable to watch on my phone so I was only getting updates, but it was still a lot of fun. Then I realized that it was the first time I had really been happy about sports since the World Cup final. The last few months have been depressing as crap on that front.
I think we are going to need 9 wins. New Orleans has been awful but that will not conitnue forever and they still have six games in that stupid dome of theirs (still have not lost there). If they take seven at home and beat the Bucs and one other team on the road then that is 9-7. We need to finish 6-3. This is very doable as every game is winnable, but things really need to change. With the way we are playing I cannot see how we win more than maybe one game against Brees and Ryan. They are going to carve us up and I do not trust Shula and Rivera to have the game plan capable of keeping us in those games. Something needs to change and change now.
In case I didn't embarrass myself sufficiently earlier in this thread, I'm going to venture one final stand. Yes, 8-7-1 would translate statistically (according to NFL rules) to a (>.500) winning percentage, but I still don't think that scenario (should it come to pass, God forbid) should count in our minds as giving us back to back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. It translates to above .500 statisticallyonly because the NFL counts a tie as half-of-a-win for purposes of calculating a win percentage. And that's reasonable, since the NFL must rank team records and tying is better than losing. But do you guys really want to say that we literally won half a game against the Bengals? That sounds silly to me. You can't literally win half of a football game. The only thing tyers can win are percentage points in the eyes of a league that must calculate a "win percentage" for purposes of ranking records.
In case you still disagree, imagine a team whose entire season ended in ties (record of 0-0-16). Surely it would be crazy to say that they literally won eight games. Nah, man; they didn't win any freaking games. To win, after all, you must outscore your opponent, which this hypothetical team never did. The fact that they would have a win percentage of .500 in the eyes of the league doesn't change that one iota.
So, I still say that to be a winning team (in the most relevant sense), a team needs to win more games than they do not win Thus a team that finishes 8-7-1 will have won just as many games as it did not win, and therefore, is not a winning team (in the most relevant sense.) Those who wish to appeal to statistics should notice that we could state my interpretation of "winning vs. not winning" statistically as well. An 8-7-1 team will have won .500 of its games and not won .500 of its games in my sense (which, again, is the ordinary, literal sense of winning according to which winning=outscoring the other team.)
To conclude, there are two senses of "winning" at issue here. The first is the sense in which the Panthers can be said to have won half a game last week. I find that sense useful only for purposes of ranking records and think it silly to take it literally. The second is the sense in which the Panthers did not win any games last week. That strikes me as the most literal sense of "winning." Thus should, God forbid, the Panthers go 8-7-1 this year, I think it would be quite out of place for anyone to say that they (finally) had back-to-back winning seasons.
Wow, I'm a dork.
Maybe we will tie again the final week of the season and go 7-7-1 to make it easy for you. Of course then we would have won less than half our games so it gets you into a whole new scenario.