Along the Sidelines - Bucs Edition
In what was a great record breaking win for the Carolina Panthers, a few key details are beginning to emerge as story lines as the NFL playoffs grows near.
1. Cam Newton is the League MVP. It really isn't even a question.
Cam may not be the best player in the league, but he is the most valuable player to any team in the league. Without Cam, this Panthers team would be no where near a winning record.
2. This defense is dominating. And when I say dominating I mean completely dismantling teams at their core. This is the type of defense that wins Superbowls.
3. Mike Tolbert is our best option at running back. He is just shifty enough to find a seam, and he is one hell of a load to bring down.
I would like to see more two back sets with Tolbert and Brockel. This rhino package could have real possibilities.
I'm not sure what to make of Jonathan Stewart. He just doesn't seem to have the power he did in years past. His ankles may be getting the better of him, as sad as that is to say.
4. Thomas Davis is the undisputed heart of this defense. This season he reminds me a lot of Derrick Brooks, always in the mix. If Davis does not make the pro bowl, it will be a real shame.
5. AJ Klein is good. I mean real good.
If Klein was playing on a lesser defense, he would be the talk of the team. In Carolina, he is just another solid linebacker.
His Glennon sack was a thing of beauty. I barely had time to snap the picture.
6. Cam and Ginn continue to develop a real chemistry and friendship. Before every game Cam makes a point to "airplane" around Ginn. It makes me wonder if we may see another "x-clown" legendary type play in the playoffs between these two.
7. The Panthers keep the opposing coached beyond frustrated. Schiano was complaining the entire game to anyone that would listen. The officials didn't seem to concerned with his opinions.
8. The Panthers secondary has been much maligned, and have been beaten badly from time to time. However, they do seem to make a play when the Panthers need them to.
9. There was lots of holding done by the Bucs offensive line in this game. I know there is holding in every game that goes uncalled, but it seemed to me to be more than the norm. The officials need the game to be played and the quarterback to be protected, they may be soft on the holding penalties from here on out.
Next week we have the Saints which will decide, for now, who is the division leader.
I will be making the trip and providing you all with more images and thoughts.