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#1 15-05-2019 14:45:11

Inscription : 11-02-2019
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I know most of you felt like the Panthers playoff chances circled the toilet with the loss to the Buccaneers. I agree the odds are against the Panthers winning their four remaining games to create their best opportunity to make the playoffs. They certainly have to play better if they are going to win even one more game. But lets for a moment assume the Panthers do turn things around and win three of their final four games. Would a 9-7 record we good enough this season or is it imperative they win ten games? Of course winning ten games is no guarantee of a playoff spot but again for the purpose of this article let’s assume it is. I’ll revisit this key assumption before I close this piece.To assess the Panthers’ chances we need to first predict who will win the NFC East. The preference is for Washington to win the division since the Panthers have the tie breaker over the Cowboys and Eagles from beating them in the season opener. Washington beat the Panthers earlier in the season and own the tie breaker over the Panthers. Yet with Washington losing a second quarterback to injury last night I doubt Mark Sanchez can will Washington into the playoffs. Here is their remaining schedule:That is not a hard schedule really Youth Curtis Samuel Jersey , but again, without a decent quarterback I don’t see them winning more than one game remaining. So let’s assume Washington folds, finishes 7-9 and is out. That leaves the Eagles and Cowboys who play next Sunday in Dallas.The Eagles have by far the hardest remaining schedule. All four games are against potential playoff teams with three on the road. I don’t see the Eagles winning more than two games of the four remaining to finish 8-8. That bodes well for the Panthers to get in with just nine wins. The Cowboys (7-5) are in the drivers seat in the division. If they win next Sunday at home against the Eagles then they have a favorable schedule after that:The Cowboys are playing well and could run the table and finish 11-5. I’m okay with that really as long as Washington folds by only winning seven games. The Vikings are also a threat to grab that sixth playoff spot. They aren’t exactly playing well either and their schedule is stout though not as stout as the Eagles.I see the Vikings winning only two of four games to finish 8-7-1. So that scenario still leaves the door open for a nine-win Panthers team. So what about Seattle? It doesn’t matter. They do have the easiest schedule remaining but hey they are welcome to the No. 5 seed. I don’t care whether we play the Bears or the Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs. But just for gits and shiggles here the Seahawks remaining schedule.So they only have that Week 16 matchup with the Chiefs to worry about. The Seahawks should finish with at least ten wins. Like I said though, it doesn’t really matter. In fact, we want them to beat the Vikings next Monday night. Panthers fans should prepare to tune in to that one. So in summary, next week we need the following:Cowboys beat the EaglesSeahawks beat the Vikings Giants beat WashingtonPanthers beat the BrownsThink about it, winning cures everything and in this scenario the Panthers are right back in sole possession of the sixth playoff spot. Of course holding it with the Saints coming to Charlotte the following week will be the next test for Ron Rivera and the Panthers. The positive is it at least puts them back to controlling their own destiny. In that there is still hope in spite of the current four game win streak. All it takes is one win to put all that behind them.Big Mad: Kelvin Benjamin isn’t guiltless in Panthers’ split Sour grapes can either make you appreciate and savor the sweetness of success, or they can make the best whine. Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamintook the latter approach as he criticized and bashed his former team in his interview with The Athletic Buffalo’s Tim Graham.At this point, we all know what was said. Benjamin let it be known that then general manager Dave Gettleman made a mistake by giving him his chance in the league when 27 teams wouldn’t in 2014. He made his thoughts about Cam Newton and his quarterback acumen very transparent and candid. There’s quite a bit to dissect here, and you can pretty much pick a spot to begin. So what better place to start than the beginning? First of all, Benjamin’s notion that he was not in a position to succeed in Carolina is a hard sell for me. Benjamin can talk all the smack he wants about the Panthers but it doesn’t change the fact that:The Panthers still gave Benjamin the opportunity to play in the NFL Stitched Curtis Samuel Jersey , and it was up to him to maximize it. Benjamin had a solid, productive rookie season, and his ACL injury derailed his second season.As a rookie, Benjamin caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. In that season, he formed a strong bond, rapport, and chemistry with Newton and he was also close to then receivers coach Ricky Proehl.Benjamin thrived “from the get go”. However the ACL injury and aftermath, derailednot only his second season in Charlotte but also his entire Panthers career.In his 2016 return, Benjamin recorded 63 catches for 941 yards and seven touchdowns.However, the ACL injury robbed the receiver of his speed and agility. He struggled with gaining separation from opposing secondaries. He was lax in his route running Youth Christian McCaffrey Jersey , and he even wouldn’t use his size to “bully” his coverage. Injuries are inevitable in this game, but it’s up to the player to determine how he responds. The recovery process is just as mental as it is physical, and I wonder what was Benjamin’s thought process while he was rehabbing. I wonder if he thought that if he’d only followed the directions of his personal and team doctors regarding the physical process of rehab that he’d return to his previous form. I wonder if Benjamin thought about what kind of player he would turn into post-injury. If I were betting woman, I’d bet a stack that Benjamin didn’t. And that would be the easiest $1,000 I made in a while.See, Benjamin probably thought and expected to return to his rookie year form and became frustrated when he didn't. Benjamin couldn’t adapt his game. Granted, the injury took away his burst to gain proper separation. However, Benjamin could have ran sharper and crisper routes. He could have used his size better post injury. But again he didn’t, and weight issues added even more challenges.While the ACL injury was an unfortunate factor in the demise of the relationship between Benjamin and the Panthers, it’s not the problem nor is it the fault of the team that he could not take better care of his body as far as maintaining a decent playing weight goes. It’s not the fault of the team that Benjamin could not (or would not) adapt his game post-injury and mesh with the team. Those conditions were all on Benjamin. As far as Newton and his accuracy issues go, I’m also willing to bet Newton would have completed more passes had Benjamin made the catches he was supposed to make. There were catches that ricocheted off of Benjamin’s hands that were right between his No. 13.There were routine over the shoulder catches he couldn’t hold on to. Was Benjamin complaining about Newton’s accuracy and IQ on this play?Look how the Lions’ Darius Slay had Benjamin jammed on the left sideline. It was little to no separation between the two but Newton still managed to fire the ball over Slay and into Benjamin’s hands. And you know the worst part? Newton was named NFL MVP Stitched Christian McCaffrey Jersey , and lead the Panthers to a 15-1 regular season record and an NFC Championship—WITHOUT Benjamin. In that season, Newton completed nearly 60 percent of his passes and had the highest QB rating of his career at 99.4. Newton had Ted Ginn Jr. posting a career high in touchdowns (10) and 739 yards off of 44 catches for example. In the following year, Ginn surpassed his yardage (752) and receptions (54) from 2015. Greg Olsen flourishes and thrives with Newton. Before his injury last season, Olsen posted three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. No other Tight End in the history of the NFL has done this. Not Shannon Sharpe. Not Tony Gonzalesor Ozzie Newsome. No one. Not one. Olsen gives all the credit to Newton. “I’ve told him a lot that he’s the best thing that’s happened to my career.” he shared in a recent interview. “Coming here has been the best eight years of my career and obviously he’s a big part of that.”While Benjamin’s words about Newton received most of the headlines, another accusation has not only gone unnoticed but could be the crux and the bottom line of the vitriol of the Athletic piece. “I felt like I was on a team that didn’t believe in me no more,” Benjamin told Graham.With what transpired between Benjamin and the Panthers, could it be that Benjamin didn’t believe that much in himself post injury that he came to camp out of shape and became lax in his routes and unreliable with his catches?Those questions are something that Benjamin must answer. If he answers those questionsin Thursday’s match up though remains to be seen.

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