That did not go as awesome as I had hoped it would. I hope none of the other teams we play were watching that game because the Panthers exposed our squishy center. You know, like that gum that squirts juice in your mouth when you bite into it? I hate that gum. It makes me feel like a gay guy. Anyway, some things that ran through my mind during the game:
1) Hmm, Matt Wilhelm still sucks. Weird. And Derek Smith is nearly as sucky. The next three weeks without Stephen Cooper might be an eternity. And that only solves half the problem. I wonder if Steve Foley is over that nasty case of bullets that took him out a couple years back. We should give him a call. See what's up.
2) Tomlinson could do with a couple snaps in the preseason. Not a terrible day, but he never really got loose.
3) Speaking of the offense, by the end of the game I was happy enough with their effort. Is it only me, though, or does it seem like I've seen that before. You know, where the offense suddenly seems to realize they've been piss poor long enough and that it's time to put something together? Let's see 60 minutes. The time of possession disparity killed our D.
4) Speaking once again of D, we did manage to keep the Panthers' offense out of the endzone for 59:58. So close.
5) Our corners are the only players on the team that can make a tackle without loads of help. Even the new guy, Cason, who forced a solid fumble for our only turnover of the game looked good.
6) Speaking of turnovers, somebody get Clinton Hart some stick'em.
All in all, I'm not ready to panic yet. Week 1 is like that. Did you see what Kyle Orton's Bears did to Peyton Manning's Colts last night? And at least we're not that one team with that one dude you may have heard of who may not be too kneetastic for the season. And maybe, just maybe, the Panthers are finally actually back. Anything's possible. Here's some storylines coming up that I'm already sick of.
1) Shawne Merriman going to the locker room after taking that chop block. Obviously he's not 100% and needs to shut it down now before he suffers an injury like...drumroll...Tom Brady! Bullshit. They're going to obviously be tentative with Merriman, but Carolina just kind of had our entire pass rush solved most of the day.
2) Did the Chargers let go of the wrong back this offseason? Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. I'm happy for Turner and I had no doubt he'd be good, but let's not forget that that was Detroit he gashed for 220. Of course, after yesterday I'm really not looking forward to his homecoming.
3) Brady's knee. Ha. Just kidding, I'm not sick of that at all. There is a small part of me, though, that would like to see Cassell succeed, if just for the fact that it would throw Brady's greatness into question. I've long held that while Brady is a very good QB, there are a lot of guys who could thrive with that line and those weapons.
So, that's it. Week 1 pretty much over outside of an interesting NFC match-up tonight followed by a contest between two pretty suspect squads to determine sole possession of first place in their division. Ugh. At least we're not the Rams. Seriously, though, we're not cooked by a longshot. Go Bolts!!!