The Carolina Panthers are riding a four-game win streak and have quietly become one of the best teams in the NFL. This week, they’ll face off against a red-hot 49ers team, themselves winners of their last five.
It’s a strength-on-strength bout between two physical, punch-you-in-the-mouth run teams with young, electric and mobile quarterbacks and elite front sevens on defense. The Niners, for their part, aren’t really surprising anyone with their dominance, but the Panthers’ recent run hasn’t really had much attention.
The Panthers’ defense, in particular, has been one of the league’s best by any measure. Carolina, on the year, is giving up 13.2 points per game, second only in the NFL to the Kansas City Chiefs. They are one of three teams to have held opponents to an average of less than 300 yards per game thus far this season (299.9). They are ninth in the NFL in opponent yards per play (5.0), have forced 12 fumbles (10th in NFL), have 23 sacks, (T-13th in the NFL) and have 12 interceptions (T-third in NFL). Carolina holds opposing teams to an average of 79.1 yards rushing per game (second in NFL) and 3.7 yards per rush (T-sixth in NFL), and have only given up two rushing touchdowns on the year (T-second).
Tanking For Teddy, Bad for Boyd, or any other cute phrase that endorses going in the tank. I’m not going to apologize for wanting my football team to win. Ever. I’m never going to want them to go 1-15, or 2-14, and secure the first pick in the draft. Ever. I wait far too long for football season to get here, and I don’t want to watch 15 shit bombs with my father. Granted, he’s a funny and sarcastic dude when the Vikes play like crap, but we have a lot more fun when they’re winning. I’ll take as many wins as I can, and let the chips fall where they may. Why? because no one really knows how good Teddy Bridgewater, Tajh Boyd, or anyone else is going to be.