Talk about a team giving up…how about those Carolina Panthers?! Sunday despite a 6-7 mark, there was still a chance with three wins to make a push for the playoffs in the NFC, but instead they played like a team thinking more about the holidays, losing 37-3 in embaressing fashion the surging Steelers. Pittsburgh played much like a team making a playoff push, leaving the Panthers in the dust almost from the getgo.
They had 20 first downs to the Panthers 12, and put up 306 yards to just 240 for Carolina. If nothing more in the last two games it has proven to the Panthers is that this long offseason they need to go out and get themselves a backup quarterback that can produce some offense. Chris Weinke lost yet again, putting his all-time career mark at 1-17. He threw for just 170 yards before being replaced, and was picked and was sacked five times.
The Steelers at 7-7 will still likely not make the playoffs, but if it truly is the last few games that Bill Cowher coaches for the Black and Gold, then he is doing it the way that the Steelers always seem to win by – running the football and defense. The last three weeks they have allowed a total of 13 points, and Sunday vs the Panthers D they ran for 159 yards, and threw for an efficient 147.
John Fox and the Panthers organization had better take a hard look at the offense, or the lack of offense the last two weeks for Carolina. They were bad against the Giants at home last week, and awful Sunday against the Steelers. They could not run (43 yards on 11 carries), and Weinke and the passing game was not much better. It will be a far cry from going to the NFC Championship game a season ago to not making the playoffs this year, but if Fox and Co. isn’t careful, this wakeup call they are getting had better produce some offseason moves.