Panthers Take Another Step Closer to April’s #1 Pick in the NFL Draft

Can you say #1 pick in April’s NFL Draft?

That’s the trek that the Panthers are on, more so after Sunday’s 31-10 romp they suffered at home by the NFC South first place Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers, now 1-12, seem destined for the first pick in the draft, and that could mean a new franchise QB – and probably a new coach.

There’s no doubt that John Fox is headed for unemployment at the end of the year. His team played in front of a half empty stadium in Charlotte Sunday, and owner Jerry Richardson can’t be happy about that, nor the outing from a team that has seen just one win the entire season.

Sunday got off to a lousy start, as Jonathan Stewart fumbled on the teams first offensive play. The Falcons scored a few plays later, and they were off and running. It was 14-0 quickly, and 17-0 at the half as many left their seats and never came back.

The Panthers got 133 yards from Stewart on 18 carries, and Mike Goodson added 70 yards. Carolina rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen connected on 14-of-24 tosses for 107 yards.

Carolina’s only points came on a Mike Goodson 13-yard TD run in the third quarter to close it to 17-7, and then a John Kasay 36-yard field goal that made it 24-10 with 9:44 left.

The Panthers D couldn’t stop Michael Turner, the bruiser back for the Falcons who ran for 112 yards and three touchdowns, including the icing on the cake score with 4:12 to go to make it 31-10.

The final home game, sure to play to a 3/4’s empty stadium next Sunday, will be against the Arizona Cardinals. Then the team ends the year with a road game at Pittsburgh the day before Christmas Eve on a Thursday, and then go to Atlanta to end the year. Yes, 1-15 seems very possible at this point, and a total revamp of the organization.

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