All season long I've heard the critics say that Cam Newton isn't a franchise quarterback. He can't win without real "weapons" and the wide receivers on our team are horrible. I've heard that the Panthers haven't beaten anyone. Basically I've had to sit all season thus far and listen to the nation say the Panthers suck.
I've been a fan of the team since 1995 when the team played their first game. I'm not a bandwagon fan so all this criticism eventually gets to you. I'm so proud that this time has come together and strung together the wins they have. They have a big hurdle in their way today in the form of the Green Bay Packers. If the Panthers are going to go 8-0 they will need to play their A game as today's match up won't be an easy one.
|2014 Panini Rookies & Stars Crusade #39|
|2015 Topps Valor Shield of Honor autograph patch 05/50|
|2015 Topps Inception Rookie patch 002/125|
|2015 Panini The National glove swatch #7|
|2015 Panini The National 317/499|
|2015 Panini Rookie & Stars #RSR6|
Devin Funchess hasn't panned out to be the wide receiver a lot of fans were hoping him to be. He's dealt with a few dropped passes in his limited playing time he's gotten, but it's still early. Plus I think Kelvin spoiled us fans last year bursting onto the NFL scene with the rookie season he had. I have high hopes still for Funchess and I think he'll play a crucial role in the passing game in years to come.
|2015 Panini Spectra auto 67/99|
A little known WR from Ohio State University, Philly Brown has been hot and cold with the Panthers. He made some good plays last year w/ his speed, but in the pre-season this year he was known for all the wrong reasons - dropped passes. Philly has recently turned things around and has been a big part of this offense at times w/ his incredible speed. He also has turned around the whole dropping the ball thing and has been awarded with more playing time. He may not be a household name or have the receiving numbers as other NFL WRs, but that doesn't mean he can't burn the Packers later today.
|2015 Topps Valor Gridiron Warriors|
It's no surprise that Greg Olsen has been Cam's #1 target for most of the season. A great blocking tight end too, Greg has been an invaluable part of this offense. I swear of the last few games though the refs have hit him with a few phantom calls that have resulted in touchdowns he scored being waived off or a big penalty costing the team yardage. However Greg is a great example of the heart this team has and how this team has come together to play as one.
|2015 Bowman Rookie Chrome Refractor auto|
|2015 Topps Inception auto|
Cameron Artis-Payne hasn't gotten on the field much this season due to the stellar efforts of Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, but like with Funchess I think he'll play a big part of this offense in years to come.
|2015 Panini Certified auto 83/99|
The saying is that defense wins Championships and Carolina has plenty of horses on defense. Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly, Kwann Short, Josh Norman and others have been in the spotlight, however Shaq Thompson has really burst onto the scene and is putting together a really nice rookie campaign for himself. Shaq missed the Monday night game last week against the Colts, but is back and ready to wreck some havoc against the Packers offense today.
There are of course many, many other players that have factored into the teams 7-0 record to this point, but I don't have any new cards of those players to share! This has been an incredibly fun ride so far and I look forward to today's tough match up. Even if the Panthers come out of today w/ a 7-1 record, I'll still be just as proud of the team as if they come out 8-0. I think one of the things that sets this team apart from the a lot of the other teams is that they believe in one another and play as a team. I know that may sound cliche, but it's true. This team has one another's backs at all times. The Panthers may not be the flashiest team or win the prettiest, but they are finding a way to get things done each and every week and I don't think today will really be any different.
Go Panthers!! #KeepPounding