The 1972 Miami Dolphins celebrate every year because they went 17-0 back when football was played with like pleather helmets and shit. The New England Patriots went 16-0 and then Coug'd it in the Super Bowl like a bunch of idiots. I think that everyone kind of wants to see an NFL team go 19-0 and then on another level, nobody does because haha Patriots you dumbasses.
People are gonna hate me for this series because they take life too seriously. Just relax, smoke this. Everything's gonna be okay. I don't control the universe, I'm not Andy Richter, and I possess no jinxes unless you buy me a Coke.
But in all seriousness, Seattle is about to go 19-0. I'll outline the reasons as we countdown to the start of the season with five apiece for every game, starting today with the Carolina Panthers.
A lot of people pegged the Panthers and as a possible playoff team in 2012 because Cam Newton put up a ridiculous show as a rookie and they were impossible to stop on the ground. Impossible unless you were the Seattle Seahawks, and they resoundingly shut down Cam't Newton and the Panthers to the tune of a 16-12 win that didn't have to be that close.
The Panthers rebounded on the season though and not only did Ron Rivera save his job, but offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski got a new one, even if the Browns are actually a punishment. Carolina won their last four games of the year, and put up 122 points in those games against the Falcons, Chargers, Raiders, and Saints. Once again they'll be sleeper picks to make the playoffs thanks to Newton and a strong finish to last season.
They won't get off to a fast start next year though because Seahawks.
1. The Panthers hardly addressed their lack of receiving weapons outside of Steve Smith
Did you know that Steve is short for Stevonne? Well Stevonne is going to need to do a lot of work to work my perfect seasonne.
In this game last season, Smith had 4 catches for 40 yards, his second-least productive game of the season behind only a one-catch, 19-yard performance against the Broncos. We can already surmise that Richard Sherman gonna Richard Sherman, and if Seattle is beaten on defense the true Vandrook is often an annoying little weed like Titus Young, Jr. (Congrats on winning the battle, Titus. I'll just be sitting over here with the war.) So who on the Panthers is gonna come out of nowhere and destroy my hopes and dreams?
I personally don't understand the Cam Newton hate for his play on the field. Maybe he's got a bad attitude, maybe he's a pain in the ass to coach, maybe he's Mayballine, but if all that shit is true and he still balls out like that then he's gonna be a pain in the ass if he ever matures. Over his last nine games, he had 14 TD and 4 INT with another 5 rushing touchdowns. He didn't have a sophomore slump that I saw, he got off to a slow start and then by the end of the year posted almost identical numbers while also hitting 8 yards per attempt.
But his game against Seattle last year was possibly his worst game of the year. Because the Seahawks defense is good and the Panthers weapons are not.
I still didn't believe it when I saw it just now, but the Panthers really didn't draft a wide receiver. They'll maintain Brandon LaFello Operator as the number two and yesteryears "fantasy sleeper" slept his way to the middle with 44 catches for 677 yards. Olsen was great (843 yards, 5 TD) but the Seahawks can focus on him more when a team like Carolina has so little else. Shall I call ESPN and alert them that David "Guetta" Gettis is, pardon my French DJ, gonna get another chance just one last time? Should I alert FOX Sports to keep a keen eye on Ted Ginn & Tonic, Jr and that that shit'll get you drunk? Perhaps I should show off my $5000 Armanti Edwards suit and tie combo for the ladies? Some sort of pun with Domenik Hixon.
Sometimes football is nothing but dominoes; Allow a team to knock down one player and the rest will fall too.
2. They might lack the premier and supreme most rockinest band in all the land (of Canada): RUSH!
In 2011, the Panthers running game just wasn't fair with Newton, Jonathan Stewart, and DeAngelo Williams. Then they added Mike Tolbert and for some reason their running game became... very fair. At least for awhile it did, and they couldn't move the ball on the ground at all.
Not at all, I say!
Knock down the Stevonne domino, knock down the Olsen domino, knock down the passing domino, and now we can stuff
your the box. Last year in this game, Newton had 7 rushes for 42 yards, Stewart had 4 for 16, Williams and 6 for 6, Tolbert had 1 for 3, and what the hell Louis "Charlie" Murphy had 1 for 3 yards too.
Jonny "Mnemonic Device" Stewart had a really off year in 2012, finishing with 336 yards and 3.61 yards per carry in nine games. You can remember this by saying, "Jon-a-thon Stew-art. Mar-a-thon Stup-art. Mar-a-thon Stup-fart. Marathon Stupid fart. You run in a marathon. Jonathan Stewart ran like a stupid fart!"
The former Washingtonian is still only 26 and I'm sure would like to have a bounce-back year after he was so disappointing following Ron Rivera naming him the starter last season. Not so sure it's going to happen against the Seahawks though. Seattle did "struggle" against the run against some really good running teams like the 49ers and Vikings, and sure they had some hiccups along the way, but they still finished 12th against the run per Football Outsiders and then added Michael Bennett, Jordan Hill, and Jesse Williams. I'd also still be intrigued by Jaye Howard.
Last year at home against the Seahawks, the Panthers scored just three offensive points. There's a good reason to think that they'll have problems scoring again, because they didn't change all that much on offense. (Even if they did replace Rob Chudzinski with Mike Shula, it was an internal promotion and I wouldn't imagine they're gonna stop a formula centered around Newton.)
3. The Seahawks passing offense should be able to keep calm and Carroll on
(Sorry, I don't even know what this Keep Calm shit is. Every year that I get older I look back at teenagers and think "Fuck." That's all I think. "Fuck." I think about how we were all that age, we thought that we were so trendy and cool and that the world went by our watches. You know why teens are a money machine for selling shit like t-shirts that say "KEEP CALM (SOMETHING SOMETHING)"?
Because teens are stupid and they'll buy anything.
You'll buy 20 One Direction posters and hang them in your room just in case you forget that you love One Direction. It's not like I'm saying I was better than that -- I had posters and spent money on garbage too. But I am certainly better than that now. I think we all are. You grow up and have bills and you don't think things like "Oh shit should I shuck these bills in favor of a set of shot glasses that say "BACKSTREET'S BACK!"?
Sure we buy shit but I'd wager that we no longer need t-shirts, glasses, and posters to remind us of the things we like. "Kenny do you like Growing Pains?" "Oh I'm not sure let me check... yes, it appears that I have several Kirk Cameron posters that my parents wasted $45 on so indeed I do." I'll end this rant now, it's mostly just self-hatred for not one generation but almost any generation of my foreseeable past. YOLO!)
Last year the Panthers were about league average against a number one receiver but ranked 26th against a number two. Overall their defense is probably better than you might expect, but they probably don't have enough to keep up with Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Golden Tate, let alone Doug Baldwin and Zach Miller.
4. Special Teams aren't their specialty
Last year the Panthers were one of the worst teams in the league on special teams. They ranked low on punting and punt coverage, on field goals and on kick returns. They did add Ginn but he's not an otherworldly returner unless it's against Seattle oh damn it. No, Ginn has had plenty of other games against Seattle and I ain't nevah scared.
Seattle lost Leon Washington but gained Percy Harvin, though we don't know what kind of a role he'll play on special teams if any. There's more than a few options but we likely have a better punter, which is possibly an edge -- you don't know!!
5. We done did it less than a year ago
16-12, check the score bitch.
New studies show that the Panthers are "doo doo heads" and that the Seahawks are "cooler than James Dean riding a motorcycle that looks exactly like Johnny Depp." Science always wins.