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Old 09-10-2007   #1
gtexan02
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Default Looking ahead to Carolina..

Well Texan fans, we are coming off one of the most exciting wins in franchise history.

Why, you may ask? The game itself wasn't spectacular, the opponent not one of our rivals or even within our division, and realistically we were picked by many experts to win from the beginning.

Well, the reason the game was so amazing is that because its the start of something new. Our team has finally shed the burden of our 1st ever pick and, behind a revitalized defense, looks ready to turn the corner.

We are starting off the year 1-0, BUT we have to be careful. One of the worst parts of being on a perennial loser is the tendency of players to jump ship and give up after a few things go wrong. So while we started out strong, it is even more imperative to CONTINUE our strong play.

What lays ahead? Next Sunday we've got a really tough matchup with the Carolina Panthers. If we win next week, we'll be well on our way to a successful year. A loss will definately dampen our spirits and cast some doubt on the future--especially with Indy coming to town the Sunday after that.

So can we beat Carolina? Last year the Panthers were the trendy pick to go to or win the superbowl. The trendy picks always disapoints (see Cardinals every year, and the Saints this year), and the Panthers were no different. They lost Smith early to injuries and finished with a disapointing 8-8 record and no playoff apperance.

This poor showing was due mostly to their anemic offense. Last year, the Panthers ranked 24th in total offense, 15th in the passing attack, and only 24th in rushing. The combination of Foster and Williams was supposed to provide a 1-2 punch to wear out defenders, but both proved to be disapointments.

Their defense, however, was as strong as predicted. They ranked 7th in total defense, an amazing 4th against the pass, and an impressive 8th in point allowed. They were the 11th best against the run.

These incredible defensive numbers, and some surprising offensive production, carried into the 2007 season opener. Against what many are saying is one of the most impressive and well-rounded Rams teams in the last few years, the Panthers put up 27 points and held their "dynamic" offense to 13. They limited Jackson to under 75 yards and caused him to lose the ball twice.



Going into Carolina and coming out with a win is going to be TOUGH. Their run defense was stifling in the opener, and their pass defense has been amazing all last year and this year as well. Our nucleus of skill players (Andre, Schaub, and Green) are really going to have to step it up.
In addition, our offensive line is going to be in for a major test. Going against Julius Peppers is always tough, but especially so when your left side isn't all you'd hoped for.

On defense, we will have our work cut out for us. The anemic rush attack of the Panthers of 2006 seems a distant memory, and their passing game has come out with a purpose as well. Steve Smith was limited a little last year, but he's back with avengence. Seeing as how we play sides of the field, I sincerely hope our safeties are ready to double cover him ALL day, because there is no way Faggins will be able to stay with him.

If we manage to win this game, it will be a HUGE turning point. But given the strength of the team we are playing, don't be disapointed with a loss. Its a tough matchup if I've seen one for us yet
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Adios until next season. See you then
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