The Carolina Panthers should have won that playoff game yesterday.
As usual, the Panthers are their own worst enemy. I am proud because the team played their hearts out, but it was the little things that hurt them in the end.
First, the Kaelin Clay drop in the end zone. Had he caught that pass, which quarterback Cam Newton, had thrown to the perfect spot, the Panthers would have been up by six points going up into the final two minutes of the game.
Next comes the missed kick by kicker Graham Gano. It was a 25 yard chip shot. A distance no kicker in the NFL should miss. Had Gano made that kick, the Panthers would have needed only a field goal to win the game. Instead, the Panthers needed a touchdown to win. Not an impossible ask, yet an nearly impossible ask.
The number one priority for the Panthers is improvement of the offensive line, who’s play this year was offensive. I believe in good old-fashion smash mouth football and good defense. History shows teams who can run the football and can stop the run win championships.
Even the San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s had a great running game backed up by good defenses. Just ask the Dan Marino-led Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX about defense.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is getting his but kicked because the team can’t run nor can they protect during a pass. It does show how good Newton really is to overcome the deficiencies and still win.
I am getting tired of waiting for next year.