Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, September 12, 2020 8:00 am

The Panthers will go 4-12 and miss the playoffs

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Obviously, I’d love to be wrong about this. But facts are facts.

I’ve been watching this team since its first home exhibition in 1995. As goes the O-line, so goes the season. The Panthers, who gave up more sacks than anyone else last year, have a decent O-line on paper, but basically no depth. Moreover, starting left guard Dennis Daley already is out with an ankle injury for Week 1, and as I write this there’s no one listed behind him on the depth chart. Obviously SOMEbody will play, but that’s going to hurt the run game and result in a lot of pressure on QB Teddy Bridgewater.

As for the rest of the offense: The WRs are potentially a huge threat, especially if Curtis Samuel breaks out like he hinted at last season, and offer Bridgewater a lot of weapons, not to mention RB Christian McCaffery, who is as good a slot receiver as there is in the league (and proved it last season with a 1,000/1,000 season) when he’s not running the football. If Bridgewater gets time to stay in the pocket and work his progressions — and that’s a big if — the Panthers may hang a lot of points on a lot of people.

But that won’t be enough. The defensive front seven couldn’t and didn’t replace the retired ILB Luke Kuechly. First-round draft pick Derrick Brown and Kawann Short, returning from injury, will make the Panthers tough up the middle. But will the linebackers be able to close the deal on running plays? And will that front seven be able to sack the star QBs they’ll be facing twice in Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan? Depth also is a concern here.

But the real concern, and it’s huge, is the DBs. Tre Boston returns at safety, but he’s joined by Juston Burris, who has started only nine games in his career. Donte Jackson has this year to prove he can be the man at CB1, and while he has shown flashes, he’ll face some of the toughest WRs in the league twice and I just don’t know how he’ll do. Rookie Troy Pride will start at the other corner, and you know QBs will be firing at him early and often.

On special teams, I’m not sure K Joey Slye won’t be gone by midseason. (I was reminded again Thursday night watching the Chiefs that the Panthers could have had Harrison Butker at kicker but let him get away. That one hurt.) Pharoah Cooper will return kicks and punts, but this special team is going to have to perform significantly better than it did last year.

But here’s the biggest reason I think the Panthers are going to have a poor year: luck. For them to have success (a playoff spot, which they still might snag at third in the division under the new playoff format), a lot of things would have to break just the right way in the league’s toughest division. The Panthers haven’t been lucky since the 2015 season, and I’m not feeling lucky on their behalf heading into 2020. I think injuries will hurt the O-line and the linebackers, and I don’t think our corners are up to their competition. I also don’t think this new, young team will be able to handle adversity well, starting with the fact that they’re playing the eighth toughest schedule in the league. I see wins against perhaps the Chargers, Lions, Bears, and Washington and a high draft pick again in 2021. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

Friday, September 11, 2020 8:37 am

“For Thou are with us …”

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 8:37 am
Tags: , ,

As is my custom on this day, I’m going back to read Sarah “Sars” Bunting’s post-9/11 essay, “For Thou Art With Us,” and I strongly urge you to do the same.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 7:04 pm

Bob Woodward has blood on his hands

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 7:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

Bob Woodward knew early this year that Donald Trump understood early on that COVID-19 would be a dangerous epidemic but denied that for weeks and called the pandemic a “hoax.” Had Woodward reported that at the time he knew it, he might have saved tens of thousands of lives. Instead, he held onto that information to drive up sales of his book. And now, as I write, we’re a tad shy of 190,000 COVID-19 deaths, most of which could have been prevented had Woodward acted.

Woodward’s behavior has been called an example of the “beyondist personality,” author David Dark’s word for one who speaks of himself “as operating outside of ‘politics’ & thereby capable of opining & weighing in magically above the fray.” But there’s no such thing. What Woodward did is sociopathy, plain and simple, and no different from Trump’s. And not just Woodward but also the top managers of The Washington Post have blood on their hands for letting Woodward delay the release of this information.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: