No lie, it was warmer when I left Boston this morning than when I landed in Charlotte. What a mess.
That's as good a segue as anything to the game we watched yesterday. Here are a few pre-Fox presser thoughts:
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— I've read your angry screeds, your hate-fueled suggestions. And frankly, it's not even worth the energy any more. To get mad at the Panthers in their current state for losing a game's hardly appropriate. Given what's at stake (nothing) and what's on the field (next to), they weren't going to beat the Patriots regardless ay particular scheme or adjustment.
So picking over the carcass isn't particularly valuable, unless you're just a buzzard.
— There are 1,696 players on active rosters in the NFL at the moment.
DT Nick Hayden's among the 25-50 worst. That's nothing against Hayden himself, who has worked hard and done exactly what they've asked him to. He's just overmatched.
So getting mad at Hayden is like kicking the dog when you're upset at the wife. It's misplaced, and not at all his fault.
Face it, if Maake Kemoeatu, Corvey Irvin, Louis Leonard and Tank Tyler aren't on IR right now, Hayden's not even on the practice squad.
So maybe it's just the spirit of Christmas overcoming me, but I'm done banging on poor Nick for a while.
-- Likewise, we've now officially learned that Matt Moore's primary skill is being Not Jake.
He throws a nice deep ball, and he throws it once per game.
Aside from that one pass per, it's hard to imagine how he helps a good team win.
-- The media that covers the Panthers will be bystanders the last three weeks. Favre in prime time Sunday night, then ring-side seats for the Saints run at 16-0 in the finale.
We'll be overrun, and that's OK. Because the locals aren't doing their part toward my entertainment.
-- At the moment, here are the Panthers' personnel priorities entering the offseason: WR/DE (to replace Peppers when they move him out)/another WR/young QB/DT/OL/CB.
We'll check in after we talk to Fox at 12:30 p.m. I'm sure he'll have loads to add.