The coffee's still brewing. But I stole an en route cup from my trusty Mr. Coffee to get me going, too soon after a late night.
And it was a great night for the Panthers, especially if you're Matt Moore.
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He was efficient at times, daring most others. He wasn't perfect, but he was as good as we've seen a QB play around here in a year.
But the important thing to remember with Moore was that it was one game. Prior to the fourth quarter, the narrative on the Panthers backup hadn't changed -- he was good at throwing the long ball, not so much on the rest of them.
In the stunning fourth quarter against the Vikings, he threw enough of the long ones to tantalize.
Now the question becomes can he make it last. If he can, he can earn himself a shot at a full-time job next year. But the danger would be giving it to him now. Allowing one great game to carry too much weight is just as follish as allowing one awful game to change the way you make decisions.
He has time, two more games. Then we'll see.
-- Speaking of QBs, there's no reason not to put Jake Delhomme on injured reserve today and call up practice squader Hunter Cantwell.
There's no reason to put Delhomme back on the field at the moment, even if he's healthy enough to. This season's damaged goods, and he might be too in the current context.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The priority this offseason should be to find out what's wrong with Delhomme, whether it's physical, mental or mechanical. Then you fix it. Then you give him a chance to win his old job back. He's done enough since 2003 to have earned that opportunity.
-- Not that you care too much about how journalism is made, but last night illustrates perfectly why newspaper guys hate night games.
For the first three quarters, the story was about the scrapy Panthers, who bless their hearts played as well as they could and still fell short against a better team.
Then, along about the time I'm usually asleep, the story changed. Considerably. Quickly.
-- The amazing part about the Panthers pass rush? Sometimes they were getting it with three guys. Ron Meeks called an amazing game, and several of his players said Brett Favre looked confused at times. Whether they were bringing three or four, they were bringing it, better than at any point this season.
-- Maybe practice is overrated. Jonathan Stewart has been babied along all season. But if he can run that way without a full-strength left leg, maybe they should give him training camp and Wednesdays off the rest of his career.
-- Again, it's one game, and it's dangerous to put too much into a game in which one team's got nothing to play for but pride. But last night, the Vikings were a disheveled mess.
Whether it was Brad Childress trying to bench Favre and failing, succeeding with tackle Bryant McKinnie or watching Antoine Winfield play like a guy who came back too soon, the Norsemen were in no way pillaging.
At this moment, they're still the second seed in the NFC playoffs, but they're not playing like the second-best team in the NFC.
-- Say this about Julius Peppers, the man is consistent in his own ways.
After a bad game, he's easier to find. After a brilliant game, he gets scarce. Saw him for a moment when they opened the locker room. He looked startled to see us coming, then ducked into the training room. Tried to wait him out. Didn't work.
It was kind of like a Bigfoot sighting, and it came after a mythical game. Wish I had pictures.
-- Oh, Merry Christmas Dwayne Jarrett. You may be two games from getting cut here.
It appears that some of those illegal shift and formation penalties in New England were on him, and that his superiors didn't approve.
Straight up, he's a tease. If you could see him practice, you'd see Keyshawn potential. On Sunday's you see nothing.
You had your chance, Dwayne. Times up.