Setting the Tone


The Carolina Panthers haven’t had much success recently at winning at the beginning of the season. They’ve done fine at the end of the season, but it’s the latter that they hope to improve this year.

This season brings with it the same questions as it did last season. Will the Panthers make the post-season? Will Cam Newton continue to develop as our quarterback for the future? Will Ron Rivera survive the season? One new question is whether or not the Panthers will stumble again out of the gate.

After going a miserable 2-6 in the first half of last season, the Panthers went on to win five of their last six games. The defense was stifling and Cam Newton was putting together a much-overlooked end of the season due to RGIII, Russel Wilson, and Andrew Luck. Now we need this team to do that during every point of this season.

This brings me to what I believe will set the tone for our season. And no, it’s not because it’s the first game of the season, it’s because of who the team is. If the Panthers can come out and get a win against the Seattle Seahawks week one then I think it sets them up for a playoff spot. They’re playing the two toughest divisions in football this year in the NFC West and they’re usual NFC South opponents. Beating the Seahawks in the season opener would get them a win against a playoff caliber team. It would also make a tough first three games a little easier. The Panthers must be 2-1 heading into the bye week. 

If the Carolina Panthers head into the bye week at 1-2 or even 0-3 then it’s going to make an already brutal schedule almost impossible. Setting the tone early on with an expectation of winning and beating teams that you aren’t expected to beat has the potential to start breeding a winning mentality. Instead of thinking they can win, they will start believing that they will win.

Beating the Seahawks and possibly the Giants makes those Patriots, 49ers, and Falcons a lot less daunting. It adds confidence to a roster with talent. It creates an identity that this team doesn’t have, and that’s one of a team that wins games when they should.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers

  • ahrcshaw

    You said it my friend, setting the tone is always the kicker. When the Panthers lost the opener last year against the Bucks, you could almost see the wind leaving the sails. What made it worse was the fact both the players and the coaches lost the game. The OC and DC were not in tune with what was happening on the field. The fact is simple the Bucks took both the OC and DC’s game plan away in the first QTR, no adjustment, no play calling changes, nothing! The players as a whole were mainly out of sink because they had no solution with what they were assigned to do. What made it worse was there was no adjustment or change made at half time.

    Any team needs to look at the first game as the main kicker, the teams have gone threw pre- season, they pretty much know what quick changes they need to make under certain situations and the team who gets the first upper hand and sets the tone with a little luck usually wins.

    There are few if any teams that are dominant in the NFL, any team can beat another at any given day and that is the way a Pro league should be. The difference in winning and loosing is confidence in each other as a player to a player or a player to a coach, or a coach to a player. When a team gets down and no one steps up to change the tone, it is over. The best teams can change the tone in all four aspects of the game, Offense, Defense, Special teams and Coaching. A good team can change the tone in three of the four, and so on. Work on all 4 tones Panthers. Go Panthers.