Who Needs Comeback Victories?


We want to welcome Adam Strickland to the Cat Crave team!  Adam is a college student majoring in computer programming and minoring in Journalism.  He was born and raised here in the Carolinas and has been a fan of the Carolina Panthers since their inception.  We look forward to Adam’s insight and his passion.

What a win! Carolina, after a somber loss to the Minnesota Vikings last week, was looking to get back on track in week four. To add to the suspense, they had to do it against their division rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, in a battle for the first spot in the NFC South.

Carolina accepted the challenge and came out on top, 24-9. After taking the lead with a John Kasay field goal on their first possession, Carolina never looked back. At 3-1, Carolina is at their best first quarter since 2003.

Jake Delhomme proved he’s healthier now than ever, completing 20 of 29 passes for 294 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jake, showing the league he can hit receivers not named Steve Smith, paired up with Mushin Muhammad for 8 catches, 147 yards, and a touchdown.

Not to be outdone, Smith caught 6 passes, racked up 94 yards, and earned his first touchdown of the year. He burned the Atlanta defense for a 56-yard touchdown shortly before halftime. He then handed the touchdown ball to Ken Lucas, solidifying the reports that the offseason fight is just water under the bridge.

Carolina wasn’t just airing it out, however. Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams combined for 30 rushes, 109 yards, and Stewart’s fourth touchdown of the year. I look forward to seeing more of the same from this dynamic tandem throughout the year.

The defense played physical against the Falcons, holding the combination of Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood to only 21 rushes and 107 yards. Coming into the game, the Falcons were averaging a league-leading 201 rushing yards per game.

Game Notes:

Mushin Muhammad had his highest yardage totals since his last season in Carolina, against the Saints. He racked up 179 yards in that game.

In a testament to the O-Line, Delhomme finished the game unsacked.

John Abraham, who assaulted the Panthers for a pair of two sack games last year, was held to only one tackle.

Both Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah went down with injuries in the game. We’ll keep you posted with their updates as soon as they become available.

Julius Peppers had 3 tackles, an assist, and a sack on Matt Ryan. Hopefully this will be enough to keep the naysayers at bay for a week or so.

Carolina committed 11 penalties for 90 yards. I expect this to be a big focus for John Fox and the coaching staff this week, as they prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs next week.

– A blocked punt by the Falcons led to a Jason Elam field goal. This is the second punt Jason Baker has had blocked this season.

– A roughing-the-passer penalty on Peppers negated a big defensive touchdown.

– Continuing the ‘negated’ theme, a 12 men on the field penalty negated a missed Elam field goal. The second attempt went through.

Enjoy it, Panthers fans, you’ve earned it!

Adam Strickland