Despite Loss To New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers Still In Championship Hunt

By Mark Wilson
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers‘ winning streak came to a crashing halt on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. I guess its time for all the naysayers to come out with their “I knew they weren’t this good” remarks. What they are really saying is, “Man, I’m glad they finally lost because this team was looking like the best in the NFL and I was scared for my team.” Its okay to admit hate for the boys from Charlotte, but please know this — they will be back next week.

The Panthers put up a dud in this game, and I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. The good thing is that it happened before the playoffs. Every good team lays and egg or two during the regular season. It’s not like they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Houston Texans — they lost to a perennial powerhouse in the Saints. If you know anything about sports, there are no tougher games than divisional games.

Cam Newton struggled, and now the same media voices that were putting him up there in MVP talks are now trying to retract their praises and bash the young QB. The sports world is a fickle place, but I believe Newton and crew can handle the backlash just fine.

The Panthers are still in prime position to make the playoffs and win the NFC South. Remember, they have a game against the Saints in a few weeks at home. You don’t think the Panthers and their crazed fanbase won’t be hyped for that matchup? You think the players are going to forget the lashing they just took on prime time national TV? This is what makes sports so great to watch and follow.

The Saints were one of the hottest teams in the NFL up to a week ago, and then they laid a stinker against the Seattle Seahawks. They were focused and thirsty for revenge on their next opponent, and the Panthers just happened to be the ones to feel their wrath.

The main goal of any NFL team is to reach the postseason. The last time I checked, there were no championship given out until February, so the Panthers are still on schedule to achieve their goals.

The media can continue to say that the Panther were always pretenders. Let’s remember that they were also pretenders until they ripped off eight straight wins after their last loss as well. Everyone got what they wanted, and that was for someone to put this young, brash team in its place. Please be careful of what you ask for, because all the Saints did was refocus the best team in the NFC, just like the Arizona Cardinals did nine weeks ago.

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