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Panthers vs Bucs... in London!

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I don't want to wake up at 9am on a Sunday.

Hope Kyle Allen and newfound beast Reggie Bonnafon, along with England's finest, Efe Obada, have good games and get us a win. Need to redeem ourselves after that garbage TNF game.

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Cam Newton, Natrell Jamerson, Christian Miller, Trai Turner, Greg Little all ruled out.

Dennis Daley and Donte Jackson questionable.

No clue who our backup guards are, honestly. If Daryl has to go at LT in place of Daley, no idea who goes at RG. Do we still have Ty Larsen?

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Wish the offense had a better day. Couldn't get anything going on the ground and only scoring 20 points off 7 turnovers isn't that great. Even if you say there's 6 turnovers because of the game-ending pick, you would have liked to see us score well over 40 points. Of course, the entire booth was gagging on Kyle Allen even though he was only average today. The media's narrative about him being better than Cam is going to be a nightmare to deal with when Cam is healthy.

Defense did their job for the most part. Bradberry lost a rare battle to Mike Evans. Usually clamps him down well.

Joey Slye and especially Ray Ray McCloud are making me nervous now.

Anyway, 4-2 heading into the bye isn't too shabby considering we don't have Cam, Turner, Donte, Short, or Gano around for a majority of the season.

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I swear there used to be more Panthers fans on this forum lol

Our pass rush is insane, man.  I was way too young to remember the Peppers/Buckner/Rucker/Jenkins days so I could be wrong, but this has to be the best pass rush I've ever seen the Panthers have.  Even better than the 2013 too.  Burns, Irvin, McCoy, Addison, Poe, Miller... even Haynes, Obada, and Butler have been putting in work and getting pressure.  Butler in particular has looked REALLY good filling in for Short.  And we've got players on the back-end who can blitz really well too - Reid and Elliott have done a good job with our DB blitzes.  They are so well designed and Rivera knows how to disguise them.  We haven't seen Boston blitz much yet, but you know it's coming.  

And Shaq Thompson?  Holy crap.  ILB has turned out to be the perfect role for him because his performance this year vs years past has been night and day.  I was ready to write him off as a disappointing 1st round pick because while he's previously flashed talent, it wasn't at this level.  He's been elite this year and arguably better than Kuechly.  Exceptional coverage, elite against the run, and of course, his blitzing is tremendous too.  There was one play vs the Bucs where Kuechly pointed him in the direction he should go, I think the A gap, and Thompson got there in a millisecond.  He couldn't bring Winston down, but we won't be playing QBs as big as Winston every week.

What happens when the pass rush doesn't get there, which is rarely nowadays?  The coverage is fantastic.  By far the best our pass defense has looked in the Rivera era and I'm including 2015 in that.  2015 was mostly Norman + Coleman being in the right position at the right time + Kuechly playing at a GOD level for a MLB in coverage.  Still good, but this year, it feels like everyone in the secondary is in unison.  Boston has his typical lapses of course, but otherwise we've been strong, especially with Jackson out the last couple of weeks.  Bradberry has always been a solid corner, but he's gotten more consistent and I feel comfortable in saying he's been elite this year.  The game against Evans was really his first bad game and even then, I mean, it's Mike Evans.  After years of shutting him down, he was bound to have a good game.  And Cockrell has been very good too.  Elliott is a nice surprise at the nickel spot and Reid was worth the contract extension despite his, at times, terrible tackling.

I love this defense.  I think it's going to allow us to stay in any game.  Allen fumbled 3 times against the Texans IIRC and we still only allowed 10 points - compare that to what the Texans have done in every other game sans vs the Jags, who also field a good defense and had Ramsay at the time.

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As far as Kyle Allen goes, I genuinely don't know what the team should do.  The games against the Texans and Jags were concerning -- even ignoring his tendency to fumble whenever he's hit, I question his ability to make plays downfield.  He's underthrown Samuel a fair amount, which you know happens because not everyone is Mahomes, but its concerning especially when we start playing better defenses.  With that said he is 7th in the league in AY/A, so it isn't like he isn't A) being efficient and B) allowing the offense to get enough yards to move the ball.  And he's a 2nd year QB.  But my gut instinct tells me that it isn't so much that he's good as much as it is he's adequate.  And is that enough for this team?  Maybe, if the defense stays at an elite level and the players around Allen keep playing well (read: CMC stays at an MVP level).  

I think a healthy Cam is 100% better than Allen, but is a 100% healthy Cam a thing anymore?  Or for better phrasing, is a 100% Cam the same thing as a 100% Cam from 2-3 years ago?  We saw what Newton was capable of before his injury last year - 67%, 15 TDs to 4 INTs, 100.8 QB Rating, to go along with 342 rushing yards and 4 TDs.  Allen's passing numbers are slightly better, but obviously his rushing is nowhere close.

I'm not really sure there is a wrong decision here, because at the end of the day nobody really knows what to expect from Newton.  If you think he can be as good as he used to, I think you have to play him and hope for the best.  I don't think you can stick with Allen simply because we're winning with him, unless you genuinely think a 100% Allen > a 100% Newton.  If I'm Rivera, then I'm starting Newton and if he falters, put Allen back in.  Newton has always been a team-first guy despite his undeserved reputation, and so while obviously he wouldn't agree with a benching, I really don't think he would take it that negatively if he was playing so poorly to the point where a benching was warranted.  I think it's a lot harder to go from Allen back to Newton though, simply because bad games from Allen could simply be chalked up to inexperience.  If we wait until Week 12 to play Newton after bad games from Allen, and then Newton underwhelms (either due to rust or injuries having taken their toll), then at that point we will be kind of beat.  I think you have to find out as soon as possible what you still have with Cam Newton.

The toughest decision will come in the offseason though.  Even if Newton starts upon arrival and plays very well, I think Newton vs Allen will be a discussion Rivera, Hurney, and Tepper will have to have unless he plays at an elite level.  You can't discount the fact that Allen comes a lot cheaper and at the very least, appears to be a competent QB.  

Either way, it's gonna be sad if Newton's days here are coming to a close.  By far my favorite player I've followed.  He's done so much for this franchise and has put his body on the line, more than we could have asked or expected.  

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13 minutes ago, iknowcool said:

As far as Kyle Allen goes, I genuinely don't know what the team should do.  The games against the Texans and Jags were concerning -- even ignoring his tendency to fumble whenever he's hit, I question his ability to make plays downfield.  He's underthrown Samuel a fair amount, which you know happens because not everyone is Mahomes, but its concerning especially when we start playing better defenses.  With that said he is 7th in the league in AY/A, so it isn't like he isn't A) being efficient and B) allowing the offense to get enough yards to move the ball.  And he's a 2nd year QB.  But my gut instinct tells me that it isn't so much that he's good as much as it is he's adequate.  And is that enough for this team?  Maybe, if the defense stays at an elite level and the players around Allen keep playing well (read: CMC stays at an MVP level).  

I think a healthy Cam is 100% better than Allen, but is a 100% healthy Cam a thing anymore?  Or for better phrasing, is a 100% Cam the same thing as a 100% Cam from 2-3 years ago?  We saw what Newton was capable of before his injury last year - 67%, 15 TDs to 4 INTs, 100.8 QB Rating, to go along with 342 rushing yards and 4 TDs.  Allen's passing numbers are slightly better, but obviously his rushing is nowhere close.

I'm not really sure there is a wrong decision here, because at the end of the day nobody really knows what to expect from Newton.  If you think he can be as good as he used to, I think you have to play him and hope for the best.  I don't think you can stick with Allen simply because we're winning with him, unless you genuinely think a 100% Allen > a 100% Newton.  If I'm Rivera, then I'm starting Newton and if he falters, put Allen back in.  Newton has always been a team-first guy despite his undeserved reputation, and so while obviously he wouldn't agree with a benching, I really don't think he would take it that negatively if he was playing so poorly to the point where a benching was warranted.  I think it's a lot harder to go from Allen back to Newton though, simply because bad games from Allen could simply be chalked up to inexperience.  If we wait until Week 12 to play Newton after bad games from Allen, and then Newton underwhelms (either due to rust or injuries having taken their toll), then at that point we will be kind of beat.  I think you have to find out as soon as possible what you still have with Cam Newton.

The toughest decision will come in the offseason though.  Even if Newton starts upon arrival and plays very well, I think Newton vs Allen will be a discussion Rivera, Hurney, and Tepper will have to have unless he plays at an elite level.  You can't discount the fact that Allen comes a lot cheaper and at the very least, appears to be a competent QB.  

Either way, it's gonna be sad if Newton's days here are coming to a close.  By far my favorite player I've followed.  He's done so much for this franchise and has put his body on the line, more than we could have asked or expected.  

The Cam vs Allen debate has so many more facets than "Cam a better player doe". It's nowhere near the simple. There's SO MANY factors.

We could save 19m by cutting/trading Cam next year.

If Rivera is fired, Cam is almost certainly gone. We're not saddling the next HC with a QB who hasn't been able to stay healthy.

Allen is legitimately a better fit for Norv's offense. Not a knock on Cam, it's just real.

 

I think the most telling thing is over this four game stretch, we've busted a LOT of long-held narratives;

"Cam is the whole offense! We'd be terrible without him!" - The offense has (relatively) flourished under Allen, sustaining drives and being more consistent overall.

"We got no wide receivers!" - Allen has the receiver corps playing well, hitting guys in stride with timing and accuracy.

"The defense sucks! They cost us the first two games!" - The defense has played elite football since Allen took over. Not a coincidence. Allen taking over coincided with us winning the TOP battle nearly every week. With Cam, we lost it both times by 7+ minutes.

"Any other QB would DIE behind this offensive line! They'd be injured game one!" - Allen has played four games, taken a fair few shots and been totally fine.

 

So. Many. Dispelled. Narratives.

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4 minutes ago, Cypher said:

The Cam vs Allen debate has so many more facets than "Cam a better player doe". It's nowhere near the simple. There's SO MANY factors.

Did you read my post at all?  I even said at the end that, even if Newton started the rest of the season and played well, it would still be a question in the offseason on who to go to.  I'm well aware there are advantages of keeping Allen at a cheaper contract than Newton at whatever he is making or what he would ask to be paid.  So yes, I know it's more than "Cam a better player doe", if that is what you are reducing my post to.

"Cam is the whole offense! We'd be terrible without him!" - The offense has (relatively) flourished under Allen, sustaining drives and being more consistent overall.

"We got no wide receivers!" - Allen has the receiver corps playing well, hitting guys in stride with timing and accuracy.

"The defense sucks! They cost us the first two games!" - The defense has played elite football since Allen took over. Not a coincidence. Allen taking over coincided with us winning the TOP battle nearly every week. With Cam, we lost it both times by 7+ minutes.

"Any other QB would DIE behind this offensive line! They'd be injured game one!" - Allen has played four games, taken a fair few shots and been totally fine.

Who was saying any of this, aside from maybe the offensive line, this season?  Everyone, including myself, has acknowledged how talented this offense was.  It's by far the most talented offense we have had in the Newton era since at least 2013 and it's why everyone was so excited to see a healthy Newton playing with the team.  Even before the season, I mentioned how Newton was out of excuses considering how good the team around him was.  So I'm really not sure where exactly you are grabbing these narratives from.  The offense Allen is playing with is nowhere close to the offense Newton dealt with in 2017, when his top WRs were Benjamin (who got traded midway through the season) and Funchess, with Olsen out with a foot injury and Matt Kalil starting at LT and Shula at OC.  McCaffrey in 2017 wasn't McCaffrey in 2019, mostly because he wasn't given the chance, and the running game (aside from Newton) was absolutely garbage.  You can't possibly think a narrative from 2017 applies to this team or supports your argument, surely?  I mean who was questioning our wide receivers, other than their inexperience, prior to the season?  We all had hefty praise for Moore, Samuel, Wright, etc.  If anything, we were overrating them.

Allen is legitimately a better fit for Norv's offense. Not a knock on Cam, it's just real.

Allen in his 5 starts: 64.4%, 1129 yards, 9 TDs, 0 INTs, 107.5 QB Rating (7.58 Y/A, 8.79 AY/A), 25 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Newton in his 8 starts last year prior to injury: 67.3%, 1893 yards, 15 TDs, 4 INTs, 100.8 QB Rating (7.2 Y/A, 7.65 AY/A), 342 rushing yards, 4 TDs

Allen has been the slightly better passer while throwing less picks, while Newton was a far better runner.  I won't even mention fumbles because in general, I'm not too big on holding fumbles in the pocket against QBs, but there's no denying that has been a huge issue for Allen.  Allen might be a better fit for Norv's offense, but it's not a proven fact.  Especially when Allen hasn't really been tested; he didn't exactly perform particularly well against the Texans and Jags.  We almost certainly lose against the Texans if not for the defense making up for his 3 fumbles and CMC, and definitely lose to the Jags without McCaffrey.

LIS, I don't disagree that Allen might be better.  That's why I'm confused with your whole "Cam a better player doe" comment.  My general point is that, for this season, considering we have a Super Bowl caliber defense and good enough players on the offense, that I don't think you can just not play Newton unless you are sure Allen is better.  Your point about money is good and moving on from Newton in the offseason and sticking with Allen very well could be the better decision, but financials at this point don't matter and won't until 2020.  Right now it is about playing the best QB, and I'd rather find out if Newton is that guy before I completely give up on him.  Would you not agree that it would be better to go from Cam to Allen, if Newton plays poorly, than from Allen to Cam, if Allen plays poorly but before we know if Newton is still able to play at a good level?

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Man I’m so jelly of your D.. and this is a retooled defense as well which isn’t even close to what it can be. Few more years and it’ll be Bears status. Y’all rolling right now jelly af. 

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