So Many Carolina Doubters?January 12th, 2014
Joe rarely weighs in on non-Bucs things, but this is an exception.
Joe can’t believe the Bucs’ hated rival, the stinkin’, Clifton-Smith-abusing Panthers, aren’t getting much love to beat the 49ers this afternoon in Charlotte.
Why are so many media types and fans seduced by the familiarity of the 49ers roster? It’s as if legions of people are shrugging off the Panthers winning 11 of their last 12, including in San Francisco, and having home-field advantage with the NFL’s No. 2 defense.
The Panthers’ November shutdown of the 49ers was followed up by a home clubbing of the mighty Patriots on Monday Night Football. Carolina couldn’t keep LeGarrette Blount from five yards a carry, but Cam Newton led them that night.
Every time Joe’s tuned in national and local sports radio in the past few days, he’s heard pundits just assuming the 49ers will “take care of business.”
Vegas has even shunned the Panthers and their 7-1 home record.
The Panthers are no fluke, and Joe would be surprised if the Panthers’ rested and nasty defense doesn’t dominate the game and bring the Panthers a win before what will be a psychotic home crowd.
Joe really loved free-agent-to-be defensive end Greg Hardy reaction to Carolina’s underdog status.
“If you don’t stop me, I’m going to break your quarterback’s face,” Hardy said. “If he doesn’t throw it to your receivers, he’s not going to win. It depends upon who’s in the position and who wants to make the plays. It doesn’t matter what team is hot, what team is up or down, what team’s feeling sorry for themselves, what team’s the favorite. … I ain’t been a favorite in 24 years. I’m doing great.
“That’s just people talking. Naysayers, people jabbing, even old analysts and old players talking about a game that they’re too slow to play. Congrats to them. That’s what they get paid for.”