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Posts tagged with "Panthers"

Sometimes 2-2 is a reason to celebrate (see: Jets, New York), other times it’s a potential disaster.

The Patriots fell to .500 on Sunday, falling 33-30 on a last-second field goal against a Panthers team that had scored 45 points combined in their first three games.

“Disappointed, 2-2 is just a record, but just in terms of how we played and what we need to do in order to play better and win,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said on WEEI on Monday morning.

“Hopefully, we can figure out a way to play consistently over an entire game.”

The Patriots just as easily could be 1-3, with Texans safety Corey Moore dropping an interception that would have sealed a Houston Week 3 victory, instead turning into a 36-33 Pats win thanks to some Brady magic.

We’ve been here before. We’ve buried the Patriots before.

In 2014, after getting pummeled 41-14 by the Chiefs on Monday night with Brady playing dreadful, the New England dynasty was declared dead. Brady was washed up. Bill Belichick had lost his magic touch.

That season ended with a Super Bowl.

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One of the New England Patriots’ offseason acquisitions was defensive end, Kony Ealy. So far, the transition hasn’t gone as smoothly as he would have liked.

This offseason, the New England Patriots had to make a lot of moves in order to replace some of the players they lost from their Super Bowl team. One of the new players that were acquired by the Patriots was defensive end, Kony Ealy.

In a trade with the Carolina Panthers, the Patriots were able to acquire Ealy, to basically move back from the end of the second round of the draft to the beginning of the third. The deal certainly made a lot of sense for New England, as they were able to add a defensive end to help replace Chris Long.

CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 17: Kony Ealy #94 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a sack against the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on November 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

With the Panthers the past three seasons, Ealy has done a good job of getting after the quarterback. In three seasons, he has totaled 14 sacks, six forced fumbles, and one interception. While Ealy is a capable pass-rusher in the NFL, he does struggle against the run.

So far in training camp, Ealy has struggled. He hasn’t been getting many reps with the first-team defense. For Ealy, the transition to New England has not gone smoothly.

“It’s just a learning curve. That’s fair to say,” Ealy said to Mike Giardi of CSNNE.com. “Within the scheme of the defense, I’m learning, studying, picking things up every day. I had a natural ability to cover and do everything they ask me to do in the drop game so I don’t have a problem with it.”

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Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NFC South has been and remains one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, filled with excellent rivalries and surprise divisional winners on a nearly seasonal basis. This is not the AFC East, where three sad sack teams compete every year to lose less badly to the Patriots. This is a place where magic can happen for almost anyone.

That begs the question of which team is best-positioned to succeed in the NFC South over the long haul, and in my eyes, there are two obvious choices.

The first is your Atlanta Falcons. They have a franchise quarterback who should have any where from 2-5 good seasons left in him, plus a killer supporting cast and a young, burgeoning defense. You’d be hard-pressed to argue that many teams in the NFL are in a better spot right now, much less the division.

The second team is the Buccaneers. They have a young potential franchise QB in Jameis Winston, a quality offense, and a defense that can become something if they continue to build it Because their QB is so much younger than Atlanta, you can squint a little and see them being relevant longer, even if their roster overall isn’t as strong as the Falcons’ right now.

The Panthers are good right now, I’d argue, and likely a force in the short-term. The Panthersare arguably the weakest team in the NFC South at the moment and have the oldest quarterback out of anybody, which means they could be in the cellar both right now and over the long haul.

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The Super Bowl hangover isn’t a myth. It’s real. History and the eyeball test in the salary cap era tell you it is the truth: Losing on the game’s biggest stage can have repercussions that last long after Super Sunday.

Since 2000, half of the Super Bowl losers failed to even make the postseason in the following campaign. Just two got back to the conference title game — none returned to the Super Bowl.

The most recent hangover victim? Carolina. The Panthers went from an NFL-best 15-1 in 2015 to 6-10 and dead last in the NFC South last fall. Cam Newton followed up his league MVP campaign with the worst statistical season of his professional life.

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The Carolina Panthers signed Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil to a two-year contract extension on Monday that ties him to the team through the 2018 season.

Before signing the new extension, he was set to enter the final season of the six-year, $49 million extension he signed with the team in 2011.

“I think it’s something that a lot of guys start thinking about toward the end of their career, where they’re gonna finish,” Kalil said in a conference call. “And for this organization to give me that opportunity to finish my career here means the world to me. And I couldn’t imagine finishing my career in a better place than this franchise.”

When the Panthers decided to rescind their franchise tender on cornerback Josh Norman, general manager Dave Gettleman said the team did so in part to gain salary-cap flexibility to re-sign other players on the team. Besides Kalil, defensive tackle Kawann Short also is a candidate to receive an extension.

“Ryan is still playing at an extremely high level and was very deservedly an All-Pro again in 2015,” Gettleman said in a statement. “The other part of this is that Ryan is a great leader. In 2014, he was instrumental in keeping that offensive line group together. That group had a lot of young players and there were moving parts because of injuries, but Ryan helped them maintain their confidence, and that was a big part of us winning five of our last six games. On and off the field, Ryan is a pro’s pro, and we’re all very excited about this.”

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ATLANTA — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera paused earlier this week after being asked when he’d be concerned about his team’s slow start before finally replying, buy “That’s a good question.’’

Now might be the time, story Coach.

The Panthers are reeling.

Sunday’s 48-33 loss to Atlanta sent the defending NFC champions to a 1-3 start and left them two games behind the Falcons in the NFC South.

It also may have left Carolina without quarterback Cam Newton for the next game against Tampa Bay. The reigning NFL MVP was being evaluated for a concussion after taking an unnecessary hit on a two-point conversion run with just under 12 minutes remaining.

Newton almost seemed to be playing chicken with linebacker Deion Jones in the way he casually approached the goal line.

He did not return to the game, viagra 60mg as Derek Anderson finished this mess.

Rivera said Newton “probably’ could have avoided the hit. Jones said it appeared Newton “let up a little bit at the goal line.’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers on Friday released starting cornerback Bene’ Benwikere, less than a week after the team gave up 300 yards receiving to Atlanta’s Julio Jones.

Benwikere’s roster spot was filled by cornerback Zack Sanchez, who was signed from the practice squad. The Panthers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

Benwikere was credited by Pro Football Focus with giving up 220 of Jones’ 300 yards.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the staff discussed where it was with the secondary over the past couple of days and “decided to move on.”

“We’ve got a group of young guys that we’re looking to play and get them out on the football field,” Rivera said. “It’s something we feel we needed to do as we go forward.

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