January 27, 2004 |
Mike Minter said he could see this Super Bowl season coming. The veteran Carolina Panthers safety said he told people in training camp that his team was about to embark on something grand. "I told our local media the first day of training camp that we had something special," Minter said. "I told them to watch us, because we were going to get where we wanted to be. " With the Panthers just two seasons removed from a 1-15 record, few people believed him. But Minter, who had endured six years without being on a winning team in Carolina, said that has just made him value this season even more.
January 19, 2004 |
The city's soaring Super Bowl dreams hit the glass ceiling again last night, knocking Eagles fans back into the basement of bitter memories where they have lived for 23 years. All week, fans had chanted the mantra that the third time would be the charm. But it wasn't. Having battled their way into the National Football Conference championship game as they had last season and the season before, the Eagles, playing before an enthusiastic, prayerful home-field crowd, again came up short in a 14-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers - one victory away from the Super Bowl.
January 18, 2004 |
Maybe the Carolina Panthers' brief history can best be explained by the snarling bronze panthers that crouch like menacing sentinels at the four entrances to Ericsson Stadium. After all, teams that surround themselves with black cats may just be inviting misfortune. In the six years between the seasons that produced their two NFC championship-game appearances, this franchise, much to the horror of a community so fervently religious that it names freeways for evangelists, created a stunningly lurid legacy.
January 12, 2004 |
Here are 10 things you may not have known about the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles' opponent in Sunday's NFC championship game: 1. Quarterback Jake Delhomme was Kurt Warner's backup with the 1998 Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe. "I needed a job," Delhomme said. "I had just gotten married. " 2. Saturday's 29-23 double-overtime victory over the Rams was Carolina's first road playoff win ever. 3. Thirteen Carolina games have been decided by six points or fewer this season.
January 4, 2004 |
Bill Parcells can perform some jaw-dropping magic. But when he can't pull a running game out of his hat in the postseason, the show's over. Parcells, who conjures up Super Bowl teams out of rushing and defense, saw his Dallas Cowboys disappear quickly from these playoffs last night, losing decisively to the Carolina Panthers, 29-10, in an NFC wild-card game at Ericsson Stadium. "That was our primary goal," said Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker, "to shut down the run and make them put the ball in the air. " In winning their first playoff game since 1996, Carolina, the NFC South champions, got five John Kasay field goals, a 23-yard touchdown run from Stephen Davis, and a 32-yard TD reception by a frequently spectacular Steve Smith.
November 27, 2003 |
Two teams on opposite paths to the same destination. That's how Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme sees his team and the Eagles, who will meet at Ericsson Stadium on Sunday. While the Birds sputtered to a 2-3 record, the Panthers started with five wins in five games, including overtime thrillers against Tampa Bay and Indianapolis. While the Birds have won six games since, Carolina is 3-3 but retains a share of the NFC lead with three other teams, including the Eagles. Sunday's game could help determine the eventual conference champ.
November 10, 2003 |
It's a safe bet the Carolina Panthers will be dropping their "Fan of the Game" promotion. An overzealous winner, dressed in a cat suit and calling himself the "Carolina Prowler," inadvertently inspired Tampa Bay's fourth-quarter comeback yesterday. Had the Panthers not rallied, the "Prowler" might have joined Cubs fan Steve Bartman in infamy. The Panthers did manage to beat the visiting Bucs, 27-24. Given a chance to speak on the stadium PA sytem during a timeout with 10 minutes, 19 seconds to go, the "Prowler" called out Simeon Rice, who had guaranteed a win during the week, and Warren Sapp.
October 9, 2003 |
When the 2003 NFL schedule came out, a legion of Eagles fans undoubtedly were pleased to see it included a Nov. 30 matchup with the Carolina Panthers, a so-so team that struggled to a 7-9 record last season. A cinch victory for Andy Reid and his lads, right? Well, maybe. But maybe not. The so-so Panthers of 2002 are an unbeaten, division-leading Super Bowl contender in 2003. They have stormed to four straight victories with a remarkable rushing attack that has averaged 167.8 yards per game.
October 3, 2003 |
Steve Smith lashed out at the Carolina Panthers yesterday for allegedly calling him a "marginal receiver" while discussing contract options. Smith, who leads the Panthers in yards receiving (118) and receptions (12) this season, is due to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. Derrick Fox, his agent, has said the Panthers have contacted him about extending the deal. But Smith appeared unsure yesterday of where talks actually stand, and was incensed about comments he thinks the Panthers made.
October 3, 2003 |
Steve Smith lashed out at the Carolina Panthers yesterday for allegedly calling him a "marginal receiver" while discussing contract options. Smith, who leads the Panthers in receiving yards (118) and receptions (12) this season, is due to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. Derrick Fox, his agent, has said the Panthers have contacted him about extending the deal. But Smith appeared unsure of where talks actually stand, and was incensed about comments he thinks the Panthers made.