The Carolina Panthers are seeing the news coming out of their next opponent’s HQ, which would be our own 49ers, and asking themselves WTF?! At a point in the season where most teams are coping with players lost to injury, the 49ers are reaching into their talent pool and adding to their roster an all pro pass rusher (Aldon Smith), a good young CB (Eric Wright), a slippery and productive WR (Mario Manningham), and a 2nd round draft pick DT with the ominous name of “Tank” (Tank Carradine).
As for the Panthers, they’ve lost three right guards on the year and will be using a converted D-lineman (Nate Chandler) as their RG, with another converted D-lineman (Sione Fua) as his backup. Color them green with envy at the 49ers depth chart.
Aldon returned from his rehab trip, but his buckwheat hairdo didn’t arrive with him. He’s now sporting the serious young businessman look, which we hope is an indicator of his new mental outlook and not simply a fashion makeover. RG Alex Boone dealt with his alcohol issue and we hope Aldon can do the same.
The Panthers have won four in a row over behemoths such as the Vikings, Buccaneers, Rams, and Falcons. If they want to be taken seriously this year, a good showing against the 49ers would certainly wake people up. And if not the Niners, maybe the Patriots, who are next on their schedule. Even if they lose both of these games, a 10-6 record this year is eminently possible, and with it a probable berth in the playoffs.
The Falcons lost their two best WRs and promptly died on the tracks at 2-6. The 49ers played their first 8 games without their two best WRs and went 6-2. Some teams’ excellence is far more delicate than others.
The Dophins seem to be heading down New Orleans road this week, as the Richie Incognito affair exposes an ugly locker room, apparently encouraged by one or more coaches and revealing a hazing atmosphere gone amok. Not sure yet who or how many will get the scapegoat role for the dysfunctional atmosphere.
What’s with the southeast corner of NFL America, anyway? Jags, Bucs, Falcons, Dophins — one big stink hole. Six total wins from these four clubs, 26 losses, and mayhem all around. For the second time this year, the NFL is sending its investigators to Florida to inspect a franchise. The Feds are also down there on Aaron Hernandez second murder matters. The state is beginning to resemble a plot on Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle.