Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Carolina Quarterback Blues
We Panther fans knew coming into the season that Jake was losing it. The pundits lauded him for coming back after Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow, and for a while he seemed to be fine. But, psychologically, he wasn't fine. As the season wore on his mistakes became more and more outrageous, and while his taking all the blame on his shoulders was admirable, it was also repetitive. But John Fox was determined to keep him in at all costs... even when the cost was a chance at the Super Bowl.
Jake spent the off season apologizing and saying he was going to put the final game behind him. His contract came up, and for some reason was renegotiated for an insane amount of money. What did Fox know that we didn't?
From the debacle that unfolded Sunday afternoon, I say not a whole hell of a lot.
Jake underthrew Steve Smith, overthrew Muhsin Muhammad, and was so obvious with his hand-offs that the running game was quickly shut down. He had an interception and a forced fumble, both leading to Philadelphia touchdowns, within minutes of each other. And yet he was kept in the game until there was no chance of making a comeback. Then, finally, as the boos rained down every time the offense took the field, as Steve Smith sat by himself on the defense's bench,
John McCown, unfortunately, did not last long. He managed a couple of throws before being smashed into the next zip code and leaving the game with leg injury. That left Matt Moore, who did what he could with a dispirited offense and a frustrated crowd. The only good part about Moore coming in was that it meant that Jake could not return the rest of the game. After the game, Fox repeated his support for Jake and his starting position. His teammates mouthed the party line, and nothing seemed to be changing any time soon.
But then it was reported late Monday afternoon that Josh McCown had been put on the IR, effectively ending his season and leaving the Panthers with only two quarterbacks. Right after that, they signed A. J. Feeley... who was last seen throwing interceptions for the Eagles.
It's going to be a really, really long season for the Panther fans.