For all the naysaying about the Panthers failures, everyone contributed a fair share to Sunday’s 30-20 crunching of the hated Atlanta Falcons. No one, and I mean NO ONE on the Carolina side was forgetting how Atlanta QB Matt Ryan told them to “get off my f**king field!” after he’d survived a seven sack performance to win the season opener 30-28. I might’ve cooled off a bit since the late manager wouldn’t allow me to leave early last night despite having zero–absolutely true–ZERO customers for nearly three hours and a department in exquisite shape, but I have a feeling there’s going to be similar negative vibes sent his direction in the future.
Give the Panthers credit, especially for the 53-yd. TD from Newton to DeAngelo Williams at exactly the point in game (4:11 in 4th) that they’ve yakked up leads several times this year. Newton silenced, at least for one week, the critics of his less dynamic sophomore year in the NFL with perhaps his most solid effort since that first game, posting a 23/35, 280 yard-two TD day and adding another TD and 116 yds. rushing on 9 carries. Beginning with a high bullet to TE Greg Olsen on Carolina’s first touchdown drive of the day, both sides of the ball performed as most expected them to all year, the offense pounding out 195 yds. rushing while dominating possession (35:47), holding Atlanta to 35 on a paltry 11 carries and building a 23-0 lead before allowing a touchdown with 4:48 left in the third period. Linebacker Luke Kuechly continued his exceptionally solid season with 16 tackles (11 solo).
Of course, most Carolina fans have learned to be afraid of what could happen before the 0:00 mark, but the defense stopped a two-point conversion early in the 4th and recovered an onside kick with :53 left, so a collective sigh of relief was finally enjoyed by all, right Ron Rivera?
As to ‘Touch’ of that manager, such unimaginative play calling in my particular clutch situation (Newton apparently hasn’t learned to audible past things as well as the Redskins heralded RGIII either), the disconnect is definitely aggravating. The Powers That Be are on record as wanting to support associates with feedback, coaching, and an environment of ENCOURAGEMENT AND TRUST, but hearing, “Oh, you have tomorrow off? Go back and pick up another department instead of leaving a cheesly 25 minutes early” builds nothing but resentment. On the bottom line, the only fact that really helped me chill out was understanding someone between TPTB and him was probably responsible.
An old adage, “Stick a fork in me, I’m done” has come through in discussions with several associates and managers. Let a rising economy and the prospect of carrying health care benefits to another job become a hard core reality, a once-proud ‘team’ might quit on a coach who rules without integrity or charm.