The similarities between the Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) and the Carolina Panthers (3-8) are too many not to discuss. First, it’s safe to say that both teams did not plan to be looking up from the bottom of their respective divisions, at any point during this season.
Entering the 2012 campaign, the Panthers had high hopes, resting on the broad shoulders (arm and legs) of “Superman” QB Cam Newton, whose team has struggled this season, but you wouldn’t know it following Monday night’s 30-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Panthers and Newton, who accounted for four TDs Monday, two apiece through the air and on the ground, didn’t have to prove anything to Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel.
“They have a lot of ability on that team,” Crennel said. “They’ve been in just about every game that they’ve played. I think that there were two games that the score got away from them – the Giants, which is a good team and the Broncos, which is another good team. But otherwise, the scores have been six points or less on the ones that they’ve lost.”
Just like the Panthers, the Chiefs aren’t happy with their current situation, following the high expectations that led them into the preseason. But as the saying goes, ‘it is what it is’ and the team can only change what’s ahead.
“We’re going to have to have another good effort, a better effort this coming Sunday so that we can win the game. So, that’s what we are going to focus on and try to get done,” Crennel admitted.
Both teams are also statistically similar. Case in point:
Panthers Offense: (339.8 ypg)
Chiefs Offense: (336.2 ypg)
Panthers Defense: (347.1 ypg allowed)
Chiefs Defense: (346.0 ypg allowed)
Panthers PPG: (19.5)
Chiefs PPG: (14.6)
Far more important than statistics and record comparisons however, this game is about pride.
“It’s the NFL, right? That difference between that 3-8 team (Carolina) and another 8-3 team is probably five plays,” Chiefs RT
“I think they’re just as good as a lot of playoff teams right now; they have a lot of talent on either side of the ball. You look at just their picks; they’ve got a ton of first-round, ton of second-round, ton of third-round picks, that usually equates to a pretty good team. They haven’t put it together this year either, but they have a lot of talent. We’re going to have our hands full again this week, as it usually is in the NFL.”
The signal caller who Winston helps protect, Chiefs QB
“This is an extremely competitive league. The difference from team-to-team and player-to-player is very minimal. We’ve got to go out there and play our best game, especially us right now with the way that we’re playing. We’ve got to be able to play our best game in order to get a win,” Quinn said.
And while the Panthers have the dual-threat in Cam Newton, as well as a productive backfield (108 ypg) and receiving corps (231.8 ypg), the Chiefs defense will be ready.
“We’re in the NFL just like they’re in the NFL, so we need to go out there with that mindset that we’re out there trying to compete to win a game, not just to compete to say we had a good game against a good team. We’re trying to go out there and get a “w” and come back Monday, where we can be celebrating after a victory,” Chiefs DE
Sunday’s game at Arrowhead is the fifth-career matchup between the teams, who have split the series. So, throw out the records, the expectations and enjoy what is sure to be at the very least, a knock-down, drag-out type of football game between two teams destined to prove that numbers (win-loss totals) can be deceiving.