It's showdown time! The 9-3 Carolina Panthers are set to take on the 9-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. We'll kick things off here at 8:30 when Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Dr. Kornheiser (Remember he's not a real doctor, he just likes to play one in the MNF booth) hit the air.
JFein's Prediction: This should be a good game. However, it seems like that Tampa Bay is a more well-rounded team than the Panthers. Therefore, I will pick the Bucs in this one 28-24.
"That's the biggest deficit Carolina has lost by this year." - Tony Kornheiser
Well yeah......they've lost only 3 games. (Via SSR)
I had my hopes up that because this was such a big game, that Dr. Kornheiser would just shut up and keep the idiocy to a minimum. Apparently I was wrong.
"He took the Frankfurt Galaxy to the World Bowl, which I suppose made him All-World." - Dr. Kornheiser
Clifton Smith is back to return and the kick goes out of the endzone for a touchback. And on comes Jeff Garcia. 1st and 10, Garcia passes to Gilmore for a gain of 5. Garcia on 2nd down is SACKED! Loss of 8 and it's 3rd and 13. Handoff to Dunn who gets a couple.
The punt is returned to TB territory. And the Panthers have good field position. 1st and 10, Williams gets nothing. Williams gets 5 on 2nd down and it's 3rd and 5.
"You think Tampa Bay remembers they lost by 24 points in the first game?" - Kornheiser (Via SSR)
No, I don't. I think Carolina remembers losing by 24 to Tampa Bay, though. 3rd and 5 and Delhomme finds Muhammad over the middle for a 1st down! 1st and 10 and Delhomme agains find Muhammad for 19 yards! DeAngelo Williams on the carry takes it to the 8 with a pick up of 3. 2nd and 7, Delhomme , scrambles and is SACKED BY KEVIN CARTER! Loss of 8. 3rd and 15 for the Panthers. Delhomme throws it behind his tight end who dropped it. 4th down and on will come John Kasay. The 34-yard field goal IS UP...AND GOOD! 3-0 Panthers.
Kornheiser finally made a comment about Jaws' stupid "Catching the ball with your hands" comment. (Via SSR)
You mean to say you can't catch the ball with your nose?
"How does he get to keep his hair at 85 when you and I have had such trouble with that?" - Dr. Kornheiser
My heart bleeds for you. The kickoff is taken to the 27 by Smith. And on will come the TB offense.
Is there some producer at ESPN that is professional enough, with enough skill and talent, to tell those two morons to not devolve into giggling...it's because WE CAN'T FUCKING UNDERSTAND THEM WHEN THEY GIGGLE YOU IDIOTS. (Via Hollywood Wags)
Dunn picks up a couple. 2nd and 8, Garcia throws to Antonio Bryant for a gain of 8 and a first down. Cadillac Williams picks up a yard. 2nd and 9, Garcia throws to Askew for a pick up of 9 and another Tampa Bay first down. Dunn gets a yard on 1st down. 2nd and 9, Garcia swings to Cadillac Williams who gets 7. 3rd and 2, Garcia scrambles, will run for it, and he gets the first!
Timeout Tampa Bay.
"[Jon Gruden] loves quarterbacks, like antique cars." - Ron Jaworski (Via SSR)
Well that's one thing Jaws and Jon Gruden have in common.
"That was my homework assignment for the week." - Mike Tirico on learning Spanish.
We'll be awaiting his awkward 4th quarter apology. 1st and 10, Garcia fires incomplete for Clayton. Dunn takes the carry close to the first down marker. 3rd and 1, Askew picks up 3 and the drive continues. 1st and 10 from the CAR 30. The Cadillac picks up 5 on the carry.
Garcia throws it to Askew who can't get back to the line. Flag on the play and it's a tripping penalty on Tampa Bay. 2nd and 15, Garcia fakes it the handoff, scrambles past the line and gets 3.
"He's rumbling, bumbling, stumbling down the field." - Jaws on Garcia
Never say that again, Jaws. Garcia finds Antonio Bryant on 3rd down who gets 10 but that's not enough for a first down. On will come Matt Bryant to attempt a 40-yard field goal. The kick is up and IT'S OFF THE LEFT UPRIGHT AND NO GOOD! Still 3-0 Panthers.
1st and 10 from the 30, Delhomme hands it off to Jonathan Stewart who gets 2.
That brings us to the end of the 1st quarter, the Panthers lead the Bucs 3-0.
2nd and 8 and Stewart picks up 6. 3rd and a couple. Delhomme throws it to Steve Smith who has a first down at the 45. 1st and 10, Delhomme with tons of time, fires to to Brad Hoover who DROPS IT! Oy ve, Attention Captain Butterfingers. 2nd and 10, Stewart takes it into TB territory with that pick up of 5. 3rd and 5, Delhomme throws it to Jarrett who has the first down.
"Does that mean that, Delhomme, he went to Jarrett?" - Dr. Kornheiser
I'm speechless. And Doc, that was only obvious to you. 1st and 10 and Stewart loses a couple. Oh man, Hoover drops it again! Delhomme's pass on 3rd down is caught by Steve Smith inside the 30 for the first down! But wait, Tampa's challenging it.
My opinion is that it should be upheld, but we'll see what Walt Anderson says. It stands! Delhomme on 1st down fires and it's INTERCEPTED BY RONDE BARBER!
"Isn't Cincinnati also a queen city? How can you have two?" - Dr. Kornheiser
I don't know, Dr. Kornheiser, I don't know. John Fox is challenging the Barber interception. This one stands. Dunn picks up 4 on first down. Garcia throws to Dunn who gets near the first down marker. They measure it and he's just short. 3rd and inches, Garcia hands it to Askew who easily picks up the first down. 1st and 10 from the TB 35, Garcia fires and it's nearly picked off by Diggs! 2nd and 10, Garcia from the gun has his pass deflected and incomplete.
3rd and 10, Garcia from the shotgun again, throws it to Hilliard who makes the catch at the 47! First down Tampa Bay. Williams gets the carry, LOSES THE BALL, but the whistle blew and oh my, that was definitley a legit fumble. The refs blew that one. 2nd and 10, Garcia FIRES DEEP FOR IKE HILLARD WHO MAKES THE CATCH AND SPRINTS DOWN THE FIELD, DIVES FOR THE ENDZONE, BUT IS OUT OF BOUNDS AT THE 2! Wow, what a turn of events! And let me tell you what, I don't think he ever stepped out of bounds!
Timeout Tampa Bay. And it looks like the ball is a yard and a half behind where it should be. 1st and goal and Garcia fires for Smith in the back of the endzone, incomplete. 2nd and goal, Williams tries to go up the middle and doesn't get anything. Carolina says they have the ball, but the refs ignore them.
"That's how you stroke it up in there as a linebacker." - Jaws
3rd and goal. Garcia scrambling, fires to the endzone....incomplete! 4th and goal and on will come Matt Bryant for a 20-yard field goal. To tie the game, Bryant's field goal IS UP...AND THROUGH! We are tied at 3 in the Queen City as Nickelback's "Burn it to the Ground" off their new album Dark Horse, bumps us to commercial.
"Saved by the Westbrook" - Mike Tirico promosting next week's MNF game between the Eagles and the Browns. SSR will be live-blogging that one next week.
The kickoff is taken by Jones to the CAR 27. 1st and 10 for the Panthers. Williams takes the first down carry and picks up 9. DeAngelo Williams picks up the first down. 2nd down and WILLIAMS BREAKS FREE FOR A BIG GAIN OF 40 YARDS! Stewart gets a yard on first down and 7 on second down. Wiliams on 3rd down picks up the first.
Sorry for the delay of the update. Blogger's giving me hell. There we go, all better. Delhomme passes to Steve Smith who gets 7 yards and is down at the 2!
2nd and goal, Delhomme hands it to STEWART WHO WALKS INTO THE ENDZONE! TOUCHDOWN PANTHERS! The extra point is up and good and the Panthers lead it 10-3.
Clark takes the kickoff the 25 yard line and here comes Tampa with 1:49 remaining in the 1st half and no timeouts. Garcia to throw it to Jeremy Stevens who gets 5 and out of bounds. 2nd and 5, Garcia throws it to Antonio Bryant who has a first down at the 39. Garcia from the shotgun and GARCIA IS SACKED! Loss of 6 and the clock continues to tick.
Dunn takes the ball to the 40. 3rd and 8, as the clock is now at 10, Garcia scrambling and is SACKED AGAIN! Carolina decided not to call a timeout to try for a punt block and/or return.
That's the end of the first half. The Panthers lead the Buccaneers 10-3. I'll see you in the second half thread.