I think Carolina got a lot of confidence after beating us last week, but this game also illustrates a point worth considering. We went into that game expecting things to be easier, and then stubbornly continued to try to "impose our will" of executing a high-powered offense in a smash-mouth game. Had we been playing a more recognized "premier" defense I think we would have adopted a more conservative ground-attack/field-position game. But our inept coaching staff failed miserably, and we kept trying to get yardage in 10-20 yd chunks rather than 3-4 yd nibbles. So we learned another valuable lesson. I guess I have two points to make:
1) No slouch team takes a game from us, Carolina is playing playoff quality football right now.
2) Thus far, we have not elevated our play to playoff quality... and we still led the Panthers for 3 quarters.
I believe that for us the playoffs begin this week. No more internal bickering when the going gets tough, no more lack of focus or effort. Thankfully we have been there done that and moved on... When this season began I had a strange unfamiliar confidence about our team. I know many of you shared that belief, and continue to do so. We DO have more talent than any other roster in the league, and I still believe that our play will rise to the top when it matters most. This is our year and we are going to take it! SKOL VIKES!