When will the hatred end for the Carolina Panthers? The undefeated team from the NFC South is the favorite to beat the New York Giants this weekend by a mere 4.5 points. Either the oddsmakers have gone batty or they have a serious case of brain freeze. When a powerhouse goes on a road trip to the house of an inferior opponent, the numbers should reflect that. The Panthers can’t seem to get respect, despite their 13-0 record. Why do so many people hate the Panthers?
Looking at the odds for Week 15 matchups, the New England Patriots are favored to stomp the Tennessee Titans by 14 points. That seems like a logical assumption, based on the fact that the Titans have underachieved this season. The Patriots are in worse shape than the Panthers, when it comes to injuries. According to an injury report by USA Today Sports, Tom Brady is “questionable” for the game. But, that still hasn’t kept the guys in Vegas from setting a huge spread.
Maybe it was the fact that Dallas had won six of nine Thanksgiving Day games. It could have been based on a short week for the Panthers. They had just dismantled the Washington Redskins 44-16 and couldn’t possibly have any juice left.
The Panthers demolished the Cowboys 33-14 and another round of disrespect was settled. The disbelief probably won’t end until the Carolina Panthers are holding the Lombardi and Cam Newton is “dabbin'” on the 50-yard line. Arguably, never has one team been so overlooked and disregarded.
During the off-season, even a child journalist chimed in with his dislike of Newton and the Panthers. He starts out with a bold admittance of his allegiance. But, as his article continues, he slowly retreats from ever having said he liked the team.
The Panthers’ bandwagon has probably filled to overflow capacity. The author of that article may be rethinking his post. That kid could very well be writing a follow-up about how he wants Carolina to go undefeated and march into the Super Bowl.
The low spread may also be due to the New York Giants beating the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and spoiling their chance at a perfect season. The Panthers are riding high and entering the same stadium that almost had the same thing happen in Week 10. MetLife fans witnessed the Patriots escape, when Odell Beckham Jr. was denied a catch that would have won the game.
This week, the Giants (6-7) can again play spoiler to the Panthers. They still have two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning on the field and coach Tom Coughlin running the show. But, that’s where the comparisons should end. This year’s version of the Giants is inferior to the Panthers. Any given Sunday can produce varied results. The bottom line is a far superior Panthers team on paper and on the field.
The Giants’ defense ranks last in the league in total points given up. The Giants pass defense is also dreadful. They’re allowing over 418 yards a game. On the other hand, the Panthers are at the other end of the rankings at No.3. The Giants pass defense is also dreadful.
Since 1998 there have been six teams make it to at least 13-0, and the Giants have knocked off two of them. The 2007 Patriots and 1998 Broncos were the victims. But, the Carolina Panthers of 2015 are a different breed and should be shown a bit more respect. That’s what happens when the hatred is so strong.
[Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]