By Sonny Jones
Another game. Another close loss. Another season sitting at home for the NFL playoffs. This season done before the end of September.
Welcome to Carolina Panthers football.
The New York Giants slipped past Carolina 19-16 on Sunday a week after Cleveland beat the Panthers 26-24 on a 58-yard field goal.
Yes, it’s two games that could have been won, but this ain’t horseshoes nor hand grenades and close doesn’t count in the NFL. Only wins count.
Is it being negative to admit the Panthers will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season or is it reality? Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, only 38 of the 400 teams that have started the season 0-2 advanced to the playoffs, according to Stathead. Since 2019, none of the 27 teams to start 0-2 reached the postseason.
Last season it took nine wins to make the playoffs in the NFC. The Panthers would need to go 9-6 the rest of the season against a schedule that includes two games against Tampa Bay, two against New Orleans, along with games against Super Bowl participants Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati, San Francisco and Baltimore. A fourth straight five-win season is more likely than a 9-8 record and a playoff berth.
It’s too bad the 2022 season is over so soon. The Panthers will have lots of changes in 2023.
MONDAY’S PICK TO CLICK
Josh Allen will throw for 2 touchdowns and run for a score as Buffalo hosts Tennessee in one of two Monday night NFL games.
SUNDAY’S PICK: D.J. Moore will have a touchdown catch and more than 100 yards receiving for the Carolina Panthers against the New York Giants. RESULTS: For the second straight game, Moore caught three passes for 43 yards and was targeted six times by quarterback Baker Mayfield. On Sunday, Moore also caught a touchdown pass.
TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY
• 2009: Texas College of the NAIA is trounced 75-6 by Texas Southern, a week after losing 92-0 to Stephen F. Austin. The Steers fall to 0-4 and have been outscored 300-12.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
• TENNIS: Metz, 9:30 a.m., TENNIS
• TENNIS: Metz, San Diego, noon, TENNIS
• MLB: Minnesota at Cleveland, 1 p.m., MLBN
• MLB: Seattle at LA Angels, 4 p.m., MLBN
• NFL: Tennessee at Buffalo, 7:15 p.m., ESPN, ESPN2
• MLB: Washington at Atlanta or NY Mets at Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m., MLBN
• NFL: Minnesota at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m., ABC
• TENNIS: San Diego, Tokyo, Seoul, 8:30 p.m., TENNIS
• MLB: Arizona at LA Dodgers or San Francisco at Colorado, 10:30 p.m., MLBN