We have another big test this upcoming Sunday. Carolina has Super-Bowl quality players, but so far they've lost two, and just squeaked by in their two wins.
I don't have alot of hope for this game. I don't think our defense will be much more than a speedbump against Carolina's passing game. We've shown that we still have some holes defending the rushing game, too. I think that our best hope is that the pass rush kicks it up another gear, and we don't allow any break-away runs. Bend but don't break is the best we can hope for, with some sacks to give us a little extra bending room. We're going to need to force some interceptions in this game, because Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson have the potential to embarass our hurting secondary.
What I'm more interested in seeing is how the offense fares. We've had two straight weeks where we've shown some great play in spurts. If our offense can play at the higher level the entire game, we could stay in the game. I'd like to see us come out passing early. The Panthers have a banged up secondary, and we should be able to make some plays. If we can muster some success passing it, we should be able to get the ground game moving as well. I think that the key is that we don't get into a "run it up the middle" rut, because Carolina's front seven will be able to stop us if thats our game plan.
If we can win this, or at least make it a close game, I think we can classify it as a success. I just don't want to see another embarassing loss.