What do you get when two blundering teams face each other in a relatively moot Monday night matchup with virtually no playoff implications?
Get ready for some Blunder Night Moot-ball!
When the 2-8 Carolina Panthers travel to face the 3-7 Philadelphia Eagles the only implication this game may carry is to determine which team fires its coach first.
It's understandable why this game was designated as the Monday Night feature before the season started. After all, a late-season matchup between Cam Newton and Michael Vick leading two potential break-out teams sounded sexy heading into 2012.
The Toothless Panthers
If you like watching football games that come down to the wire, the Panthers are a fun team to watch - as long as you're not a Panthers fan. Week after week it seems Carolina manages to find a way to lose in the closing seconds.
In Week 11 Carolina gave up a final minute touchdown and a two-point conversion to allow the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to tie the game in regulation, then the Bucs won the game in overtime against a shell-shocked Panthers team.
Carolina managed to squander late leads and lose on last-second field goals in their Week 4 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and in their Week 8 23-22 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bears.
The Panthers' 18.4 offensive points per game is 27th in the NFL and has struggled to move the ball. The defense lost two of its best players when linebacker Jon Beason and corner back Chris Gamble suffered season-ending injuries. Carolina's defense is giving up 24.3 points per game - 21st in the NFL.
The Flightless Eagles
But as bad as the season has been for the Panthers, Carolina has been statistically better than Philadelphia.
The Eagle's offense is producing a cover-your-eyes awful 16.2 points per game - second worst in the NFL.
Philadelphia's defense is surrendering 25.2 points per game, one spot below the Panthers at 22nd in the league. It's gotten so bad for the Eagles this year that fans in the stadium are chanting and billboards on the streets are screaming "Fire Andy Reid."
Usually a late-season Monday Night Football game is something for the teams' fans to salivate over, hoping their team shines in the national spotlight while inching closer to a playoff spot. But in a meaningless game between two grossly underachieving teams the general sense from both fan bases is simply:
"Just don't embarrass us, please."
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check out these articles: