Many Panthers fans wanted Jake Delhomme's(notes) head on a platter and his butt off the roster after his six-turnover meltdown in Carolina's NFC Divisional Round loss to the Cardinals on January 10 led to a 33-13 exit. The Panthers instead rewarded Delhomme for past performance with a five-year, $42.5 million contract extension on April 25. The language of the deal basically locks the team and Delhomme together until 2012.
Panthers GM Marty Hurney now may be looking for the receipt.
In his first regular-season performance since that five-pick, one-fumble disaster, the Ragin' Cajun almost upped the ante with a truly abysmal game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He threw four interceptions and lost a fumble -- in three quarters! - before being pulled in favor of Josh McCown(notes). The fumble was taken back for a touchdown by end Victor Abiamiri(notes), and the Eagles scored on three of the opportunities presented by Delhomme's picks.
His most successful play may have been the kneel-down to end the first half. Delhomme was 7-of-17 for 73 yards in this game, and he now has nine interceptions in his last 51 attempts. He wasn't the only culprit in the Panthers' loss - Carolina's linemen were too quick off the snap and allowed far too much penetration from the Philly defense - but there's no way Delhomme isn't the goat of this game, and deservedly so.
It's not that Delhomme's necessarily done; he had a decent season last year on a run-heavy team. But as two-game stretches go, this has to rank among the worst: 24 of 51 for 278 yards, one touchdown and nine picks. These are numbers we would generally attribute to Billy Joe Hobert or Dan Orlovsky(notes), not a guy who's been to a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship games.
What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is a-goin' on here?
Photo credit: US Presswire