NFC Championship. The Aftermath.


It’s ugly. It’s beautiful. It makes me numb. It makes me so full of buzz! One event and it can create such opposite emotions and feelings. NFC Championship Game wasn’t anything I expected. In my preview I did say Carolina would win but it was meant to be closer and the game was meant to be played gingerly. And to certain extent it was.
The problem with the cautious approach was that no one told the Panthers about how important the game was and how precious each possession if the ball was and it was essential to try to work out the opposition. That what it seemed the Cardinal’s plan was. Or perhaps they got eaten by a stage fright or the whole team came into this game unprepared.
Carolina on the other hand just did what they had been doing lately. Firing on all cylinders with no remorse or worrying about thee consequences. The problem I came across pretty quickly was that the Cardinals game plan really wasn’t matching Carolina’s.
First three offensive possessions of Arizona ended with a punt. On the other side of the field Carolina went field goal, touchdown and touchdown. And I started loosing the interest even before the matters just got out of hands for the Cardinals. Was it 7 times total? I think so.
Fumble after Palmer gets sacked leads to a defensive stand by the Cardinals and my interest creeps back in. I’m starting to hope that Arians guys are waking up realising the importance of the game, especially after the offense strikes back with a touchdown and it is still manageable 17-7 and with another defensive stand the Cardinals can be back in business but then moment of laps leads to muffed punt return and the Panthers get the ball back and turn it into 7 points few minutes later.
Nearing to half time, Palmer trying to lead a two minute drill to bring the deficit back and boom, he gets sacked and fumbles again! Thus time they get a break as Newton get intercepted shortly after and after an enormous effort by Peterson who gets the ball and returns in for 72 yards the Cardinals are in a striking distance of trying to keep their chances alive going into halftime, and whoops, Palmer throws first pick of the game.
Carolina start second half with a field goal but Arizona takes it steady for another punt and my focus on the game just completely drifted away. I felt sorry for Palmer and rest of his team mates but they really didn’t look like a second seed in NFC.
It was a very flat performance, almost lifeless before it got to the point where nerves and pressure must had been felt by players of Arizona (I guess here) and one mistake kept chasing another one.
On the other side of football field was a bunch of guys who seemed to enjoy the moment and knowing what to do and how. They followed their plan that was prepared to their strengths and they came out victorious. And it seemed like it was just an effortless formality, like putting a stamp on an envelope, or shaking old friends’ hand.
I really don’t know what the possible outcome of Super Bowl 50 might be but NFC Championship Game ended up being a total annihilation that Panthers delivered to Cardinals on a silver plate. The wounds will take long time to heal…


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