Let’s take a quick inventory of the Panthers’ season to this point.
Their record is 1-5 but they are, arguably, the best 1-5 team in the league.
They fired their general manager this week in a move many fans believe is addition by subtraction. If nothing else, it changed the conversation around town for a few days.
In two weeks, they’ve put Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil, top cornerback Chris Gamble, linebacker Jon Beason and a playoff spot on the injured reserve list.
Their $80 million running back collection has gained a total of 73 yards the past two games.
Cam Newton, who has more interceptions than touchdown passes this season, has induced an epidemic of short memories among hyperventilating fans.
The field goal has become nearly extinct.
Shall I continue?
CAROLINA at CHICAGO: A tough end to a tough week. Bears 31, Panthers 17.
JACKSONVILLE at GREEN BAY: Here’s a math problem for you: The Jaguars have scored just 88 points this season – even fewer than the Panthers – and running back Maurice Jones-Drew may be lost for the season with a foot injury. Jones-Drew accounts for 35 percent of the Jaguars’ offense. The question is are the Jaguars looking at the No. 1 pick in the college draft next spring? Packers 41, Jaguars 10.
INDIANAPOLIS at TENNESSEE: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said again this week that he’s considering ditching the Pro Bowl. I’d say that’s a great idea but would anyone notice? Titans 28, Colts 21.
MIAMI at NEW YORK JETS: Last weekend, running back, not quarterback, Tim Tebow had four carries for 12 yards. DeAngelo Williams had two carries for 4 yards. What’s wrong with this picture? Jets 24, Dolphins 21.
SAN DIEGO at CLEVELAND: The Chargers are the Kardashians of the NFL. Empty drama. Browns 29, Chargers 24.
ATLANTA at PHILADELPHIA: Michael Vick hasn’t been perfect this season. The Falcons, however, have been perfect to this point. That changes Sunday. Eagles 31, Falcons 24.
SEATTLE at DETROIT: So far this season, the Seahawks are 0-3 in division games and 4-0 outside their division. Either way, they’re still hard to figure. Lions 26, Seahawks 14.
WASHINGTON at PITTSBURGH: In a recent Forbes magazine poll, Steelers safety Troy Polomalu was named the most popular player in the NFL. But NFL fame is fleeting, especially for a guy as injury-prone as Polomalu in recent years. You know what they say, hair today, gone tomorrow. Steelers 23, Redskins 17.
NEW ENGLAND at ST. LOUIS: They’re going to London for this one. I’m waiting to see the Steelers in London next season so we can get the Big Ben at Big Ben photo. Somehow, Tom Brady at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum isn’t quite the same thing. Patriots 28, Rams 17.
OAKLAND at KANSAS CITY: Brady Quinn has replaced Matt Cassell as the starting quarterback in Kansas City. Coincidentally, the Chiefs have replaced the Raiders as the worst team in the AFC West. Raiders 33, Chiefs 20.
NEW YORK GIANTS at DALLAS: To simplify the Forecast, I’m just going to pick the Giants every week regardless of who they’re playing. Giants 27, Cowboys 24.
NEW ORLEANS at DENVER: The Saints’ defense has allowed more yardage in the first six games than any team in NFL history. If this continues, opponents will declare their punter inactive on game day. Broncos 40, Saints 28.
SAN FRANCISCO at ARIZONA: Tough call here. Then again, the way my season is going, they’ve all been tough calls. 49ers 31, Cardinals 20
Last week: 8-4