Carolina were 12-4 last season and it would be unfathomable for the team to start out the year at 0-3. They relied on the running game and defense to win games, but this season nothing has been working. Jake Delhomme’s play has not helped them at all, he’s been a turnover machine. Carolina are huge underdogs in tonight’s Monday Night Football showdown against Dallas, but could they pull off the upset and send Jerry Jones 0-2 in his new stadium? Here are some reasons why Carolina is going to win tonight’s game.
The Cowboys Have Yet To Score A Turnover So Far This Year – I know that Dallas won’t go an entire season without getting an interception or fumble recovery, but if Carolina refrain from doing so, they can win this game. Dallas hasn’t even notched a sack either. Their defense hasn’t been very good, since they allowed Tampa Bay to score 23 points in Week 1, and the Giants scored 33 last week on Sunday Night Football. Dallas needs a few turnovers if they plan on winning this game.
Carolina’s offensive line will push Dallas’ defensive line back every play – DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart will be seeing the ball all night. Tampa Bay ran the ball all over Dallas and the Giants had a decent game last week. They will give up yards on the ground and Carolina can build with some play action and give Delhomme some time to hit Steve Smith on a few occassions.
Tony Romo has been known to give up some games on Monday and Sunday Nights – Romo had three interceptions last week and he tries to thread the needle, just like Delhomme. They are the same kind of quarterback, but people forget that because Romo can date Jessica Simpson and Delhomme looks like he was an extra in “The Waterboy.” Delhomme and Romo will both throw around 50% tonight, but with Marion Barber hurt, the Cowboys will have to rely on him more than Carolina will rely on their QB.
The Cowboys will feel the pressure, Carolina has nothing to lose – I know this seems kind of off, because if the Panthers hit 0-3, John Fox could be feeling the heat, but this is a road game. If this same game was in Carolina, it would switch, but the Panthers want to go in to the “Death Star,” which is more commonly known as Cowboys Stadium, and upset the party in Dallas. They don’t want the Cowboys to get their first win at home, and the stadium could prove to be the anti-home field advantage. Fans are stuck watching the game on the giant screen and not paying attention to the game. I think this is an advantage for Carolina.
Carolina are 8.5 point underdogs and if you bet the moneyline, you can get 3:1 odds in your favor. I’m not guaranteeing a win for Carolina, but this game is going to be a lot closer than people expect. You will see more of the 2008-09 Carolina team than what you have witnessed so far this season. Are we forgetting that Dallas cracks under pressure and they will until they get a win at home. Wade Phillips is a lame duck coach and Jason Garrett can’t feel too great about his standings as the “coach-in-waiting” at this point either. Their offense has been inconsistent and the defense have regressed every season since Phillips has been head coach. This Dallas team isn’t the one that was favored to win the NFC a few years ago, this team will probably go 10-6 or 9-7 this year. Can Carolina win tonight? Absolutely. Will they win? We’ll see, but don’t count them out just yet.