Panthers’ issues on full display in Monday night loss to Cowboys

For those who couldn’t tune into Monday night’s game between the Cowboys and the Panthers, you didn’t miss much.

The Cowboys were sloppy, the Panthers were sloppier and thus Dallas won the ultimate snooze fest 21-7. Victories are hard to come by in the NFL, but if I were Wade Phillips or Jerry Jones, I wouldn’t be breaking out the party favors and bubbly after this one.

The Panthers are bad – real bad. And it’s not fair to pin all of their problems on Jake Delhomme, who threw two more interceptions tonight to run his season total to 407. Delhomme has been bad, but he’s hardly the only reason why Carolina is 0-3 right now and has little to no chance of repeating as NFC South champions.

The Panthers might as well cheat and set up speed bumps on every play, because their run defense is horrible. The Cowboys rushed for 212 yards tonight on 32 carries (6.6 YPC) without Marion Barber as Carolina made Felix Jones and Tashard Choice look like Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen.

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NFL Week 3 Snapshot Previews

Here are quick-hit previews for all the Week 3 games in the NFL.

Redskins (1-1) at Lions (0-2), 1:00PM ET
Don’t be shocked if the Lions end their massive losing streak today at home against a very average Redskins team. Thanks to Jim Zorn’s conservative play calling, Washington’s offense has become unimaginable and bland. If Matthew Stafford limits the turnovers, the Lions have a shot.

Packers (1-1) at Rams (0-2), 1:00PM ET
St. Louis played well defensively last week and Green Bay has major issues along its offensive line – could this be an upset in the making? Probably not. The Rams’ offense has looked atrocious in the first two weeks of the season and although Dom Capers’ defense looked horrendous last week, the Packers should manage to beat a bad St. Louis team. (Although this game might be tighter than most expect.)

49ers (2-0) at Vikings (2-0), 1:00PM ET
This is the only matchup in Week 3 that features two 2-0 teams. This game will be the Vikings’ first real challenge after earning victories against the lowly Browns and Lions in the first two weeks. The key for the 49ers will be stopping Adrian Peterson, because Brett Favre won’t find much success through the air against San Fran’s solid secondary. Can Shaun Hill make enough plays in the passing game to lead his team to victory once the Williams Wall takes away Frank Gore?

Falcons (2-0) at Patriots (1-1), 1:00PM ET
This game will be a great test for both teams to see where they are at this point in the season. A win for the Falcons and they’ll be viewed as one of the elite teams in the NFC, while a loss for the Patriots means that it could be panic time for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Conversely, if Atlanta loses then everyone will question whether or not the Falcons can beat the top teams in the league, while a win for New England will quiet some of the concerns surrounding the Pats.

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Marion Barber could miss time with quad injury

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Marion Barber suffered a quad strain in the Cowboys’ 33-31 loss to the Giants on Sunday and could be held out against the Panthers, whom Dallas plays on Monday night.

An MRI taken Monday morning confirmed Barber suffered a quad strain. When asked later in the afternoon if the injury could force the running back to miss some time, head coach Wade Phillips said, “We’ll have to wait and see on that.”

How the injury responds in the next few days will determine if he’s able to play against Carolina.

This is the second year in a row where Barber has come out of the gates like a bat out of hell, only to suffer an injury to slow him down. Last season, he scored nine touchdowns in the first 13 weeks before a toe injury severely limited his production for the rest of the year.

If Barber can’t play, Felix Jones would get the start and split carries with Tashard Choice.

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