Mr. Everything

Reid Johnson explains the Fans' frustration of the bye week and ponders the possibilities of what Jake Delhomme could do in his second year with the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers.

In a week without Panthers football, I have had nothing to do but to think about the future of this season, and when I think about the next 13 games, one thought crosses my mind; thank the football Gods that we have Jake Delhomme. Jake has single-handedly brought a fire to this team that wasn't here for the past 8 years.

Delhomme came to the Panthers after playing in NFL Europe and sitting on the bench in New Orleans. Many speculated on the potential that the Cajun QB possessed, but no one expected a play maker to arrive on the scene. Since Jake Delhomme arrived last off-season, he has improved his game and elevated those around him. Last season, his first as an NFL starter, #17 had an average statistical regular season by NFL standards. Delhomme threw for 3,200 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also had a glaring 16 int's last season, but he did what he does best... he stepped his game up when the money was on the line. With 7 fourth quarter come-backs in the regular season, Delhomme led the NFL in performance in pressure situations.

Delhomme then quietly led all QB's in the post season with 987 yards passing and 6 touchdowns. Most importantly, he protected the football and threw only one interception. Though the Super Bowl loss was a huge disappointment, Delhomme has learned from the situation and has positioned himself to make the team a contender for this post season.

To date, Jake has been back on the same track as last season. He has thrown for more touchdowns than interceptions, while keeping this team on an even kiel after losing starters Steve Smith for 8-10 weeks and Stephen Davis for another 2-3 weeks. Delhome has shown his maturity thus far, as he has been blitzed more in the past two games then what seems like all of last season. Jake is on track to break most of his stat records from last season. If this happens, then fans can expect his team to make another deep postseason run.

There is no doubt that Jake Delhomme has grown tremendously since the first game he played early last season. If this growth continues, and Dan Henning turns the keys to this offense over to #17, then Delhomme has the opportunity to become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. This week, however, we must suffer through a bye week and wait for our Panthers to get the ball rolling again next week.

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