Getting back on track starts with #17

Jake Delhomme enters the week 7 contest against the San Diego Chargers the 25th rated passer in the NFL, with a 71.3 rating. Delhomme does lead the league in one statistic though, interceptions. In 5 games, Delhomme has thrown 9 interceptions – with an average of nearly 2 per game in that stint.<br><br>

"I'm sure they're licking their chops, too, saying, ‘Well, look, the Panthers aren't throwing the ball all that well themselves.' "Delhomme said when asked about the San Diego pass defense." I think they're looking forward to a game against easy meat, I guess you could say."

To say the Panthers have struggled would be an under-statement. Statistically, the Panthers are ranked 25th in total offense, 15th passing and 24th rushing. What's been a staple of the team, running the ball and stopping the run, has turned into it's weakness. "We just haven't put enough points up," Delhomme said. "I know last week was disappointing. We did a pretty good job of moving the ball; we just bogged down in certain areas. That was very disappointing. We need to try to finish drives and start fast. There are so many things, especially when you're on a three-game skid like we are on. You're searching for some answers and there are so many things to point at or look at. It all comes down to making plays on Sunday."

With a gimpy Stephen Davis, the Panthers will face the number 2 ranked rushing defense and the number 28 pass defense in the NFL. Fox, as usual, wouldn't tip his hand on the status of Davis though. "Right now he's listed as questionable," Fox said. "He didn't practice today. He'll be day-to-day this week. We tried to balance the load last week and we feel good about what we did last week. We'll have to evaluate that as the week goes on." With Davis out of the lineup, the Panthers should look to the passing game for success; an area that's been the source of most of the Panthers' turnovers this season. "Our problem has been points given up and points scored. It's largely due to turnovers," Fox said. "We've been minus in the turnover margin when we've lost and we were even in the one game we won. I think our guys understand that. I know they think they're capable. We know we have an opportunity and we need to capitalize."

Delhomme knows what has to be done to correct the problems offensively. "The biggest thing is hard work and playing good football. There's a formula to winning in this league and that's blocking, tackling, throwing, catching and playing sound football, "Jake said. "That's what we're trying to do. Speaking from an offensive standpoint, we want to cut the turnovers out, run the ball effectively, be better on third down and complete more passes."

Fox stopped short of placing the blame on Delhomme and his league-leading 9 interceptions, but acknowledged it was an area of great concern. "A couple of them have been tipped. We've been pressured some. Sometimes it has just been a poor throw. But it's an area of our offense that we need to become more efficient at. It's something we've talked about the last couple of weeks."

An Optimistic Fox thinks that Delhomme will be able to overcome his last outing, a 4 interception outing against the Philadelphia Eagles. "Obviously, it's more of an emphasis this week after throwing four interceptions. But they're things that are correctable and Jake has proven he's capable. We just have to execute better all the way throughout the offensive team."

"Each year is different. The personality of the team changes. We've had some key guys that have become injured." Fox said when questioned about the Panthers inability to carry-over their success from last season. "But I feel good about the guys we have in there. It's just a matter of getting them acclimated to what we're doing."

"Last year is over and each year is different. I understand that and I think the players do, too. I think we're headed in the right direction...We're just trying to get the ship righted."


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