Panthers mid-week notes

get the latest news and notes on the panthers as they gear up to take on the chicago bears this weekend.

--QB Jake Delhomme could be the most important person on the field for the Panthers on Sunday. If he doesn't make mistakes, the Panthers have a good chance of winning. Delhomme had two interceptions against the Bears in the first meeting, resulting in 10 quick points. That's a hole the Panthers never could dig out of.

* * *

--QB Chris Weinke saw got a few kneel downs in Carolina's 23-0 win over the Giants on Sunday. He remains the team's No. 2 quarterback and has only seen any real action in two games this season.

* * *

--QB Stefan LeFors is Carolina's third-string quarterback. The rookie from Louisville has not played all season and would only see action in a real emergency situation.

* * *

--RB DeShaun Foster has come alive, running for 316 yards over the past two games, but the going will be much tougher this week as the Panthers head to Chicago. In the previous meeting with the Bears, Foster was held to 41 yards on nine carries. That's not a bad average, but the Panthers were never able to move the chains enough on offense to be consistent, largely because Jake Delhomme kept getting dumped on his back.

* * *

--RB Nick Goings proved on Sunday he can still be counted on in a pinch. He carried the ball only once against the Bears in the last game but should see more action this time around with Stephen Davis out for the season.

* * *

--FB Brad Hoover has played well over the years for the Panthers, but could be nearing the end of the road here in Carolina as his body has taken plenty of abuse at the fullback position. This year, his injuries seem more prevalent, although Hoover remains a tough kid.

* * *

--WR Steve Smith had a huge game against the Bears in the previous meeting, catching a franchise-record 14 passes for 169 yards, yet the Panthers could only muster three points on offense. The Bears used a Cover 2 against the Panthers and let their defensive linemen control the line of scrimmage.

* * *

--WR Keary Colbert caught three passes against the Giants and needs to step up this Sunday.

* * *

--WR Ricky Proehl seems to step up when big games arrive, so don't be surprised if he plays well against one of his many former teams, the Bears. Proehl; wasn't used much against the Giants because the Panthers were running the ball so well and didn't often need to go to three receivers.

* * *

--WR Drew Carter can count on at least one deep ball thrown his way on Sunday. Carter was inactive for the last meeting with Chicago, but the Panthers have been testing the waters deep with him at least once a game, normally early in the first half. He nearly came up with a touchdown catch on Sunday.

* * *

--TE Michael Gaines could see more balls thrown his way this week as the Panthers battle a tough Bears defense and use more checkdowns.

* * *

--TE Kris Mangum dropped a third-down pass on Sunday vs. the Giants, but also came up with a big third-down catch to move the sticks.

* * *

--OT Jordan Gross was beat for two sacks in the last game against the Bears.

* * *

--OT Travelle Wharton was beat for three sacks in the last game against the Bears as the Panthers yielded eight sacks.

* * *

--PK John Kasay has been more consistent down the stretch and knocked home field goals of 45, 31 and 18 yards against the Giants this past Sunday.

* * *

--P Jason Baker led the NFC in net punting average and twice in two weeks have his punts directly led to turnovers by the oppositions.

* * *

--PR Steve Smith still has not broken a return for a score this season. But that's about the only thing Smith hasn't done.

* * *

--KR Jamal Robertson continues to be very average on returns, but is still playing ahead of Rod Smart.

* * *

--DE Julius Peppers added a sack on Sunday against the Giants and played a big role in Carolina's win.

* * *

--DE Mike Rucker came up with a fumble recovery on Sunday and the Panthers will need his pressure against the Bears.

* * *

--DT Jordan Carstens played outstanding against the Giants, not only holding Tiki Barber in check, but also registering a sack of Eli Manning.

* * *

--LB Will Witherspoon had a sack and a forced fumble in a terrific game against the Giants.

* * *

--LB Thomas Davis spent some of his day covering Jeremy Shockey, something he was effective at, and also had a sack of Eli Manning on Sunday.

* * *

--LB Dan Morgan was back in action against the Giants and seemed to escape without any injury. The Giants ran only 35 plays all game. He was injured early against the Bears in the last game and had to leave.

* * *

--CB Ken Lucas completely took Plaxico Burress out of the game on Sunday and will be called upon to do the same against Muhsin Muhammad this week. Muhammad dropped a few passes in the last meeting, but overall was fairly productive in the last meeting against his former team on Nov. 20.

* * *

--CB Chris Gamble, strangely enough, struggled covering Justin Gage in the last game. Don't expect Gamble to make the same mistakes twice.

* * *

--FS Mike Minter continues to be the emotional leader on defense and did a great job walking up into the box and adding run support to help shut down Tiki Barber. He may do more of the same this week against Thomas Jones.

Panther Insider Top Stories