Panthers win despite Delhomme's horrible day

The thing about good football teams is when one phase of your game is struggling -- whether it be offense, defense or special teams -- the other area has to be there to pick up the slack. And that's what's happening with the Carolina Panthers.

On Sunday, Jake Delhomme threw four interceptions but the Panthers still won 17-6, leaving them at 7-2 on the season heading into next week's game against Detroit (0-9).

"I am ecstatic that we won," Delhomme said. "(But) I'm very crushed inside by the way we played offensively, and that's on me. That's how I feel. I didn't give us a chance, and it really bothers me."

Would the Panthers have won this game against a team like, say, Tampa Bay? Absolutely not.

But this was Oakland.

But the defense saw the offense was struggling and they stepped up and took charge right from the start. They allowed only two field goals, both of those coming on drives that started inside the Panthers 35.

After the game, Delhomme was thanking his defense for bailing him out.

No need, said Julius Peppers.

"Yeah, but remember, we were thanking him (two weeks ago) for bailing us out against Arizona," Peppers said, referring to the defense allowing 381 yards passing to Kurt Warner, but still winning 27-23. "It's like that some days. Some days you get it going and some days you can't. We couldn't stop nobody two weeks ago and the offense bailed us. Today they couldn't do anything and we had to carry the load."

As for Delhomme being hard on himself, Peppers said that's not necessary.

"No, Jake is a vet and he knows what he's doing," said Peppers, who had three of Carolina's five sacks. "He didn't have a good day today and he knows that. He doesn't need me or anyone else telling him to get going. There is always next week. We all have bad games."

And Delhomme was bad.

He overthrew receivers. He underthrew receivers. He missed wide-open receivers for potential big gains.

"The two I overthrew, one to Gary Barnidge I let it hang too much. The one to D.J. Hackett is more of a glance, and he stayed going. I kind of waited and I just flung it out there," he said. "The Raiders played good, but I could be a whole lot more sharp."

More important, Delhomme threw to the wrong guy four times, matching a career high.

That's not the Delhomme we all know, not the guy who came into the game with a quarterback rating of 88.7.

"We didn't do much offensively and that starts with me," Delhomme said.

Still, Delhomme was able to manage a small smile on Sunday because the Panthers left with a win.

"I'm so glad we won. Because you want to talk about a long plane ride home ... man," he said shaking his head in disbelief.

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