Terminally ill Panthers fan promises to Keep Pounding

Slideshow: Statue outside of Bank of America Stadium

We Carolina Panthers fans like to tell each other to Keep Pounding because it’s a slogan that sounds cool. We do remember it was started by Sam Mills when he was sick but we seldom think of it that way, or I didn’t anyway.

That changed for me recently when I saw a post in the Panthers4life.com Facebook Group by Mr. Kenny Long. Mr. Long is losing a battle with pancreatic cancer but the Carolina Panthers and his fellow fans of the team are much on his mind. Here is the post he left in the group.

“I would like to say that I will always be a Panthers 4Life! But I regretfully have say that I will be a Panthers in the After Life as I was just given the news today officially from my Oncologist that my bout with pancreatic cancer has taken a turn for the worse and I have only 6 - 12 months left to live. Without chemotherapy I have 6 months, with, maybe a year. I have followed the Panthers religiously since the very beginning and attended games at Clemson Stadium the 1st season and continue going to games this year. I love my Panthers and will be watching and pulling for them from up above. Was hoping for a Super Bowl victory this year and still hold that hope if we can get all phases of our game on the right track. I love you my Panther Brothers and Sisters and will always be there 4 you and our Beloved Panthers! As Sam Mills said "Keep Pounding" and never give up faith and hope for the team we love! Always be a TRUE Fan and never a fair weather fan! Those who continue to keep bad mouthing our team, please do all of us a favor and find someone else to follow and support because we don't need you! As always: Go Panthers, Keep Pounding!”

Talking to Mr. Long on Facebook to get permission and information for this article he again mentioned his love of the Carolina Panthers. Mr. Long is 58 years old and was born in Gastonia NC. He is currently single but was married before. He has no kids of his own but is close to the children of some friends of his and loves his pets. And he loves his Carolina Panthers.

We tend to use sports as a distraction from the daily grind of life. Sometimes we tend to take both life and the joys we find in it for granted. Mr. Long’s situation got to me because both my dad and a favorite uncle lost their fight with cancer. So I understand if only a little, what he and his family and friends are going through.

If you want to leave a message for Mr. Long he will see it in the comments below or I can forward them to him. I am sure you will want to join me in telling Mr. Long to indeed Keep Pounding. 

Thomas Davis calls out the Panthers defense

Slideshow: Thomas Davis calls out the defense

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis says he knows why the defense is down this year. He says players are not trying hard enough, and that is bad news for fans of the Carolina Panthers as well as for Coach Ron Rivera.

Read the whole article here on ESPN but here is one quote by Thomas Davis about the Carolina Panthers defense. "We're not executing or making plays, and we're not competing hard enough," Davis said bluntly. "From the film we watched we have a lot of guys that on a consistent enough basis are not competing hard enough, and it's showing up."

I have seen times this season where I felt like the defense gave up and stopped trying for the Carolina Panthers. I felt like they decided if the offense couldn’t play well then why should they try hard?

Just as an observer of the team it looks like Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly, and the defensive tackles Star and Short are playing all out. Charles Johnson has been injured but seems to have come on of late.

When discussing Thomas Davis on Twitter @MMA_PITBULL made a good point. He said something along the lines of the players going all out for Rivera is what saved his job. If the players are not doing that now then Rivera could be in real trouble.

Ron Rivera is the ultimate players coach or we think he is. If the Panthers defense (his side of the ball) is tuning him out then that is bad news. Things like this get coaches fired and a general house cleaning of the lesser players.

With the Carolina Panthers needing cap space to resign Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly (soon) there will be a house cleaning anyway. Maybe the players know this and have decided to draw a check on minimum effort this year.

As fans we want to think all NFL players would play for free but few of them would. Many don’t care deep down if the team wins or loses. They want to do enough to keep the checks rolling in. That is why you see so many players suddenly have a great year when their contract is up. They ball hard to get that next deal then settle down to doing enough to get by.

Ranking the week 8 fantasy wide receivers

Slideshow: Photo of Julio Jones

Thanks for reading my week 8 fantasy football wide receiver rankings for the 2014 NFL season. I will rank the top 25 fantasy football wide receivers for week 8. You can ask me a question about anyone else in the comments below or on Twitter at @NFLPanthersSB. Please also read my week 8 quarterback rankings and running back rankings.

1 Dez Bryant

I have Dez Bryant as the number one fantasy wide receiver for week 8. Bryant like a stage and he will have one this week.

2 Jordy Nelson

Nelson is the touchdown whisperer these days and he will whisper at least twice this week.

3 Antonio Brown

Brown is just a beast when Big Ben has time to throw him the ball.

4 Demaryius Thomas

I think the Chargers will try to take Thomas out of the game plan but Manning will still get him the ball enough to have a good game.

5 Julio Jones

Jones and the dirty birds play better at home and there will be a lot of passes in this game.

6 Jeremy Maclin

Maclin and Foles will be trying to prove NFL defenses have not figured out the Kelly offense.

7 T.Y. Hilton

This Hilton plays like he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express every week.

8 Randall Cobb

Cobb is a great week 8 fantasy football wide receiver for your team.

9 Golden Tate

Take is taking huge advantage of Megatron being out of the loop.

10 Sammy Watkins

Watkins does not play like a rookie and Orton can get him the ball.

11 Emanuel Sanders

Look for Sanders to take advantage of double teams on Thomas.

12 Mike Wallace

Wallace has found his mojo in Miami.

13 Doug Baldwin

Baldwin gets a shot at a terrible pass defense team in Carolina.

14 Alshon Jeffery

Alshon may get more targets if Cutler is mad at Marshall for his rant in the locker room.

15 Vincent Jackson

Jackson is the Buc’s best hope in the passing game.

16 Steve Smith

89 can still get it done and is a good week 8 fantasy wide receiver.

17 Pierre Garcon

The Redskins figured out if he get him the ball then good things happen.

18 Andre Johnson

How the mighty have fallen but he is still a decent number or flex.

19 Mohammed Sanu.

Sanu is pretty good when he gets his touches.

20 Roddy White

White may get some targets if he can stay on the field.

21 Kelvin Benjamin

Cam will be throwing the ball all over the field so Benjamin will get his targets.

22 Reggie Wayne

Wayne can still hurt a defense and help a fantasy football owner.

23 Julian Edelman

Brady will find him a few times.

24 Marquis Colston

Colston is my sleeper wide receiver for week 8, he may just go off.

25 Larry Fitzgerald

Still has some game at times.  

Was Calvin Johnson's injury a blessing for the Lions?

Slideshow: Calvin Johnson

Was the injury to Calvin Johnson a blessing in disguise for the Detroit Lions? Yes Megatron is the best wide receiver in the NFL but big time receivers don’t win Super Bowl Rings and the Lions are playing well right now.

The Lions have won two games in a row without Calvin Johnson and are playing hard. The Lions also rank 13th in passing yards despite Megatron only having 22 catches for 348 yards this season.

When a team loses a top flight wide receiver it forces them to spread the ball around to the rest of the offense. Golden Tate has 46 receptions for the Lions this year and that wouldn’t have happened with a healthy Calvin Johnson on the field.

The Lions also made up for the missing Megatron by using their backs more both as runners and receivers. This will help the offense’s versatility down the line when Calvin Johnson does return. Matthew Stafford will be more confident in the other weapons on the Lions offense for when Calvin Johnson is covered.

Keeping the whole offense involved is usually better than just throwing pass after pass to one player because he either demands it or his salary does. With the Lions defense playing so well it behooves them to try to be a more ball control team to help keep the defense rested.

At least with the Lions winning there is no reason to rush Calvin Johnson back on the field. So when he does return he should be healthy though I think its his last season with the Lions. 

Week 8 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

Slideshow: I like Ellington to be solid in week 8

Thanks for checking out my week 8 fantasy football running back rankings for the 2014 NFL season. I will rank the top 25 fantasy football running backs for week 8, if you have a question about somebody not ranked then leave it in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter, @NFLPanthersSB. To read my week 8 fantasy quarterback rankings please click here.

1 DeMarco Murray

Look for DeMarco to get plenty of touches as he goes for 2,000 yards this season.

2 Arian Foster

I really like Foster to have some major week 8 fantasy running back points.

3 Jamaal Charles

Plenty of touches for the biggest offensive weapon on the Chiefs.

4 Andre Ellington

Ellington is a good play this week for a really good Cardinals team.

5 Matt Forte

Forte will get some love from the Bears this week in the form of lots of carries.

6 Marshawn Lynch

I think Lynch will be ok but not great against the Panthers whose soft defense will be trying to prove something this week.

7 Lamar Miller

Miller is quietly having a good year for the Dolphins.

8 Le’Veon Bell

Look for a big does of Bell for the Steelers in week 8 fantasy football.

9 Ben Tate

I like Tate to play well this week.

10 LeSean McCoy

How the mighty have fallen. McCoy should be ok but not great this week.

11 Ronnie Hillman

Hillman may get more touches now that Manning has his record.

12 Ahmad Bradshaw

I like Bradshaw to have a good game this week.

13 Eddie Lacey

Lacey’s week 8 touches will be down as the Packers and Saints shoot it out.

14 Jerick McKinnon

McKinnon should be a solid wee 8 running back.

15 Giovani Bernard

A home run threat who can rack up points on limited touches.

16 Justin Forsett

Forsett is no Dorsett but he will be ok this week.

17 Anthony Dixon

Dixon with the Bills may be a good week 8 sleeper running back.

18 Shane Vereen

Vereen will be solid but not spectacular.

19 Jonathan Stewart

Look for Stewart to do ok against the Seahawks who may be jet lagged.

20 Chris Ivory

Ivory may get some good plays while teams watch Harvin be a decoy this week.

21 Joique Bell

Bell may be a solid 2 back if you have a bye or matchup problem.

22 Alfred Morris

Morris is nothing great but he is ok.

23 Mark Ingram

I think Ingram could be another sleeper back or put his owners to sleep.

24 Brandon Oliver

Oliver may be limited in touches if Rivers has to air it out against Denver.

25 Denard Robinson

Lets wait and see what he can do this week before moving him up in the fantasy football rankings.

Ranking the week 8 fantasy football quarterbacks

Slideshow: Photo of Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton

Thanks for checking out my week 8 fantasy football quarterback rankings for the 2014 NFL season. I will rank the top 20 fantasy football quarterbacks for week 8, if you don’t have one of these guys you are hosed anyway. I will also be doing week 8 fantasy football rankings for all the major positions so please check back here soon. And if you want to see my week 8 free NFL game picks click this link. To ask a question about my week 8 fantasy football rankings leave a comment below or hit me up on Twiter, @NFLPanthersSB.

1 Aaron Rodgers

I like Rodgers against a Saints defense that is offensive. Yeah he is playing in New Orleans but I still think he will get it done in fantasy points.

2 Peyton Manning

Manning is on a roll and will do well against a Chargers team reeling from a loss to the Chiefs.

3 Drew Brees

I actually like the Saints to win this game against the Packers and for Brees to have a good game.

4 Phillip Rivers

Phillip Rivers will show Denver they still are not a top defensive team.

5 Andrew Luck

Luck is coming into his own as a fantasy quarterback and will be a good one in week 8.

6 Tony Romo

Romo is playing the Redskins and this is a great matchup for him.

7 Nick Foles

Nick Foles should have decent week 8 fantasy football quarterback points

8 Russell Wilson

Even without Percy Harvin Wilson can still do some damage to a weak Panthers defense.

9 Tom Brady

Tom Brady is a good start against an imploding Bears team.

10 Cam Newton

Cam Newton is going to air it out against the Seahawks.

11 Matthew Stafford

Stafford isn’t missing Megatron much.

12 Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan plays better at home and should do fairly well this week.

13 Andy Dalton

I like Dalton to be a solid week 8 fantasy football quarterback.

14 Jay Cutler

Cutler has too many weapons to suck every week even if they do throw him under the bus.

15 Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill is quietly becoming a solid starter.

16 Carson Palmer

Palmer is ok if you have a bye or bad matchup in week 8.

17 Kyle Orton

Orton is doing ok and has a fine offense to help him.

18 Joe Flacco

Flacco is a hot and cold running quarterback which will it be this week?

19 Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben has some weapons if he gets time to use them.

20 Alex Smith

Smith is a good NFL quarterback but that does not always mean he is a good fantasy football quarterback.

Make some Holiday Cash writing about sports

Slideshow: Make Money as a sports writer

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There are several reasons why Sportsblog.com is the best place to write about sports for the average person. One they have a great social media department that promotes articles for us.

Two we have one heck of a video and photo selection to use in articles. That is really a big deal because for most sites unless you are willing to break copyright laws and risk a lawsuit its hard to find photos to use for articles.

Three Sportsblog.com pays you right away. None of that write for us and build a portfolio while you wait to get discovered crap. So many sites tell that to anyone with a pulse to get them to write for free. The site makes money and the writer wastes his or her time and don’t make a dime.

Are you going to get rich writing about sports for Sportsblog.com? No probably not but you make real money right away. And its simple the more people who read your articles the more money you make. And the fact that you can earn up to a $500 bonus every month for being a leader in unique page views is pretty nice.

There is also the coolness aspect of writing for a site that also employs people like Eddie George, Jerome Bettis and many other current and former professional aspects. So you can sign up now and make some extra money for the holidays and have some fun doing it. 

Why the Carolina Panthers will beat the Seattle Seahawks

Slideshow: Cam Newton will throw a lot against Seattle.

The Carolina Panthers are going to beat the Seattle Seahawks in week 8 of the 2014 season. Thanks for checking out my review of the Seahawks at the Panthers .I am not being a Panthers homer and have picked against the team several times this week in my Carolina Panthers game previews, I think they will beat the Seahawks.

The Seattle Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champs but they are a shadow of the team from last year. The Seahawks do rank 2nd in the NFL in run offense but rank 29th in passing offense despite having Russell Wilson. To top that off the Seahawks just traded Percy Harvin to the Jets costing them their best big play threat.

The Seattle Seahawks defense is still pretty stout but its not as good as last year. The Seahawks rank 6th in rushing defense and 15th in pass defense. The Seahawks special teams have not been all that special this year either. The Seahawks only have 7 sacks this year while their offense has given up 13.

The Carolina Panthers match up well with the Seahawks. The Panthers don’t play well against finesse teams with great passing attacks. Yes the Panthers defense is bad this year but they can stop Marshawn Lynch and if they do, Carolina wins this game.

Despite the offensive line problems the Carolina Panthers rank 12th in passing offense. Mike Shula wants to run the ball but the Panthers rank 27th in rushing offense. Look for Cam Newton to really air it out against Seattle.

I think Cam Newton will throw a minimum of 45 passes against the Seahawks. If the Panthers can get a lead and get Seattle out of what they are comfortable with then the Panthers have a huge advantage.

My prediction for the Seahawks and Panthers game is that Carolina wins 24 to 21 over Seattle. To see all of my free week 8 NFL game predictions then please click this link. To heap praise or insults on me do so in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter, @NFLPanthersSB.

Steve Smith says the NFC South is a Finesse Division

Slideshow: Steve Smith not impressed with the NFC South

Former Carolina Panther wide receiver called the NFC South a “Finesse Division” according to this NFL.com article. Part of that of course was to take a shot at the Panthers and part of it is the truth.

It is starting to look like the Carolina Panthers make win the NFC South by default. All the teams are struggling right now and the Panthers still hold first place with a 3-3-1 record. The Saints and Falcons have wet the bed so far this year and the Buc’s are made a mistake at QB and have a new coaching staff.

The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are certainly finesse teams who rely on passing to outscore opponents. The Saints tried to field a good defense but they are really bad when there are no bounties to be won.

So Steve Smith was right about the Saints and Falcons being finesse teams but the Panthers and Buccaneers certainly don’t WANT to be finesse teams. Both of these teams want to run the ball and play defense.

The problem with the Carolina Panthers is their defense has taken a turn for the worse. The loss of Greg Hardy in addition to a terrible secondary and a lack of good tacklers had made a once great defense a dud this year.