Custom Search






Panthers Got Beat Up

February 11, 2016

Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos featured two of the NFL’s top defenses. And the matchup gave us a defensive struggle where the Broncos left the Panthers offense battered and bruised while pasting a 24-10 beating on Carolina.

The way I saw it, there were four reasons why the Panthers came up short in their second appearance at a Super Bowl: turnovers, the inability to protect quarterback Cam Newton, dropped passes, and special teams. 

Turnovers hampered Carolina all night. It is hard for any team to win when it loses the turnover battle. The Panthers turned the ball over four times after leading the NFL during the regular season with a plus-20 turnover differential. The differential was one very large reason Carolina only lost one game this season. Newton fumbled twice and threw an interception while fullback Mike Tolbert lost one of two fumbles and the Panthers were never able to get on track.

Newton faced constant pressure the entire contest. As a result, he was off all night, completing just 18 of his 41 passes for 265 yards and was held without a touchdown pass for the first time since Thanksgiving.

QB Cam Newton on Sunday

The Broncos led the NFL in sacks this season and were dominant against what most feel is a very good Panthers offensive line. Carolina had no answer for game MVP Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware while Derek Wolfe and Sylvester Williams collapsed the pocket in front of Newton and stopped the running game. Denver sacked Newton six times and added a seventh sack by dropping Ginn on an attempted quarterback throwback pass. Newton was never able to get the Panthers offense into any sort of rhythm. Even when they were not sacking Newton, the Broncos hit him 13 times and forced him to scramble on several other occasions. Dropped passes were an issue all season. They reared their ugly head again on Sunday. Carolina acted like the ball was a slimy mess. Receiver Jerricho Cotchery had three critical drops and Ted Ginn Jr. had a pass go right through his hands, allowing T.J. Ward to make an interception as the Panthers were driving deep inside Denver territory. And it was not just Carolina’s receivers who had dropped passes, the defensive backs missed a couple of opportunities for turnovers by letting potential interceptions slip through their fingers. And don’t forget that one of Cotchery’s drops was just before Newton was sacked and fumbled the ball away for a short fumble return by the Broncos for their first touchdown. If Cotchery comes up with that catch, Denver does not score.

Special teams were not helpful. Graham Gano missed a field goal and the punt coverage team gave up a long return to set up a very short touchdown drive for Denver.

As good as Denver’s defense was, the Panthers matched it except for causing turnovers. The Broncos gained fewer yards than Carolina and Peyton Manning did very little. But he did not have to as Carolina’s mistakes covered up just how inept the Denver offense was. The game were there for the taking for the Panthers. While I spoke last week of Carolina having the second oldest roster in the NFL, their stars are young and this group could find their way back to a future Super Bowl. Still, this one had to hurt.

Is Duke Basketball Back?

Duke, the defending national champ, lost three out of four games a few weeks back and dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in 167 polling weeks (since the fall of 2007).

But normalcy has been restored.

Duke beat Louisville 72-65 on Monday at Cameron Indoor. It wa

They’ve now beaten Rick Pitino’s Cardinals - plus VCU, Indiana, Yale and Georgetown, and their only sub-50 RPI loss is last month’s loss at Clemson, meaning Duke has two top-50 wins and just one sub-50 loss.

From what I saw Monday night, the Blue Devils are clearly playing better. They are now on a three-game winning streak that features victories over three top-65 teams. They are 18-6 overall, 7-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. And Mike Krzyzewski’s squad is now ranked 25th in the nation.

You know they will be factors in March.

Wilkesboro Dragway Honors Champs & Sets Season Schedule

By Kevin Thorne

Wilkesboro, NC - On Saturday evening, February 6th 2016, the 2015 Wilkesboro Dragway racing season champions were in the spotlight as trophys and accolades were handed out during the annual awards banquet.

In Top ET, Clyde McKinney took home the championship with Jr Hodges finishing a close second. Mitchel McKinney, Bill Ferguson and Roger Robertson rounded out the top five.

In Modified ET, Phillip Harrison backed up his 2014 championship, defending his title with a Modified ET 2015 Championship win. The Daddy/Daughter combo of Hannah and Timbo Blevins finished second and forth respectively while four time Wilkesboro Dragway "Modified" champion Johnny Hodges, took home third and 2012 "Modified" champion Dennis Coffey, finished fifth.

In the "Street Division", Charles Pendley edged out the young standout Catrina Shannon to win the 2015 "Street Division" Championship. Brandon Carlton finished third; 2014 champion Debbie Trivette finished the season in fourth place and Jim Goddard finished in fifth place..

The 2016 season opens March 26th with a no prep pure street car race featuring BOOSTED GT. The Wilkesboro Dragway 2016 "Points Series" starts for all divisions on April 2nd along with the fan favorites "The Classic Gear Jammers!"

Wilkesboro Dragway has streamlined its 2016 schedule for the pleasure of all its fans. The first week of each month, beginning in April through October, points racing for all divisions as well as the "Classic Gear Jammers" will be providing their own brand of high flying action. The second week of each month, the speedsters of the WSC 490 Outlaws will join the points series action, and on the third Saturday they will feature the wild Pure Street cars!

Make plans to visit Wilkesboro Dragway this season, a family-friendly playground of speed in Wilkes County.

For more infomation on these and other exciting events at Wilkesboro Dragway and to download your 2016 schedule, please or call (336) 973- RACE (7223).

Photo by Kevin Thorne

L to R: Co-track owner Pat Halbedel, Street champ Charles Pendley, Mod champ Phillip Harrison, Top champ Clyde McKinney, co owner Phil Halbedel



















Why I Like The Panthers

How This Super Bowl Team Was Built

Panthers Held On For Dear Life

NFL Playoffs Continue

NFL Wildcard Playoff Matchups

Panthers Did What?

Bowling For (fill in the blank)

Rose Still Outside Looking In

College Football Playoff Pairings

Be Careful What You Ask For

Cam Getting Some MVP Play

NFL Thoughts

Who Would Have Thunk It?

Relentless Royals

Another Week, Another Win

Panthers Gain Credibility

Pitfalls For USC

Panthers Got Defensive

Panthers Are Rolling

Panthers Win Again

Panthers Win Ugly

Can Panthers Three-Peat?

College Football Preview

Just What The NFL Needed

UNC Delaying Tactics

Some Refreshing News

Deflate-Gate Revisited

The Smoltz Story

Ty Lawson Needs A Wake Up Call

Florida State Police Blotter

World Cup Win For US Women

Hornets Select Kaminsky

Goodell/Brady Have Their Meeting

LeBron & The Cavs Fall Short

ESPN Taking Heat

NBA Finals

Edwards Back In Winners Circle

NFL To Change Football Rules

Deflate-Gate Hits Pats Hard

NFL Draft News

What’s Up With Deflate-Gate

What? Tebow Again

Get Used To Spieth

Duke Claims Title

The Familiar Four

NCAA Tournament Continues

March Madness

Tark The Shark

Duke Is Gearing Up For March Madness

I Don’t Get It

Yankee Hypocrisy

Honoring Dean Smith

Common Sense

Get Your Mind On The Game

NFL Championship Sunday

Panthers Eliminated

Panthers Move On

Panthers Playoff Bound

Sid’s 2014 Bowl Predictions

Kobe vs. Michael

Where Did That Come From?

Goodell Takes A Hit

Fragile Cavs

RG III Needs To Look In The Mirror

Heels AD Still Has Williams’ Back

Bumgarner Saves The Giants

Optimism Abounds With The Hornets

An Unlikely World Series

Winston Off Field Turmoil Continues

Panthers Rebound

October Baseball

Panthers Facing New Questions

Reality With Rice

Panthers Win, Panthers Win 

Carolina Panthers Preview

College Football Preview

When Will Manziel Show Some Poise?

A Tragic Racing Moment

NCAA Football Talk

Got Off Easy

ACC Football Preseason Poll Is Out

LeBron Changes Image

LeBron Still Undecided

Game Effort By USA

The Decision II

Spurs Claim Dynasty Tag

Sour Grapes

Heat Make NBA Finals Again

Cavs Win Lottery (Again)


Panthers And The Draft

Not So Sterling

NBA Playoff Action

Phelps Diving Back Into It


Final Four Fodder

NCAA Hoop Madness

March Madness, 2014 Style

One and Done

Heels Heating Up

Setting The Record Straight

Martin And Incognito

Bobcats Appear To Be Moving Forward (This Time)

A Super Letdown

Super Bowl Preview

Broncos and Seahawks Reach Super Bowl

Panthers Were Not Ready

Seminoles End SEC Streak

2013 In Review

Sid’s Bowl Picks

Mack Brown Resigns

BCS Gets It Right

Did You See The Classic?

ACC Hoop Preview

NFL Coaching Hot Seats

Panthers Are The Talk Of The NFL

Ravens Not Flying So High These Days

A Jeff Gordon Sighting

World Series Preview

Craziness Within College Football

Dissension In Tar Heel Land

SEC Football Rules

Nickname Controversy

Panthers And Rivera Lose Another Close One


NFL, 2013 Style

Panthers Are Cam’s Team

Heels Sticking With Hairston

NCAA Hypocrisy

Does NASCAR Need Young Talent?

Crash & Burn?

PHIL-thy Good

An All Star Night

Charlotte Signs Jefferson

NBA Free Agency And Charlotte

LeBron vs. Michael

Major Problem For Tiger

Police Blotter Hits Tar Heel Hoop Program

NBA Finals Are Set

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

NBA Final Four

Tiger May Be Having His Best Season Ever

NBA Playoff Action

No Draft Buzz With The Panthers

NBA Playoff Preview

Tiger Should Have Been DQed

Baseball Is Back

Final Four Fodder

Sweet 16 Madness

March Madness

He’s Back

Kelly’s A Hero

Who Said Girls Can’t Race?

Danica Is On The Pole

King James

Flacco & The Ravens Hang On



BannerEventAd-01.jpg   fanjoylabrenz.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm |

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.