I said it on the air Sunday - the Panthers win in Arizona was the team's best performance since the win over Tampa last December. Upon further reflection (and friendly lobbying from some in the Panthers organization) you might have to go back farther than that. It really was that good.
Carolina can be rock solid, but we also learned their margin for error is razor thin. Right now, the Panthers must punish their opponents with their running game to have a shot.
But if the light bulb really did come on for Julius Peppers... (If John Kasay's words to Pep were that powerful Kasay needs to find a way to lead to masses after he retires.)
I'd put Peppers in my "all time most-stunning athletes in person list." You really can't appreciate him until you've watched from the sidelines. Not only that big and fast, but agile and explosive when he wants to be. (I won't reveal the entire list, but Lions linebacker Julian Peterson would be on it, too. He'll wrestle his way past a 320 pound tackle for a sack on one play, before dropping into the next level to cover a slot receiver 30 yards downfield the next. Wildly underrated.)
If the light bulb really has come on for Dwayne Jarrett... that can be a big, strong body who can make some plays where Carolina desperately needs someone.
If Sherrod Martin is half as good as he looked against the Cardinals... the Panthers have solidified a sore spot at safety with more than a player. Martin looks like a play-maker. Big difference.
Carolina's offensive line has found it. Gritty and dominating. They deserve every bit of the credit they've received.
The Panthers aren't perfect. Far from it. But they haven't quit, either. A ton of people were sure that was going to happen a few weeks ago.