Week 1 Preview: Panthers @ Jaguars



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In a week that saw the NFL break more off-the-field news than on, fans and players alike are eager to line up and kick off the 2015 season. And while that was officially done on Thursday night, as the Patriots beat the Steelers 28-21, Carolina will embark on a title-defense of its own tomorrow, against the Jacksonville Jaguars.



On October 26, 1993 – the NFL announced that its owners had unanimously voted for the Carolinas and Jacksonville to receive the 29th and 30th franchises – its first new teams since 1976. While there’s since been a significant re-alignment of structure in 2002, here’s how each have fared since inception:

Panthers Jaguars
Division Titles 5* 2**
Playoff Record 7-6 5-7
Conference Championship Appearances 3 1
Super Bowl Appearances 1 0

*4 within current alignment, 1 NFC West Title (1996).

**Both titles from defunct AFC Central.


It’s evident that Carolina has seen the more successful start, but they find themselves limping into this Week 1 matchup – on a day that all records stand even.


An offseason that included season-ending injuries to number one wideout Kelvin Benjamin, and vital rotation piece Frank Alexander – the Panthers will look for new faces to take on greater responsibility, no different than standout rookies Bené Benwikere and Tre Boston did in last season’s playoff push.


Jacksonville is no stranger to injury woes, having lost two marquee players in Julius Thomas and Dante Fowler Jr.


Thomas, a blockbuster free agent acquisition from Denver, fractured his right hand in his first preseason action in Jacksonville, and will miss the first month of the season after a necessary surgery. Fowler, the Jaguars #3 overall pick, suffered a torn ACL in his very first practice following the draft.




Free Agent acquisition, Charles Tillman, will lead a revitalized secondary this season [Photo Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez]

Free Agent acquisition, Charles Tillman, will lead a revitalized secondary this season [Photo Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez]

This season’s Week 1 Defense will include only one defensive back who started last season’s opener, in Roman Harper. The other three: Melvin White, Antoine Cason, and Thomas Decoud – have all been released from the team. Until Star Lotulelei returns, the Panthers won’t boast the elite defensive line that they’ve fielded in years past – so this new-look secondary will need to step up if the group plans to return to Top 10 prominence.


Jonathan Stewart breaks away for a 69-yard touchdown run against the Saints. [Photo AP - Bill Feig]

Jonathan Stewart breaks away for a 69-yard touchdown run against the Saints. [Photo AP – Bill Feig]

Over the final 6 weeks of 2014, including playoffs, Jonathan Stewart laid down a stat sheet second to only Marshawn Lynch – and looked on film to be one of the most exciting rushers in the league. Monster games against the Saints, Browns, and Cardinals (in which he rushed for over 120 yards each) led the way to an average of 5.1 yards per carry – and helped propel the Panthers to a division title and playoff berth. If he can pick up where he left off, Stewart has the chance to lead this Carolina offense in a fashion that it desperately needs after losing Kelvin Benjamin. Although Ron Rivera noted this offseason that they’d like to limit him to the neighborhood of 15 carries per game, he’s shown that he still has the ability to take over a series, and they won’t steer away from him if he starts rolling. Look for him to get out to a hot start against a Jaguars defense that gave up an average of 127 yards on the ground last season.


The Panthers re-elect their 6 team captains from last season. [Image via Panthers.com]

The Panthers re-elect their 6 team captains from last season. [Image via Panthers.com]


Position – Player (Years of Captainship)


QB – Cam Newton (3rd)

TE – Greg Olsen (2nd)

C – Ryan Kalil (3rd)

DE – Charles Johnson (3rd)

LB – Thomas Davis (5th)

LB – Luke Kuechly (3rd)



On the third week of the 2011 season, Cam Newton & Ron Rivera’s rookie year, the Jaguars traveled to Charlotte for a game that featured a torrential downpour, much like that of the memorable 2013 matchup with the Saints. With the Jaguars in the lead for much of the second half, Cam Newton drove down the field with 4 minutes left to play – and completed both a touchdown pass and 2-point conversion to Greg Olsen, notching his first game-winning drive and first career win in the NFL. The game also featured an incredible catch-and-run by Jonathan Stewart, which was called back – noted here by David Newton.



You can watch the null-and-void Stewart play here.




Richie Brockel TE Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Out
Nate Chandler OT Knee LP DNP DNP Out


C Knee LP LP FP Probable
Josh Norman CB Concussion LP LP FP Probable
Teddy Williams CB Groin FP FP FP Probable


Practice Status:

DNP = Did not participate in practice

LP = Limited Participation

FP = Full Participation

(-) = No Practice Status Available


Game Status:

Out = Player will not play

D = Doubtful (25% chance a player will play)

Q = Questionable (50% chance a player will play)

P = Probable (75% chance a player will play)

(-) = No player status available







FOX (1:00 PM)

Play-by-Play: Chris Myers

Analyst: Ronde Barber

Sideline: Jennifer Hale




WBT-AM (1110 AM in Charlotte)

Play-by-Play: Mick Mixon

Analysts: Jim Szoke, Eugene Robinson

Sideline: Jordan Gross

Follow Austin on Twitter @Austallings for Breaking News, Injury Updates, and General Football-oriented Rants.

Who is the best player on the Charlotte Hornets


With the beginning of the 2015-2016 NBA season just around the corner, there have been quite a few  changes to the Charlotte Hornets roster. With that being said, we figured now was the best time to ask the fans “who is our best player?”.

Cast your vote below and we will share the results after this weekend!

Week 1: Practice Update

 Jonathan Stewart leads the running back unit through agility drills. What became a position of worry last season, is one of this year’s deepest groups. Photo courtesy of Panthers.com (Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez)

Jonathan Stewart leads the running back unit through agility drills. What became a position of worry last season, is one of this year’s deepest groups. Photo courtesy of Panthers.com (Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez)

(By Austin Stallings)


In the shadow of Bank of America Stadium, the Panthers kick off their final few practices before this season’s first meaningful game action.

Not much has changed from last season’s typical practice routine, except for new faces at each Tackle position, a new secondary, a new band of pass catchers… Oh, and the team now syndicates a high-energy music playlist — laden with hits by Future & Drake — to keep the intensity up during times of transition. This means the Panthers have caught on to a trend that’s been making it’s way around the league for years now, and seems to be well-received by players and coaches alike. Alright, on to football:

(by Austin Stallings)

(Photo: Austin Stallings)

Star Lotulelei will participate today, but again without pads. Making his way to the field with an apparent limp, he’ll likely work out solo as he continues to nurse a foot injury suffered early in Training Camp. Based on how little commitment both he and Ron Rivera have shown to his week 1 availability, don’t expect him to take the field against Jacksonville.  All for the better though, as he holds the key to the Panthers returning a top 10 defensive unit for the fourth consecutive year — and will be needed for the long term.

Ryan Kalil, who injured his knee against the Dolphins, appears to be on track to play Sunday — although there’s no need for him to enter any contact situations until then. As an offensive captain who has anchored the line for years now, the veteran’s status will be paramount if the Panthers have any hope to sustain drives early in the year.

Rookie wide receiver Rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess approached the field in full pads today after battling through a nagging hamstring issue this preseason. Although Ted Ginn and Philly Brown were named the Week 1 starters on Tuesday, look for Funchess to be moved around the field — both on the outside and in the slot — to create mismatches against smaller defensive backs. Being versatile at the receiver position is something the Michigan product has prided himself on throughout the entire draft process.

(Photo: Austin Stallings)

(Photo: Austin Stallings)

Charles Tillman & Josh Norman both donning full pads. While Tillman has already been cleared to play against Jacksonville, Norman still has one more test to pass before he’ll get the green light. Both cornerbacks suffered head injuries in consecutive weeks of preseason action, and both will be vital to the success of the revamped secondary this season.

(Photo: Austin Stallings)

(Photo: Austin Stallings)

Always a great sight to see Jonathan Stewart participating in full pads. He’ll look to complete his first 16-game season since 2011, while seeing the top of the depth chart for the first time in his eight year NFL career.

(Photo: Austin Stallings)

(Photo: Austin Stallings)

After sustaining a combination of calf and neck injuries through Training Camp, Charles Johnson has yet to see the field this preseason. All signs are trending upward though, as he’s been a full participant in practice this week and remains adamant that he will start on Sunday.

Don’t fret upon seeing Kony Ealy without shoulder pads, a team intern followed closely behind carrying the rest of his gear. He’s set to start opposite Johnson this Sunday, and will attempt to help replace the 15-sack void left behind by Greg Hardy’s departure for Dallas.

Stay tuned for the Week 1 Preview, which will include the team’s fully updated injury report.

Follow Austin on Twitter @Austallings for Breaking News, Injury Updates, and General Football-oriented Rants.

TiqIQ & Bring Back The Buzz “Charlotte Picture Quiz”: Win FREE Bobcats Tix vs Warriors!


We are looking for the “Cliff Calvin” of Charlotte! (for all youngins’, go watch and episode of “Cheers”)

Below is a Quiz with 13 pictures of Charlotte and its most historical and cultural “Hot Spots”.  Mama Buzz and Big Boi from Outkast taught us that “you can’t know where you are going until you know where you have been!”  Some of these pictures should be fairly easy if you have ever been to Charlotte for more than a weekend visit; some of these could make the most weathered Charlottean scratch their head in wonder.

TiqIQ” and “Bring Back The Buzz” have teamed up so that the winner will get FREE tickets to the Monday, Decemeber 9th showdown between your Charlotte Bobcats and the Golden State Warriors. You can welcome Stephen and maybe even Seth Curry back home to Charlotte (Hopefully with a Loss).


1)      Email us at BringBackTheBuzz@gmail.com with your answers numbered 1-13 for the corresponding picture.


A)    Like TiqIQ on FB,

                    B)     Follow @TiqIQ on Twitter,

                    C)    Add TiqIQ to their circles on Google+

                    D)   Share the Bobcats ticket link on Facebook

The more people who do “Step 2” the more likely TiqIQ will be willing to do this again in the future! PLUS it doesn’t hurt your chances if there is a tie ;)



























The Charlotte Hornets 2013-2014 Portfolio

Here it is! 

The Official Charlotte Hornets 2.0 portfolio by Rollin BigDub Garcia! So when someone says, “Yeah but what would the Charlotte Hornets even look like in 2013? they haven’t been here in like 10 years” You can drop this bomb on them! This lets the bossman, Michael Jordan know we aren’t playing, we may be grassroots but we are serious. 

Share and enjoy! 

And be safe tonight, make sure you remember to go to the grocery store, get your bread, get your milk, and make your milk sandwich.


Evan Kent’s Letter to Michael Jordan

Dear Mr. Jordan,

I was there at the first NBA game the Charlotte Coliseum had hosted since George Shinn took the Hornets to New Orleans. I was so pumped at the idea of the NBA coming back to the Queen City. It was October 20, 2003 and the Atlanta Hawks were hosting the Washington Wizards and we had just received the news that our team would be called the Bobcats. My parents were so excited they bought tickets for us to go. The old “Hornets game feeling” was back and I couldn’t resist it. I made a sign that said “Who are these guys? We want the Bobcats”. I walked into the Coliseum and everyone was adorned in Hornets apparel. Nostalgia had never had such a young victim. The memories flooded back, I could practically see Hugo running around the court with a deer head on a plaque to shatter the Buck’s reserve. I could hear the Buzz noise building in my head as the “Hive was Alive”. A swell of pride for my city was in my heart.

Nine years later you would never find a larger advocate for the name change. I’ve been to over several Bobcats games every season in that time. I have sat in box seats, was in the arena for draft day when we got Adam Morrison. I’ve sat in the nose bleeds and bought jerseys. But I am embarrassed. Embarrassed of how detached I have become with the identity of a Bobcat. Not the Flight because we are “First In Flight”. Not the Spiders for an arena called “the Charlotte’s Web” and a cheerleading team called “the Black Widows”. Not the Cougars after the original ABA team but “BOB”cats for a man’s ego.

I pity every kid who misses out on what I had as a child. Nothing was like going to a Hornets game. It was a carnival; an atmosphere I have never seen again. Every Thanksgiving my brother and I would conspire on how to get our parents to take us to the game. I would get so giddy that I would ruin it every time and Scotty would get so mad because I couldn’t help but ask my parents if we were going. I know this is redundant but I will never forget the last game on TV. I will never forget listening to 1110 WBT the next morning and listening to their montage of Hornets sound bites. We all cried. They were gone. We didn’t just lose the team of that year. We lost every Hornet ever. We lost Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Vlade Divac, Muggsy Bogues, Baron Davis, David Wesley, Jamal Mashburn, Bobby Phills etc. I felt robbed of my identity and there was nothing I could do about it.

You have a chance Mr. Jordan to not just change NBA history but a city’s history. You have the ability to impact a community like you haven’t since you retired from the court. You have the ability to make a sacrifice and give us a gift that we will never forget.

Bring Back the Buzz!

Evan Kent