Carolina can run, but it cannot hide. Eventually the Panthers will have to attempt a pass. And it won't be thrown by Matt Moore, or caught by tight ends Jeff King or Dante Rosario.
Jake Delhomme will throw. Steve Smith will catch. It will be like old times.
Smith is the best receiver and player the Panthers have ever had and Delhomme is the best quarterback. They have been together since 2003. Although Delhomme has slumped and Smith has become better known for his blocking, they have no choice but to find each other.
If they fail, the Panthers will have a miserable season no matter how well they run the ball.
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So far, the Panthers have held serve. They lost the three games in which they were underdogs and won the two games in which they were favored. They are favored again Sunday against Buffalo.
Next week, however, the Panthers return to the adult portion of their schedule. In their remaining 10 games, they probably will be favored only twice - at home against Miami (maybe) and Tampa Bay.
To break serve, they have to mix the improbable with the near impossible. Although some fans cling to the idea this is another 12-4 team if only Delhomme goes to the bench and head coach John Fox goes away, the roster is flawed.
To overcome the flaws, virtuoso performances will be required.
Smith has been a virtuoso since he returned the first ball he touched in an NFL game, the season-opening kickoff against Minnesota, for a touchdown in 2001. But he has been limited this season to 21 receptions for 259 yards. This is a guy who caught 14 passes in one game and amassed 201 yards receiving in another.
In 2005 he led the league in receiving yards and touchdowns by a receiver. But he has scored fewer touchdowns every subsequent season - from 12 to 8 to 7 to 6.
Smith's yardage similarly declined until last season, when he compiled the second-most of his career.
This season he has collected double teams the way the Panthers collect 300-pound defensive tackles. But shouldn't he be accustomed to it? Shouldn't Carolina?
It was only a season ago that Delhomme would play point guard and loft an alley-oop pass and Smith would leap high to grab it. The play only looked easy. This season, nothing has been.
Yet, Smith is only 30. He is younger than three of the league's top seven receivers and the same age as two.
I watched him in training camp and I assure you he moved at a pace nobody on the roster could replicate.
He could use help. But reinforcements aren't coming. The last successful receiver the Panthers drafted was Smith. They have taken five receivers in the eight years since and four no longer are with the team. The fifth is Dwayne Jarrett. And even with my binoculars, which cost more than my first car, I can't find him.
Delhomme, however, has to find Smith.
Handoffs worked beautifully against Tampa Bay, and they will probably work against Buffalo.
But a week from Sunday, recess ends.