How to Beat the Panthers, 2007 Edition:

DEFENSE — Stack the box against the run, play Steve Smith straight up. Should Jake find #89 repeatedly, roll a safety toward Smith. You have just shut down the Panthers.

OFFENSE — Gash the edges with the run, ideally behind pulling linemen. Mix in play-action, and five-step drops, targeting receivers across the middle. Your TE in particular will be wide open. Pass in running situations and run in passing ones. Also be advised that if you do fall behind by two scores, the Panthers will go into a semi-prevent defense allowing you to get back into the game with out changing your base offense.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Just wait. Something good will happen.

I was off by a week. I thought Carolina would give up 30 to the Rams, not the Texans. Were back on the 6-10 glidepath.