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Published on 12/12/2008 at Fri Dec 12 12:06.
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Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is having a career season.  (Reuters Photo)

Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is having a career season. (Reuters Photo)

Disrespect. This week’s AP game preview for Broncos-Panthers mentions Carolina’s battle NEXT WEEK with the New York Giants BEFORE even mentioning the “tricky” game against the Broncos.

Tricky? Since when is 8-5 and the third seed in the AFC considered “tricky?” It’s going to be a good game, and I, for one, am pumped for it! Anyone looking ahead of Denver – who is 3-0 against the NFC South and riding a 4-1 stretch – is in for a rude awakening.

The AP aren’t the only ones looking ahead, either. I’ve seen or heard a number of sports programs say effectively the same thing. “The Panthers and Giants appear destined for a big match for the NFC’s #1 seed – and, oh yeah, Carolina’s gotta play the bruised Broncos first.”

This all sounds eerily similar to ESPN’s comments two weeks ago when we headed East to face the Jets: “The Broncos shouldn’t even bother getting off the plane.” Part of me hates the blatant disrespect, but part of me loves it just the same. We all know this group of guys responds to this type of stuff.

Yes, the Panthers are going to be a difficult opponent. Perhaps the toughest we’ve faced all season. Can the Broncos win? Absolutely. Carolina’s defense is middle-of-the-pack while I’d take Jay Cutler over Jake Delhomme every day of the week (and twice on Sunday).

This has shootout/offensive juggernaut written all over it in my mind, with plenty of points to be scored and a game decision by one score or less. And the Broncos are 5-0 this season in close games. The defense does JUST enough to win, week in and week out. My Prediction: Broncos 34, Panthers 28.

Feel free to share your predictions in the comments.

  • DepressedSF

    I can’t blame anyone for disrespecting this team. The defense is JUST that bad. Anyone who watched the game Monday night saw a team run up and down a good defense in Tampa Bay. Just carved them up. I don’t see how anyone can expect the Denver D to stop Williams and Stewart. Remember in the Jets game we were lucky Mangini for some reason went away from Thomas Jones, who, as most running backs do, was killing this defense. If the Broncos win it will be their most impressive victory, and I for one don’t foresee it.

  • Kyle

    Thomas Jones had something like 138 yards against us.

    34-17 Broncos win…

  • Boisebroncoguy

    Since most “experts” have picked the Panthers, I think it is a great sign for the Broncos. Denver has been winning every time these pin-heads pick against them. I think maybe I have issues with the “experts”, and enjoying create-a-caption too much, and rooting for the Broncos too hard. Maybe I need help…………………..

  • Gary

    I predict a KC win before this game and thus allow our guys a chance to rest up. It will also allow the Panthers to set NY up for a NFC championship downfall in Charlotte and a Broncos SB win over the kitties in Tampa!

  • (stuck in) raiderland

    Sorry to be a downer, guys. My prediction: 28- 21, Carolina. I love our team but our streak on the road has to end somewhere.

  • mark

    as a lifelong bronco fan, this is going to be the first game i get to see in person (being stuck on the east coast sucks). i couldn’t be more pumped to see the broncos coming in as the underdog. i think they like it better that way.

  • Fan From Spain

    The Broncs are a great underdog team and Carolina are a bit over rated. I say it will be a close one. 24-21 Denver.


  • Josh Temple

    The Broncos will be lucky to sneak out of this one with a win. This is the game we get to see what kind of player D-Rob has been for us. I am getting a little tired of the disrespect though. The Broncos are the lowest ranked 8-5 team in the power rankings yet we’ve beaten two of the 8-5s above us (Jets & Falcons). We’ve also beaten the 9-4 Bucs. I do like being under the radar, but where is the love?

  • Bucky

    Anyone see Cutler got the repeat on Air and Ground and Clady got Rookie of the week, Way to Go BRONCOS!!!!

  • Ryan M.

    If we win this game we better start getting the respect we deserve dammit!!!

  • dee

    Kyle relax man, I kinda enjoy the disreprect… I remember during the Alanta game all of the ESPN “experts” had picked the Falcons to win… the rest is history… this bronco team needs to be challegened for them to step up … Broncos 35 Carolina 16

  • Dakota fan

    Hey crew- they ALL hate and disrespect us. Even two back-to-back Super Bowl victories were called “flukes” by a lot of those east coast AS*H*LES (no offense, mark- I know you’re with us). Morons like Rod Woodson and Deion Sanders who are ticked off because they aren’t big enough stars to work for ESPN and have to work on the second rate NFL Network are TOTALLY disrespectful to any team west of the Mississippi River!! We could win it again three times over and wouldn’t get the love that the stupid Jets, Giants and Eagles get because of geography.

    Whew- apparently I’ve kept that bottled up for the last thirty years.

    I love this team.

  • T-Money

    I’m superstious when it comes to broncos predictions so i’m going to pass there. To be honest I like not getting any attention. I think it’s less pressure as a team to go out and preform to the media as much as the fans. I expect to hear the prahse “we underestimated the denver broncos” every week.

    We are a much better team that we get credit for. Call us “lucky” or “thieves” or whatever you have to. We still go out every sunday and perform…just like everybody else. I hope that the Panthers are looking forward to the Giants. I would love to go in there and bit them in the ass and then laugh when the media blams Carolina and does not credit denver.

    I’m not scared of there running game. If you watched monday night all the big runs we because of poor tackling. They have the most 3-out possesions in the entire NFL.

    I am scared of Steve Smith and Julius Peppers. If champ doesn’t go Smith will have a good (not big) day. I don’t think Peppers will get past Ryan “the brick wall” Clady, But 80% of our running plays go left to his side which could be a problem.

    Screw the media, and screw the people that put down the Broncos.

  • T-Money

    Oh and did anybody see the BS Espn power rankings were we fell from 14 to 16 after a win.

    again, Screw the media, and screw the people that put down the Broncos.

  • DepressedSF

    Guys, I’m a lifelong Bronco fan and defender, but this year all the disrespect is WELL DESERVED. Anyone remember a 31-10 thrashing by the Raiders while our defense made JaMarcus look like a top tier quarterback. I didn’t think that was possible. Remember making Sammy Morris look like Jim Brown. AND ALMOST GETTING SWEPT BY THE CHIEFS. I’m tired of this defense doing something a little better and everyone saying “wow, this defense is improving.” NO THEY ARE NOT. Our bar has been set way too low. It’s time everybody wakes up. With this defense they/we don’t deserve any respect from anybody.

  • Aerobroncos

    I know exactly what you guys are talking about. I live in Mass and everyday I have something broncos on. One of my jackets, or one of my hats, or shirts, I think you get the point. The stuff I hear from these ban wagoner Patriot fans are ridiculous. Denver honestly gets no respect here even though season in and out we always have a legit shot at the big game and almost every season we have a winning record and usually make the playoffs. I honestly don’t get it but thats ok… makes it all that much sweeter when we kick their asses.

  • Sam

    We win this game IF we get off to a smooth start. We can’t afford a slow start against those two RBs. We need to take them out ASAP. 24-14 Broncos, yet still no respect: fine by me. It’s great fuel for the playoffs!

  • bronconinja

    i thnk what everyone is forgetting is the fact that even though the broncos D supposedly is that great they put so much preasure on teams to score points because they can score on any play that most teams have to abandon the run take the jets jones had like 128 at the half.. most of which came off of one play and another bad call and tooki him out in the 2nd half then u take KC last week the cheifs were picking up almost every 3rd down with LJ but again Denver kept them off the board in the 2nd half due to the preasure their offence puts on the opposing teams. Oh and they held Mturner to 87yds and most of that came off 1 run.

    “The best deffense is run through a good Offense”

  • broncoNM

    No team in the league is unbeatable. The panthers definitely looked good last week. No doubt they are a quality team. But we are not that bad. Not bad enough for the media to over look us. Come on we are 8-5 and have a very dangerous team. The defense is improving. We have young players stepping up all over the field. Ill agree our defense is not the 2000 ravens but give these young guys some credit for stepping up. All of our defensive leaders (DJ, Champ) are on the sideline and this defense has come together and did what they needed to do to get W’s and get us in position to capture the AFC West. Our defense will have some changes to make in the off season but lets put the raider and patriots game away for now. Everyone perdicted ATL and NYJ to put 50 on us. I have been disappointed with this defense at times but i must admit they have stepped up. It would have been easy to fold after losing to the patriots and having DJ and Champ on the sideline but they filled the spots with hungry rookies who came to play and had no problem showing some heart. The way this team has shrugged off injuries im not going write this team off to the panthers. Im glad the media does tho. Good bullatin board material. All i know is we have a potent offense and are in prime position to have a home field playoff game. I dont listen to anyone in the media except tommy jackson he is a genius.

  • Kelly in Carolina

    I’m a Diehard Broncos fan who grew up in Boulder, and I travel to the Sports Bar every sunday tosupport the Broncos, even though I also love the Panthers, now that I’ve been here for 8 years, they grow on you. They call Jake Dellhome Waterboy! The Superbowl run got everyone here excited, too bad they hammered us. Carolina is hungry for another Superbowl.

    But despite all that I’ll be rooting for the Broncos!!! Come on Bronc take down the Panthers! I’ll still enjoy watching the Panthers do well, but it will be a huge let down if the Broncos looses. They know they have to stack 8 in the box and make tackles. Make Jake throw a few picks. If Cutler and Jake make poor decisions then we could see many interceptions, they are both either really on it or really off.

    Go Broncos!~ My Panthers friends are going to heckle the heck out of me all game!

  • T-Money

    I hate ROD WOODSON (I think i have the right guy…the guy on NFLTA) the most. I was just watching the Fed Ex Air/ground and the Rookie of the week and when the announced Jay he said “oh come on man…I’m starting to lose faith in the fans” Then I watched rookie of the week and when Clady was announced he said “can we boo on the show”. I want to punch him in the face. I thought I would share that.

  • ColoradoCutler

    O.K. Depressedsf what disrespecting a first place team with a potent Offence like ours is never justified ,expected yes, justified NO!!! And the D is improving all will get even better with returning vets Williams and Baily.Denver wins 28-17. And no pun intended we will be the Dark Horse all the way trough the playoffs and could go all the way if people don’t start taking us as serious as thay should! Haters BEWARE ….We ready…….all ready…keep the faith. GO BRONCOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Boisebroncoguy

    T-Money, I saw Woodson as well. He is disgusting. He has something crappy to say every time a Bronco wins. I wish these guys had email addresses we could write them at. Maybe they do, I don’t know. But he is one of the few that is SO irritating, I would just love to say something.

  • Joann

    I love the broncos, ive been to two games in denver. 4 years ago december 12th we played miami dolphins we won. And last sunday dec 7th kansas city and we won. Whats the big deal! Who cares what people think about the broncos win or loose thats our team. Til another super bowl go broncos!!!

  • ColoradoCutler

    T-money Im with you PUCK Rod woodson , Jammie Dukes And Prime Time 2 for that matter ! Buch of washed up smack talkin has bins!!Can I hold him while you puch him!!!Bet hes all bumed Thay both won!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dee

    rod woodson has praised shanny in the past though when there have been calls to replace the “mastermind” …. until our defense catches up with the playmakers on offense we are going to get disrespected… its ok guys … if we beat Carolina alot of the experts will shut the f**k up

  • Steve

    broncos win. marshall goes for 150 and 2 tds. Royal gets a PR touchdown. Final score broncos 35 panthers 21.

  • Marv

    i hope the broncos win by at least 2 touchdown to shut all the haters out there up to show them them boys are for real

  • denverdave

    its aboutlike Ne and Denver

    Car37 Denver 7

    but Broncos win division next week and lose to SD in final week and also lose first game of playoffs in
    in two years broncos are an elite team

  • Roy

    I am sick and tired of Woodson. There is a link on the bottom left of the NFL homepage that says Contact Us. I think that all of us should give the NFL a piece of our mind regarding Woodson and his comments.

  • The Nooge

    I think this game is going to be pretty close, but anytime you have Mushin Muhammed on your team you can expect to lose on a drop with time running out (I’m a bears fan…who hates Moose…and Jake “I cry about everything ever” Dehomme).

    That bias aside I think the Broncos take this one by a field goal late 24 21 Broncs

  • pantherfan

    I think this will be a great game. I also think this could be a game either team could lose. If the Panthers bring their “A” game, the Broncos won’t stand a chance. If the Panthers are still high on themselves after Monday night’s win, the Broncos will have their way.

    The Panther’s pattern this entire season has been win two, lose one. Just look at their record. It has been “win win lose” every since game 1 of the season. The Panthers have just won their second straight game this past Monday. They are due for a loss. However, they are undefeated at home. This is a tough game to call. The Panthers are eager to make it three straight wins for the first time this season. The Panther’s are also very good at last minute (and last second) wins.
    Denver must take an early big lead in this game or the Panthers will win.

    I don’t like predicting the outcome of a game, but I will say that the Panther’s could beat Denver by 3 touchdowns in this one. The Panthers may even lose by 3 touchdowns. It all depends on how seriously the Cats take this game. The Panthers are better than the Broncos this year and should win. The pressure is on the Panthers, not Denver.

  • mikebirty

    i wonder where last years giants team were in the power rankings 3 weeks from the end of the regular season?

    This game has so many similarities to the jets game its unbelievable – other team so well fancied, all the talk about them, they’ve just come off a season defining win. I’ve given up predicting anything and i think its safe to say that no result from a blow out to and overtime safety would surprise me.

  • Josh Temple

    Mike – according to this site

    The Giants ranked 10th at that time. 1-4 NE, Dal, Indy, GB

  • Bobby

    T-Money….I completely agree and was going to mention that too. Rod Woodson is such a punk. He also talked trash when Spencer Larsen won Rookie of the week a few weeks ago

  • Roy

    That’s because Woodson hates the Broncs. Once a Raider, always a Raider.

  • carolina panthers blog

    we shall be waiting. I will actually miss this game and hope that it will be more than i think it has potential to be. :) Cheers

  • Wes Hunter

    I sure hope guys are right. I’d love to see the boys get this one, but I’ll be surprised if they do. Anyway, go Broncos!

  • j1m

    I’m another Colorado native/Lifelong Bronco fan who’s stuck out east.
    Can’t wait to see the game live! Keep your eyes peeled for a big guy in very conspicuous orange Bronco hoodie.
    If our boys bring their a-game, they can pull this one off.
    We should be able to keep Delhomme off balance.
    Watch out for Smith!!