Mac & Bone Podcast
In a press conference earlier this week, North Carolina Tar Heels head football coach Mack Brown said that this was going to be quarterback Sam Howell's final game in Kenan Stadium on Saturday afternoon when they face the Wofford Terriers for Senior Day. While Howell said later in the week that he has not made an official decision on that yet, it seems likely that with him looking like he is going to go in the first round of this year's NFL Draft that the Tar Heels will be searching for a new signal-caller ahead of next year's crucial fourth year under Brown second tenure in Chapel Hill.
The Hornets continued their hot streak on Wednesday night, taking down the Washington Wizards, 97-87, giving them their fourth straight win overall and their second consecutive win over a conference leader. While the Hornets scoring has dropped to an average of 106.3 points per game during the win streak, the Hornets defense has cranked it up on the defensive end of the floor, allowing just 98.3 points per game to opponents during that span.
The Clemson Tigers have rallied in the past few weeks to a 7-3 record following a slow start to the season and still have the opportunity to end up in the ACC Championship Game. Even with the rally, which can be topped off with a win over No. 10 Wake Forest this weekend, there are questions abound for a program that has been one of the most dominant in all college football for the better part of the last decade. One of the biggest ones that have been tossed back and forth the most recently has been if this is a one-year trip up or if this is a long term issue that could cause them to be a different team than the one that we have become accustomed to them being.
The Charlotte Hornets entered last Wednesday's game with the Memphis Grizzlies on a five game losing streak and were in need of a win to get something out of the road trip. Since that point, they have responded to real off three straight wins including a huge win at home over the Warriors on Sunday. Radio voice of the Hornets, Sam Farber, joined the Mac Attack earlier today to talk about the win and pointed to a big second half from one of the veterans in this one.
For Carolina Panther fans, this past week still probably feels like a dream and rightfully so, especially after Sunday. As former Panther and current NFL on FOX analyst Greg Olsen said on Friday on the FNZ airwaves, this Cam Newton-Carolina Panthers reunion was something that most never saw coming and that no one could have imagined happening so quickly either. Newton signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday and traveled to Arizona in a game where most didn't even know if he was going to be active and felt he would be extremely limited if he was. Newton was pretty limited playing just eight snaps in the game, but no one could have predicted the course of how things would happen on Sunday.
Jonathan Stewart shared a backfield with Cam Newton from 2011 to 2017, as the pair combined to run for 8,899 yards and 83 touchdowns while helping lead the Panthers to one of the most successful stretches in franchise history. On Friday morning, Stewart dropped by the Mac Attack to talk about his former teammate's return to Charlotte and discuss the impact that it will have on the locker room. "It makes people want to come to work, man," Stewart said regarding Newton. "The Panthers have guys whose first year of professional football they were locked in quarantine and they have to go through all of these different protocols as rookies and that's all they know. So getting Cam's energy, getting his presence, his wisdom, his insight in that locker room is gonna be a game-changer."
It's safe to say former Carolina Panthers tight end and current NFL on FOX analyst Greg Olsen was a little caught off guard by his former teammate and now new (or old) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's return to the franchise. Hot off the red-eye for Los Angeles, Olsen joined the guys over at the Mac Attack on Friday to explain why he was so shocked. "I have to be honest, I did not see this coming. It just seemed too good to be true." Olsen also talked about just how palpable the excitement is right now in the Charlotte area. "You can't really describe it, unless you live in Charlotte, what this means to the fanbase and to the organization. It's a day that no one thought ever might be possible even in a going-away party, you know like a retirement, let alone him being in uniform, under center."
With the struggles that this team was already having, Matt Rhule's job has been made even tougher as he tries to get this season back on the rails. The question now has to be, how important is it for his future with the team that he does get this turned around? As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk told the Mac Attack on Wednesday morning, David Tepper's quick trigger may make it more important than you realize. "With David Tepper, you never know. Look at how he is ripping through quarterbacks. So I could see that attitude being directed to the coach. He has shown as it relates to quarterbacks that he is not patient so why would we think he's going to be patient with everyone else.
Even with the issues the Hornets have had on this road trip so far, though, Farber told the Mac Attack that it's not time to panic just yet. "I still feel good about the way Charlotte is playing overall," he said. "The schedule has not been kind; the Hornets at this point in the season have played more games and more road games than any other team in the NBA, so this has not been an easy stretch. They are going to even out in the end, the schedule will become more favorable on the back end and if the Hornets can weather this storm and continue to play in this manner, I feel good about where Charlotte sits."
The Panthers struggled to move the football in this one, totaling just 240 yards of total offense, including just 78 rushing yards on 23 carries. While the Panthers had their issues offensively, it wasn't as if the Patriots faired much better, as they finished the day with just 273 yards of total offense to their name and averaged just 4.6 yards per play to the Panthers 4.2 per play. As Jim Szoke, one of the voices of the Panther Radio Network explained, though, turnovers were the biggest difference in this one. "In a game like this, that's when the turnovers become so critical," Szoke told the Mac Attack on Monday morning. "Yesterday they (New England) had two, but the three we had were so egregious in terms of why they happened." The Panthers turned the football over three consecutive drives with back-to-back-to-back Sam Darnold interceptions, which resulted in ten points for the Patriots, seemingly putting the Panthers away late in the third quarter.