ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28: Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammate Ken Hamlin #26 after returning an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quater against the Carolina Panthers at Cowboys Stadium on September 28, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
After a 5 interception performance in Carolina's playoff loss to Arizona, Delhomme returned this year to surrender 7 over the first 3 games of 2009, along with 2 fumbles. What's worse (for Carolina and their fans, at least) is that, in his latest pick-happy performance in Dallas, neither interception was really his fault, proving that the Panthers' woes are not merely confined to one hapless quarterback.
The first, a deep throw to Muhsin Muhammad, was snared by Mike Jenkins after Muhammad seemingly quit on the route.
The second, of course, was Terence Newman's game-sealing pick-six. Steve Smith broke off a slant, cutting outside, and effectively leaving Terence Newman unfettered as the ill-fated pass found his hands.
This makes Delhomme something like the Charlie Brown of the NFL, the only obvious difference being that Lucy never apologized for pulling the ball out from Charlie Brown on any number of ill-fated field goal attempts, which Smith did, more or less, after Monday night's loss.
"Jake was expecting me to cross [Newman's] face," Smith said, per CarolinaGrowl.com (per PFT). "I should have crossed his face and I didn't cross his face. I put Jake in a bad situation. I second-guessed my route and I shouldn't have. The bottom line is that I screwed Jake."
This plump admission is admirable of Smith, though it is a fairly obvious conclusion to be drawn, even from the perspective of an outsider.
What's more, no amount of apology will lower the beleaguered quarterback's interception totals, or quiet the scores of fans in Carolina who are calling for his proverbial head. Nor will it stop the rain for what's sure to be a tumultuous bye week for the 0-3 Panthers.