CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- I’m heading downstairs for interviews and will be back with more analysis in a bit. In the meantime, some Rapid Reaction to the Chicago Bears' 23-6 win against the Carolina Panthers.
What it means: Never thought I’d say this because I thought guys like Jon Beason, Jordan Gross, Chris Gamble and Steve Smith would keep this team competitive, but I don’t think it would be a stretch now to call the Panthers the worst team in the NFL. Yes, it’s that bad. They let Chicago’s Julius Peppers come in and rub it in the face of the franchise and the fan base. But it wasn’t just Peppers. Even with Chicago quarterback Todd Collins doing his part to throw the game away, the Panthers looked thoroughly incompetent with rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen struggling to handle snaps at times. I’ll deal more with this in my column tonight, but I’m wondering if the Panthers have even hit bottom yet. Right now, I'm thinking they haven't.
What’s next: The Panthers have their bye and there’s one other date that could be interesting before this team returns to action. That’s the Oct. 19 trading deadline. This is a team in an all-out youth movement, and you have to wonder if the Panthers would consider trading Smith, DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart for future draft picks. This is a team that doesn’t seem to have a present, so it might be time to prepare for the future. On the bright side, Carolina’s schedule gets a bit easier. The Panthers' next game is Oct. 24 against San Francisco and they have an Oct. 31 game with St. Louis.