In a historic first, this evening the NFL will play a game in Cuba, where the autocratic Schiano regime’s rule is complete and no one has access to food, victories or health care.
Conditions are just ripe for team mutiny. The players hate Schiano, they’re infected with staph and they’re likely to get embarrassed on national television by a division rival. Then again, the Panthers know a little something about poor coaching. Leave it to Ron Rivera to find a way to hand the Bucs their first win of the season. After seeing the Giants depart the ranks of the winless earlier this week, I’m not prepared to watch another do the same. Who else will keep the Jaguars company?
The Panthers have looked impressive feeding on terrible teams the last two weeks. Tough to tell if they’ve turned the corner to respectability, but at least it’s a good indication that they should be able to take care of business tonight. Which would be nice for them, as Carolina hasn’t been above .500 in 70 games, by far the longest streak going in the league.
The good news for Tampa? Doug Martin is not definitively out for the season, as initially feared. Muscle Hamster won’t play tonight, but he will spend 18 days recouping his shoulder with a return target date of Nov. 11. Though if I were him, I’d be content to sit out the rest of this season and return when a new, slightly less dictatorial coach is in place.