Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giants 24-Panthers 17

The Panthers lost there pre-season opener to the New York Giants on Monday night, 24-17. Some good, plenty of not-so-good to take away from this. Here goes.

1-First team offense. Meh. Hard to give a grade when your number 1 receiver, Steve Smith, is out as he comes back from a shoulder injury, and your 1-A (or 1-B depending on how you rank your guys) Jonathan Stewart is out with an Achilles injury. Those are 2 sizable absences for the Panthers, so hard to judge the skill positions against New York. The Panthers gained 91 yards in the first half. Deduce from that what you will. It wasn't pretty, but given the lack of punch in the lineup, not too worrisome. Yet.

2-First team defense. Well, it's safe to say the Panthers need help at the DT position. For all the thoughts of "one of these guys can try to win the job," the proof was in the pudding. Neither team game planned much (at least by what they admitted to before hand), for this one, and the Giants were whipping Carolina in the middle of the line. It's not a knock against the guys in there--they aren't as big as Maake Kemoeatu (gone for the season after tearing an Achilles tendon on day one of camp). GM Marty Hurney will be busy looking around for a veteran guy that can make an appreciable dent in an offensive line. It would not surprise me if that move came sooner, rather than later. More time in the system, the better chance that new guy will have to be ready on opening day v. Philadelphia.

Individuals:

RB Mike Goodson. Nice work. Ditch the throat slash. You're a professional now, young man.

LB James Anderson. Flew around and made plays (like blocking the punt that resulted in the safety).

DE Everette Brown. Battled hard on every snap. Good to see his contributions so early. He could be a nice rotation end in his rookie year.

LB Dan Connor. Just seeing him back on the field after his torn ACL in 2008 was a sight. He made some plays, too, which doesn't hurt.

Overall, Head Coach John Fox has to like some of what he saw, but he has to be a little concerned about the defense. The starters missed tackles, although they were active. Having virtually no interior push is now officially a big concern, and needs to be addressed. Fox will say that you are judged by wins and losses, and not opinions. True. In the exhibitions, however, the results mean virtually zero, and it is how things come together in those 4 "work out the kinks" games that will set you up for success or failure.

The Panthers are, after 60 minutes, still a work in progress.

Mike Solarte

follow me on Twitter @MikeSolarte

2 comments:

Craig said...

good analysis - big hole in the middle ID'd early by ny and jacobs! was hurney out scouting as I heard?? we need some immediate help there soon. D'will looked strong, Jake a little off and of course 80 still running his own routes

Mike Solarte said...

Marty has been travelling a bunch from what I hear. Help is on the way...just don't know who or from where. He's stumping though. Hate to see it come in a trade, but they can't afford to wait too long for a DT that can help out...plus that kind of guy may only be available in trade. We'll see.