Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Observations of a 21-7 loss

Things I noticed during the Panthers loss to Dallas on Monday night.
  • Jake Delhomme is Carolina's best option at QB. Despite what you may read elsewhere, Delhomme gives the Panthers a chance to win. Yes, I saw that he committed 3 turnovers. I also saw that, on the first interception, Muhsin Muhammad either didn't think the ball was coming to him, or wondered why the ball was coming to him, rather than going up and trying to get the ball that was coming to him. The interception for TD was also not on Jake, as WR Steve Smith admitted he busted the route. His reason--trying to make a play. He was trying to make a play, but he didn't tell Jake that was his intention before the ball came out. The fumble at the end....on Jake or not, Carolina was down 14, and Dallas was bringing the pressure.
  • The Dallas Cowboys are in deeper trouble than even I envisioned. If they run the ball like they have the past 2 weeks, they will be tough to beat. However, saying you ran the ball well against Carolina is like saying you make great cereal. It's not hard to do.
  • Speaking of the Panthers defense, anyone seen Julius Peppers? I'll tell you what, $1 million dollars per game doesn't get you what it used to. Against Atlanta, 2 tackles. Against Dallas, 1 solo, 1 assist. At this point, Panthers fans aren't looking for Peppers to record sacks, they are looking for him to record a stat. A hurry. A pass break up. Heck, if they lined him up at fullback, they could credit him with a block. ANYTHING. I understand that Ron Meeks asks him to do several things in this defense, so I'll get off Peppers for a second, and slip this nugget to Meeks. Peppers is a pass rushing athlete. Turn him loose, and you might...just might...see him do something other than pocket a 7-figure check each week. Then again, Peppers has to want to turn it loose.
  • Coaching staff isn't immune to this diatribe. The Panthers offensive strength is running the ball. If the mix of pass play to run plays is balanced in favor of the pass, you are not who you think you are. Last night: 33 pass plays. 16 run plays. This was not 38-10 against Philadelphia. This was still a winnable game. At 13-7, running the ball was prudent. Had it worked? At times, yes. Abandoning it and leaving 2 of their weapons (DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart) holstered made them one-dimensional, and ultimately, predictable.
  • Is this season lost? Considering only 5 teams have started a season 0-3 and made the playoffs, it likely is. The Panthers have a bye week, then they face the Washington Redskins. Forget about soul searching. Forget about looking for answers that aren't there. Forget about changing the quarterback. What the Panthers need is to get away from football, and each other for a few days. This team needs to flush calendar 2009 (to date) out of their heads, and focus on the remaining weeks of the year. That's all they have left at this point.

Mike Solarte

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Anonymous said...

I think they also need to remember the rules of the game. The penalties for forgetting the rules are killing them also!

Mike Solarte said...

2 personal foul penalties and an offensive pass interference would qualify for that assessment.

Craig said...

I can't believe the tale of 2 halves! You go INTO locker room with MOJO, just scored on a 90 yd drive, GET the 2nd half kickoff and go 3 n out ALL 2nd half?? No wonder defense was tired! I agree w/ most of your assessments - Jake is Fox choice and I am OK w/ him; manages game OK for 80% of game. My concern is Davidson and Fox abandoning run after slightest hint of trouble- gotta be Fox telling D to throw. If you are gonna throw GET IT TO 89 - he was out of game a couple plays on the final drive - forget fatigue.

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