Monday, September 14, 2009

Well, THAT didn't work

I am not running for the hills on the Carolina Panthers, but I do know where my shoes are, just in case.

Sunday was a horrible day to be a Panther fan after about 1:45 in the afternoon. Even then, it was 3 plays that took this season opener from winnable, to completely out of reach. If the Panthers don't self destruct in a 4:59 span of the 2nd quarter, we might have a different outcome.

First play of the 2nd qtr, Jake Delhomme is sacked, and stripped of the ball, the Eagles cover it in the endzone for 6. 10-7 Philly.

After their next possession, DeSean Jackson runs back an 85 yard punt return (which, from my vantage point, should have been called back for a block in the back) for a touchdown. 17-7 Eagles.

Next Panthers possession, Delhomme is picked (a route nicely jumped by Sheldon Brown), he takes it back to the 9. Next play, 6 more, 24-7 Philly.

There is plenty of blame to go around on this one, so all the "Run Jake Outta Town" mob can zip it. Jake is to blame on the 2nd pick, and the 4th pick--those were two poor throws. The 1st INT is a deflection. If the pass is on the money, there is no guarantee Steve Smith makes the catch. That's a tough break. The 3rd pick, the Eagles forced that one. Should Jake have tucked it and taken the sack? Maybe. He was trying to make something happen. It didn't work.

People have lost sight of the fact that this was the same riverboat gambler, gun-slinging quarterback that came off the bench, and led Carolina to a come-from-behind win over Jacksonville in his first appearance as a Panther. That is the legend that was created. Jake said it himself after Sunday's loss to Philly, saying if he was worried about throwing another pick, he would be checking it down to the running back every time. That's who he is--he's gonna try and make the play.

Which way do you want it Panthers fans? Do you want a QB who plays it smart, safe, happily runs a run up the middle on 3rd and 9? Or do you want a guy that will go out, and play his guts out when all the breaks are going against him?

I'm not saying Jake is blame-less. far from it. I also don't have to [pile on, and say get rid of him. Those that are calling for him have likely never competed for anything in their lives. Knowing the sacrifices it takes to be as good as you can be prevents me from piling on.

Others to share the blame. The offensive line. Thought to be among the NFL's elite, they were below average against Philly. The looked lost. They looked unprepared. You can put the coaching staff in as ones who share the blame. The special teams were functional, except for the runback, but I still maintain there was a missed penalty there. Have to look at the game tape again to verify.

In spite of the 38 points given up, I am inclined to give the defense a pass. They allowed 24 of the points (7 from special teams, 7 from the Eagle defense), and the longest drive the Eagles had that resulted in points covered 74 yards. The Eagles total yardage covered in their 4 scoring drives? 90 yards. The defense came to play on Sunday.

All of the Panthers need to show up in Atlanta next Sunday. Without exception.

Mike Solarte

1 comment:

Pamela koloup said...

Instead of moaning and groaning about Jake,,lets convince Gerry Richardson that his loyalty to the current,,horrible coach and his coaching staff,,needs to be replaced.. the Panthers have some awesome talent,,Jake included in that mix,,but it seems that Fox hasn't got a clue how to utilize any of them,,,so until he is gone,,Fox that is,,,the Panthers are going to continue to lose,,,How about my favorite coach, Mike Shanahan,,,or even John Gruden,,,anyone but who we have now,,,let Fox go and bring in someone who could allow these guys to actually show us what they can really do,,,,