Monday, October 19, 2009

Panthers win, but....

There is no joy in Pantherville following their 28-21 win over Tampa Bay. OK, there is some joy. Sifting through it...

The ground game was off the chain. The Panthers rolled up 267 yard on the ground, the 2nd highest game total in team history. 48 carries helped the Panthers wear down the Bucs defense.

The defense had some takeaways as well, another good sign that they are starting to feeling more comfortable in Ron Meeks' defense.

The special teams continue to disappoint. A 97 yard kickoff return for touchdown helped spark the Bucs comeback in the 2nd half.

The Panthers passing game was anemic. Jake Delhomme was unable to do much in the air. He had 2 INT's , one of which was run back for a touchdown--that tied the game at 21. The Jake Haters will be back in force this week, calling for a change at the QB spot. I will not be among them.

The Panthers have to find a way to get Steve Smith involved. After Sunday's win, Smith told reporters he is no longer an asset to his team. Yikes. That's not something the team believes, I am sure, but if Smitty is stewing about that, the best medicine is to get him the rock. he is a powder keg, ready to blow up on the field. He has been held in check, thanks to bracket coverages, and the like. Jeff Davidson has to figure out how to use that against the defense, and get #89 the ball.

As for Dante Wesley's hit on the punt return, I really don't know what to say. I can't imagine what he was thinking, and given his experience as a special teamer, the mistake was inexcusable. The league will have something more to say about it this week, no doubt. I wouldn't be surprised and a fine, suspension or both. It was pretty brutal. Hopefully we'll hear from Wesley on this during the week. Just seemed odd that he would just launch into the return man with the ball still in the air.

More during the week, including a look ahead at the next Jimmie Johnson win on the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville.

Mike Solarte

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