Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts at 2-4

Touching on some things positive and negative from the 20-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

  • Hats off to the defense. Another solid outing, in spite of being put in bad spots due to turnovers. LB Thomas Davis did not play, but those that did covered his absence. Had he played, the Bills may have had 9 first half yards, instead of the 39 they ended up with. Julius Peppers was active again, recording another sack. Some coverage issues on a couple plays by the secondary, but overall, the defense did its job well.
  • Steve Smith proved he is, in fact, an asset to the Panthers. He did not score a touchdown, but he did connect on a deep pass, and ended up just south of 100 yards receiving. He also played hard (like he does every Sunday), and inspired after the passing of his junior college coach last week. Smith began to cry during his post-game comments when talking about Robert Taylor. Taylor was Smith's (and Chad OchoCinco's) coach at Santa Monica College, and he passed away last Thursday. A tough day for #89, and he did his coach proud with his play, no doubt.

That about covers the positives.

It was a game the Panthers were supposed to win--and don't feed me the line "every game is tough," blah blah blah. The Panthers are a more talented team than Buffalo. This was a game the Panthers had to have, and they didn't take it.

When the always dependable John Kasay misses 2 field goals, you know it's not your day.

I have been a strong supporter of Jake Delhomme this season, and I can honestly say, Sunday's loss is on him more than anyone. He throws 3 picks, 2 which set up Buffalo touchdowns. These weren't tipped passes off of receivers hands on well thrown balls. Both of these picks were overthrows. Credit Steve Smith for getting a hand on the one ball, but 2 good throws (the first one to Gary Barnidge sailed well over his head), lead to receptions rather than picks.

The Panthers marched the ball up and down the field, yet could only muster one touchdown. Why? Failure to execute in the red-zone. The Panthers had their moments. I applaud the notion of going for it on the 4th and 1 play. I like a bold play call, but you have to send in a play that can work. When Buffalo is loading up 7, 8 or even 9 guys on the line, they are EXPECTING you to run the ball. If you intend to run, fine. Take DeAngelo Williams out to the edge, where there are fewer bodies to contend with. I admit, I am at field level and cannot fully see the way the plays develop, but I noticed the Bills were looking run, and loaded up for it. If a guy that is shooting video tape of the game sees this, how do the coaches not?

The season is all but over, as based on their schedule, getting to 9 wins (that means winning 7 of their last 10) will be a monumental accomplishment. What do they do from here? No clue. Do I want to see changes? Not in personnel. I want to see the personnel they currently have perform better.

One other thing. If you attend a Panthers game and you are wearing the team's colors, maybe cheer for that team, rather than get completely drunk and shout obscenities from the seats. Makes you look like a dope, and it also sends a bad message to the fans of the visiting team. It lets them enjoy themselves much more knowing you are that angry by your team's performance. Oh, and to the drunk guy wearing the sunglasses (when it was dark??) in the #69 jersey that booed Jake all afternoon long, yet high-fived his buddy when Jake hit the downfield pass to Smith, I'm talking to you.

Mike Solarte

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