Monday, November 9, 2009

Saints 30, Panthers 20

It's a 60 minute game, and the Carolina Panthers played terrific football for about 50 of those minutes. The New Orleans Saints clicked in much better fashion in the other 10 minutes, and that was the difference. Don't get me wrong, the Panthers did not dominate the Saints--it was a fairly even game, in spite of the quick 14-0 lead Carolina had.

Defensively, the Panthers were solid in holding the Saints under 100 yards rushing, but that passing game got clicking at just the right time, and a couple of long gainers did the Panthers in. You could feel the momentum shift, even if you were watching the game on your couch.

Want a bigger stat that brings a ray of light to this one? How about 5 Panthers fumbles. Chew on the one for a while. Carolina put it on the turf 5 times, and lost it 3 times. One of those recoveries going for a touchdown late to make it a 2 score game. Jake Delhomme fumbled on a sack in the 4th quarter, DeAngelo Williams fumbled at the 1 (which was returned for a TD), and Jonathan Stewart fumbled once, but Carolina got it back with a Chris Gamble interception on the ensuing drive.

I point out the turnovers as a glaring number, and they are. At the end of the day, though--Carolina outscored the Saints 10-7 off turnovers.

The Jake Hate continues (seriously?). He fumbled once, and the Saints didn't score on it. News flash: Delhomme isn't a QB that can win games on his own. He is not in the mold of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. All those that are waiting for the new QB to show up are also likely to be the ones wishing Jake was at the helm when the next guy struggles. It's the nature of the beast.

The Panthers now have a brutal road ahead if they want to make the playoffs. 3-5 at the halfway point means Carolina likely has to go 7-1 to get in. Can it be done? Certainly, but this team will have to do it by being smarter with the ball, and basically taking their game to a much higher level. The 50 minutes they played against New Orleans is that level.

But ya gotta play 60.

Mike Solarte

1 comment:

Robert A. Rucker said...

Well,I have to agree with Mike Solarte. Playing 50 minutes of good football is what the panthers did. Turnovers can hurt you, especially when the opposition captilize on it. (not directly at Deangelo,Jake. While watching game I couldn't help but notice Jake and a few others complaining on the side lines about the type of plays being called in third down situations. I am a die hard panther fan and still believe they will make the playoffs. I also know that if you have a team that the opposition know is going to run the ball (and the panthers do it very well) you also got to have an aerial attack. Dan, you got to take chance and make your opponents think twice, not once. And I understand it not just your decision but rather a multi-decision on the part of entire coaching staff, starting with the Fox. I look at the game the same way I look war or battle. You don't win battles in war with just ground troops, and history will tell you that. The same can be said when it comes to this game I love,know. It's time to support that great ground force with some attacks from the air.