Monday, September 13, 2010

Panthers-Giants:The Fallout

Something I will attempt this season, is write the "day after" blog. The day after a Panthers game, win or lose. Generally, I have found that when I write something the day of the game, I am not seeing things clearly, so I go back, watch game tape, etc. So here goes.


Matt Moore struggled. Let's be honest. He threw three interceptions, all coming in the end zone. He has to make better decisions there. Even if it means throwing it into the seats, a throw-away is better than a turnover. Moore went 14-33 in the game, 182 yards, and a touchdown. His QB rating of 32.6 wasn't sparkling, so there is room for improvement.

The offensive line had its issues as well. Moore was sacked four times in the game, but one in the 4th quarter may be the reason Moore suffered a concussion. 3:50 left in the game. If you have it recorded, check it out, or just watch News 14 for our replays of it. The line has to be better in pass protection. As for running the ball, a little bit incomplete. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 21 carries. That number is WAY too low for that tandem, trailing 15 points or not. The Panthers success is predicated on the run. 21 attempts by your stud running backs doesn't cut it.


Some poor execution led to some big New York plays. Putting that into perspective, RB Ahmad Bradshaw finished the game with 20 carries for 76 yards. He picked up 39 yards on just one of those carries. Take that one out (have Carolina play some better defense on that one play), and Bradshaw ends up in the neighborhood of 40 yards for the game. Brandon Jacobs, the petulant backup RB, had 12 carries for 44 yards. He gained 22 on one carry. Again, better defense on that one play, and Jacobs is around 25 for the game. Carolina did their job against the run.

Against Eli Manning, Carolina wasn't bad, either, but breakdowns cost them dearly. Hakeem Nicks had a monster afternoon, with three touchdown catches. Giants receivers should have had a bigger day, though, as three times, Manning throws hit their hands, only to bounce skyward, and into the waiting arms of a Panther defender. Opportunistic interceptions, no doubt, but it wasn't like the Panthers jumped a route, and had a clean pick. They still count, don't get me wrong, but we're being honest here. I liked what I saw from the defense, for the most part. Room for improvement, no doubt.


Mike Goodson needs to keep doing what he's doing. He's showing more and more that he just might be the answer to their kickoff return problems. Captain Munnerlyn averaged 19 yards per punt return in the game, not horrible by any stretch.

J.J. Jansen makes his first appearance in the blog (I think), as we saw him commit an error as the long snapper. Jansen said after the game, it was a wet ball that played a part in the botched snap on a punt attempt, but he fell on the grenade, and said that wasn't an excuse. Jansen has been solid since his arrival, and no doubt this appeared to be a once-in-a-great-while thing. Even Jason Kyle (now with New Orleans) had screw-ups, but you'd have to look long and hard to find them, much less remember them.


During the game, I received a text message asking if this was the most disinterested I had ever seen John Fox during a game. I don't think he is disinterested. Fox is a professional. He will do his job to the best of his ability. I was led to wonder, though, why the Panthers were throwing the football so close to the end zone late in the game. Carolina trailed by 15 points, with 11:30 left in the game. They string together a 12 play, 51 yard drive, in just 3 minutes, and get to the New York 4 yard line. They then attempt three straight pass plays, rather than dance with the running backs that brought them. This is not about a lack of confidence in Moore, but more about why their best weapons remained holstered. 8:40 remained on the clock, when Moore was picked off by Terrell Thomas. Why throw it there?

Let me also say this: The Panthers coaches have forgotten more about football than I will ever know, but from an outsiders viewpoint, 8:30 was plenty of time to try and get a score (with the running backs being involved), get the defense back out there, only trailing by 8, and making a game of it.

Overall, this Carolina team might be better than a lot of people give them credit for, myself included. They need to clean up the issues, however, and that won't be easy. This is a young team, and generally, young NFL teams make mistakes. It's how young players learn. For this team to be successful, though, they will need to learn quickly.'

Mike Solarte

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