Sunday, September 7, 2008

10 things I liked about Panthers' season opener

Welcome to "Scott Says," the online edition -- my new blog on all things related to sports in the Carolinas.

Let's get right to it -- here are the 10 things I liked the most about Carolina's dramatic 26-24 win over San Diego Sunday, which was decided on the final play of the game when Jake Delhomme drilled a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dante Rosario in the back of the end zone:

Jake Delhomme is unable to get the team in the end zone all day and yet gets them there on the final play. The guy has always had serious mojo. Didn't this remind you of Delhomme's first-ever game as a Panther, when Carolina edged Jacksonville on the pass to Ricky Proehl at the very end?

2. Dante Rosario. Can you say Wesley Walls? This guy was the Panthers’ best receiver all day.

3. Chris Harris stripping the ball to cause a defensive touchdown. Harris gets burned occasionally in coverage, but no one can get the ball out like he can.

4. The Panthers’ “alternate” blue uniforms, which they should wear more often.

5. John Fox teams on the road. It’s been Fox’s trademark here through the years – his teams play far better on the road than at home. Can they continue this momentum in what should be a very winnable game against Chicago at home next Sunday?

6. DeAngelo Williams and the offensive line. I liked Stewart, too, but DeAngelo was superb.

7. The Panthers’ run defense against LT.

8. Muhsin Muhammad back in his familiar No.87.

9. Rhys Lloyd on kickoffs and John Kasay on field goals. If you don’t think that’s worth two roster spots, you’re crazy.

10. Scoring 26 points without Steve Smith in uniform. Even though seven came courtesy of a defensive touchdown, that’s very impressive. Just a superb effort for the Panthers today.

16 comments:

Nathan Dove said...

Scott If the Panthers keep it up your 8-8 prediction may be wrong.b

Scott Fowler said...

You got that right, Nathan. I did pick them 8-8 just before the season began in The Observer. I'll stand by that. It's very, very early. But if the Panthers play as well as they did today at the right moments, I'll be eating that column in December.

nohuiam said...

Scott,
Because everything comes out smelling like roses with a win are we supposed to forget the suspect play calling? For example: 4th and goal from inside the one... A pass play when they hadn't yet been stopped for a loss running the ball. Also not running the ball twice as much as they did. They were almost averaging five yards a carry, have two capable running backs and their number one receiver was out. Drives stalled on several occasions because they got into the red zone by running the ball and then started passing it. I know they won, and I'm as happy as anyone about that. I just don't understand why you don't keep calling the run until they can consistently stop it. The run was moving the chains.

Randolph said...

Scott, after watching the Bears Sunday night, let's not get overconfident just yet. We got lucky while "Da Bears" put a beat down on the Colts. That wasn't supposed to happen in Indy's new house. Yes, we should enjoy our victory in San Diego but realize Sunday's game with the Bears will NOT be a cakewalk.

Benjamin said...

I don't think "we got lucky", San Diego was lucky to be in that game. We left eleven points on the field with drops in the end zone and went to a safety defense when we were up 19-10 allowing a touchdown. Take those two equations out of the game and we'd have stomped them, bring on Chicago.

Ryan said...

It was a great game. They missed some key plays that surely would have sealed their win early but they came through. I am so proud of the panthers. Steve Smith is amazing and no doubt a huge part of our game, but these guys showed us they can win without him if need be.

congrats guys and keep working hard and you will be ok.

Jack English said...

This game simply was a statement by the team that they can win against any team. They're that talented! And now they believe in themselves! Jack English.

P said...

The team plyed with a high level of energy most of the game. There was a little let down in play during the Chargers last TD drive. The Bears are going to be a tough act to follow.

slurryman said...

The Cardiac Cats are Back!! Great, now I gotta go back on that low cholesterol diet and re-start my stress-management classes...How about we just play smash-mouth football when we should? (4th and goal at the 1 and we PASS??) That way I can keep eating at Bubba's all the time... That reminds me, gotta re-fill my presciption for nitro pills...Great win guys!!

Woodlandites said...

Before the final drive, I thought that this was going to be another heartbreaker that left us feeling OK about our chances this season, but resulted in an "L" nonetheless. Wow. It took 60 minutes for the offense to get into the end zone, but was able to do so when it mattered most. In baseball, teams always point back to a couple of big plays when a pitcher hurls a no-hitter. And while we can look at a couple of important plays in this game, perhaps at season's end we will look back at this very first game and say that this was the harbinger that set the tone for the whole season. Wow. Great work guys. Now let's build on the momentum here at home.

Mike said...

Why is everyone knocking the Pass on 4th and 1? Am I the only one who forgets that we have always tried to run it on 4th and 1 and get stuffed and say why didnt we try and throw it? I know our running game was going well but they had 9 in the box waiting for the run. I actually would rather us try something new for a change and fail then do the same thing we always have and fail. Just my 3 cents

Slambo said...

We too often "depend" on Steve Smith and watch the other receivers stand around like "decoys".

Steve's suspension may be a blessing in disguise. It looks like others are stepping up to be a bigger part of the offense.

Hopefully, we want abandon them when Steve comes back.

Brian said...

I loved the pass call on 4th down. 9 times out of 10 we'll convert that. Great pump fake by Jake on the TD- fooled the cameraman even. Totally forgotten though is the timeout we left on the field! Why did we let the clock get down to 6 ticks left?? at least 20-25 seconds ran off on that play... oh well water under the bridge

Kenneth said...
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Kenneth said...

I like the alternate uniforms too. Sadly Fowler does not realize that we can only wear them twice a year as limited by the NFL (which we have done the past few years). I cringe to think of how negative the article would be if we did not win - thanks for being a bandwagon fan Fowler.

Michael said...

The problem with the fourth down play wasn't the playcalling. Jeff King simply wasn't looking for the ball when he came open.

Scott, though...why do you think DeAngelo was so special? He had a lower YPC than Stewart, got hit for losses more often, and had a shorter longest run. Williams isn't an every-down back, period.