Sunday, September 21, 2008

4 things I couldn't stand in Panthers' loss

Four things I couldn’t stand about the Panthers’ nasty 20-10 loss at Minnesota Sunday, which dropped them to 2-1 on the season:

1) WATCH IT, JAKE... JAKE?!!!
How does Jake Delhomme not see that cornerback blitz late in the first half? It’s not like Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield was coming from the blind side. Yet Delhomme just held it… and held it… and all of a sudden he was sacked and the ball was out and – BOOM – a cheap TD for the Vikes. Carolina’s early 10-3 lead had disappeared and it was 10-all.
That was the play of the game. Everything changed after that. Minnesota would end up scoring the game’s final 20 points. UPDATE: Nick Goings took the blame for not picking up Winfield on this play -- instead, he thought he was clear to run out for a pass. Oops! Still, Delhomme should have seen the guy with his peripheral vision and at least been able to take the sack but not fumble.

2) RUNNING ON EMPTY.
This looked a lot like the past few years when Carolina simply couldn’t run the ball. The Panthers’ offensive line was absolutely overwhelmed by a combination of Minnesota’s powerhouse defensive line and the incessant noise in that indoor stadium. The play the Panthers seemed to run the most was the false start -- they were good at that one. "Pre-snap" penalties continue to hurt the Panthers badly.

3) THE TERRIBLE TIMEOUT.
John Fox’s timeout management is often a curiosity, and there was another example today. As Minnesota’s Ryan Longwell lined up for a fourth-quarter field goal after an endless Viking drive that would make it 20-10, Minnesota, the Panthers called timeout. Most players on the field didn’t hear the whistle, though. The ball was snapped, and safety Chris Harris blocked the kick.

Honestly, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Even if it stays 17-10 there, the Panthers went nowhere the entire second half on offense. Even with Steve Smith out there, they couldn't move it. Still, they would have had a chance if not for the timeout, which basically ended the game. Given a second chance, Longwell booted it through, it became a two-possession game and Carolina was done. UPDATE: Fox called the timeout because he thought Carolina had 12 men on the field. In fact, Carolina only had 11.

4) THE PANTHERS' PASS RUSH.
Carolina got to Gus Frerotte a couple of times, but not enough to rattle the veteran. Instead, Frerotte kept the chains moving and played keepaway almost the entire second half from the Panthers. Here’s how little the TV announcers called Julius Peppers’ name – when Peppers finally made his first sack of the season, play-by-play man Ron Pitts at first called him “Julius Peters.”

13 comments:

Administrator said...

All week everyone was saying how Steve Smith would force the coverage to his side and free up the other WRs and probably more important for "Fox ball" take guys out of the box. BUT, Jake seemed to lock in one Smitty once again and no other WRs had much of an impact. AND, they continued to fill up the line with 8 or 9 guys on the line. Im not even sure there was an attempt to go deep more than maybe once or twice to try and back guys off the line.

RobNClt said...

I didn't recognise the guys playing in the Panther uniforms the past two weeks but I certainly recognised the guys playing today. Jake holding the ball too long, the offensive line refusing to block, the defense staying on the field much too long because of Jake's fumble. Ahhhhhhhhhh, the Panthers are baaaacccccckkkkkk or are they, next week should tell us!
Maybe next week we will not see lack of hustle, jet lag or whatever they suffered from. Gus Ferrot could have stood in the pocket and had lunch today.

dfran said...

We saw the REAL Panthers today. Where is the aggression on defense?? The difference in the game was the Vikes kept pressure on Delhomme. Even WITH Steve Smith out there they brought pressure. Once again our passive defensive scheming (Trgovac who should have BEEN gone)sat back and made an average QB (Gus Frerrotte) look good. Watch how he looks next week against the Titans who KNOW how to play aggressive defense. I've said it all along...we need a change in coaching...at least on the defensive side. We were lucky to win the first 2 games. Maybe the defense should wear t-shirts under their jerseys that say "No Pressure". Guess we'll sit back..(like Trgo's defense) and watch Matt Ryan look like a Pro Bowler when the Falcons come to town next week.

Time to said...

The announcers made a big deal out of the timeout negating the blocked field goal, but you would clearly tell some players heard the whistle and let up. Without the whistle I doubt the field goal would have been blocked.

Time to said...

The 87 yard kickoff return being negated by a penalty was an additional thing I could not stand. Didn't look like a hold to me.

Ronnie said...

How do you only use two receivers the majority of the game with Steve Smith on the field now and expect things to be different. If you have a really good pass catching TE, DJ Hackett, and Muhsin Muhammad, why not use them!!! I'm sick of Fox's conservative attitude!

dennisthemenace said...

dfran, do you know who we play next week? titans or falcons? it won't matter if we play like today, we will lose. reminded me of last year and the year before. does fox know his job IS ON THE LINE?

rchrist said...

I am a Viking fan living here in North Carolina and I have a few things to say about the Vikings win over the Panthers. I am very confused about John Fox coaching strategy. Number 1, John fox use of timeouts in the second half of the game, Secondly, why in the world would you try to run up the middle against big and I mean big Pat Williams, thirdly, you had success in the first half going after Cedric" first down Griffin #23". After the first quarter, the offense never went after him or after the rookie safety. If you would have watch the Green Bay vs the Vikings film, the way to beat the Vikings is to run off tackle at our defensive ends and throw the ball only on Cedric"first down " Griffin and our rookie safety. I would also say that Ken Lucus is getting sorry and we made a half time adjustment which the Vikings are not noted for and went after Ken Lucus and the rookie safety side in the second half. Jake gets locked into Steve smith too much and dont focus on the other receivers. I think you need to trade either Smith or Jake, get rid of Lucus and get some draft picks back that u traded away and find a coach who can game plan and manage the game better. That being said go Vikings :)

Justin said...

Trade Smith? Dumbest thing I've ever read. How did it work out for Oakland when they traded Randy Moss?

rchrist said...

Justin,

When Steve Smith is playing, Jake always throws to Smith whether triple covered or not. When Steve Smith is not playing, Jake throws the ball to other people and spreads the ball around. I said trade one or the other and get the draft picks back that u lost after picking up Orlando pace jr(OTAH) in the draft.You do not give up three picks for a guy who does nothing but false starts and holds. How else you going to replace the draft picks you lost due to your poor front office. you going to have to trade someone to get those picks back. Peppers, Jake, and Steve are the only players on your roster that you can get a first round draft pick back in return.

Panther_ Fan said...

Need to go to more a 3 to 4 wide out type offense with one running back. Spread the ball around.... DJ, Mus, & Steve need to be on the field together.... Why pay those guys all that money if we are not going to use them......

chris said...

Bye John Fox don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. WE WANT BILL COWHER AND A REAL QUARTERBACK!

Jeff Houser said...

Hey I agree we need to spread out the passes... Maybe Jake will factor that in this week.

But I'm not ready to go negative on Fox, or the Panthers after one loss.

The Panthers did a good job pulling together for those first two wins - hopefully this loss will get everybody back on the same page.