The Panthers dominated the Saints Sunday, 30-7. Here were a half-dozen of the main reasons why:
** Julius Peppers and the defense. Peppers had a sack, a forced fumble and also stopped a New Orleans back at the 1 to cinch the victory on the Panthers’ late goal-line stand. After a game against Tampa when you totally forgot Peppers was on the field, he was huge Sunday.
** The running game. Both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams scored TDs and had respectable – although not huge – stats (134 rushing yards between them). That makes Jake Delhomme (122.3 pass rating Sunday) so much better.
** No punt blocks. And none returned for a TD by Reggie Bush, either (who only played the first half, due to a knee injury that flared up).
** Steve Smith. He went over 100 yards again and caught a 39-yard TD pass while being double-covered.
** Reversal. Carolina totally reversed what happened to them last week in a 27-3 loss to Tampa.
** Superb fan support. On a gorgeous October day, the fans showed up en masse and saw Carolina move to 4-0 at home this season (they were 2-6 in Charlotte in 2007). I thought the fans were particularly effective on Carolina's fourth-down goal-line stand.
6 months ago