A couple of early impressions as Arizona takes a 3-0 lead in a hard-hitting and fairly mundane first quarter:
** The Panthers obviously feel the way to get Kurt Warner out of his rhythm is to blitz. Warner is completing 70 percent of his passes this season and loves to throw the 8-10 yard pass, over and over. Carolina has already knocked him to the turf twice on LB blitzes -- once by Jon Beason legitimately after a throw, and another time by Na'il Diggs, who hit Warner late and was correctly penalized.
** It's just a gorgeous day outside. October football in the Carolinas in the afternoon -- there's no better time to see a game than that.
** The Panthers' first two drives short-circuited quickly as the team tried slant passes on third down that were incomplete (neither to Steve Smith). I've been calling for the Panthers to run a reverse to Smith all season -- they just kept faking it but never did -- but it didn't exactly work when they finally decided to run one. On the first play from scrimmage, Smith had no chance and lost six yards.
10 months ago