The Panthers just had by far their best drive of this game, taking the kickoff and going 80 yards in only 5 plays to cut Atlanta's lead to 17-10.
Steve Smith was the difference, shaking off those 2 first-half drops to sprint 41 yards on a deep ball from Delhomme early in the drive. Then, on 2nd-and-1 from the 27, Delhomme threw to Smith again. It was one of the twosome's favorite plays -- Delhomme purposely throws the ball a little behind Smith, at his back shoulder, on a sideline route.
The play was perfectly executed and Smith went 22 yards to the Atlanta 5. DeAngelo Williams scored on the next play, and suddenly the Panthers are within 7 at 17-10, with 12:21 left in the third quarter.
TV rating for Hornets opener was second-highest ever
10 hours ago