Sunday, December 28, 2008

5 things I liked (and 2 I didn't) about Panthers' win

So Carolina has officially made it into the playoffs as the No.2 seed, which means they have earned their first playoff bye since the 1996 season. By the time Carolina enters the playoff fray in two weeks, on Sat., Jan.10 with an 8:15 p.m. game at Bank of America Stadium, the field of potential Super Bowl contenders will have been cut to 8.

Carolina will next play either Arizona, Atlanta or Minnesota depending on how the first round of the playoffs shake out. John Kasay's 42-yard field goal with 0:01 remaining was the difference in yet another heart-pounder for the Panthers.

Here are the 5 things I liked the most (and the 2 I liked least) about this win:

1. Steve Smith. He called that 39-yard catch just regular "chaos," and for No.89, I guess it is. But that 39-yarder on the last drive, which changed the game's momentum in a heartbeat, was a beauty.

2. DeAngelo Williams. He ran for 178 yards (although only 35 in the second half) to finish with the Panthers' first-ever 1,500-yard season. Then, in the locker room he unveiled a new website called www.NamesWeCanBelieveIn.com, which says that he and Jonathan Stewart will heretofore be known as "Double Trouble." Well, that's not that original, but DeAngelo gets some slack after this incredible 20-TD, shoulda-been-a-Pro-Bowler season

3. John Kasay. A 42-yarder to win it, after a false start penalty AND missing a 41-yarder earlier? The Panthers' ageless kicker really needed that one, and he got it.

4. Drew Brees. Normally, I list only Panther positives in this part of the blog. But it was a pleasure watching the New Orleans QB Sunday, in the same way it's a pleasure watching LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. What a player.

5. The first-round bye. This makes it easier for everybody wearing Panther blue. The Panthers will get healthier in the trenches, where they suddenly have several nagging injuries.

AND THE TWO I DISLIKED THE MOST...

1. 21 fourth-quarter points. I mean, c'mon, I know Brees is good, but that was ridiculous. The Saints scored on three straight drives in the fourth quarter as Carolina's pass defense looked non-existent (Brees finished with 386 yards).

2. Carolina getting off the gas. John Fox tried to bleed the clock for much of the second half after getting a 30-10 lead -- i.e., punting instead of letting Kasay try a 55-yard field goal indoors, which is well within his range. It almost bit him, but Smith and Kasay bailed the Panthers' coach out.

27 comments:

Michael said...

The pass defense looked bad, but that had a lot to do with the lack of pressure the line was getting on Brees at the end of the game. The highest-paid player on that defense keeps disappearing for long stretches within games, even if he makes sacks.

As for that 55-yarder "within Kasay's range," wouldn't you have said the same thing about the 41-yarder he missed? A miss from 55 gives them the ball near their 40, which is dangerous with such a good offense.

panthercrush said...

Again playing to preserve the win instead of playing to win the game. Changeing play calling on offense in the 2nd half would have changed the way New Orleans would have to play on offense. Carolina needs to step it up and play a game through to score as many pts. as they can. That will make defensive play calling easier when we are kicking the crap out of them!!!!!!!!!!

ja174 said...

Wow, really, knocking Peppers? Is that a joke? The guy played all out and was literally rag dolling jamal brown several times in the game, not to mention 2 of the 4 people on the line were backups who brought no pressure to free him up. If you want to talk about a disappointing player maybe you should mention Jon Beason who it seems needs Maake to free him up to make a play. Peppers made his own plays. I hope the use of Peppers along the line, rushing from a standing position and forcing the o-line to account for him in different places continues in the playoffs. Its time we stop knocking Peppers and just acknowledge that he's playing hard and getting very little help along the line.

Jennifer said...

Maybe Michael needs to be tripled teamed to see what he can do off the ball?

Peppers may be the highest defensive player on the team, but I think its about damn time people need to realize hes isnt the only defensive player ON THE "TEAM"!!!!!

However hes a big boy he can take it. :-)...

Ps...I keep hearing that the defense always disappears in the second half, where the hell was the offense???
Oh thats right lets blame the coaches instead of individual defensive players.

Nice thriller of a win for Kasay to make the kick, after the gutwrenching one last week.

Heres to 9-0 at home fellas...

GodSpeed Mr. Richardson....Will see you there !!!

Jennifer said...

Yes I had to come back and laugh at the "EVEN IF HE MAKES SACKS"

He gets dogged when he doesnt make any and he gets dogged when he beats his career high..

Gotta love a hater...

Makes me smile!!

Go Pep!!!!

Jason said...

"Michael" is Michael Procton, obviously. The biggest Peppers-hater in the world. Just ignore him - he doesn't understand football.

Fox needs to have his ass kicked after shutting down our successful offense in the second half, and allowing us to keep playing umbrella defense. It was almost like he was trying to give the game away.

ScottEBoy said...

WAY to conservative in the play calling in the second half on both sides of the ball. We've got the talent! Bring out the dagger and go for the jugular!

Now we sent the message that we are vulnerable in the 4th quarter so no matter how bad we might be beating some one, they know we play conservative in the 4th and any body has a chance! Isn't that what happened at home against the Lions?

Natasha said...

Like I ALWAYS Say...D wins the big games...Our defense is so weak its not funny...Our opponents know that they are not that deep, so keep them on the field as long as possible in the first half...and just watch us fall, thank God for Steve Smith and Kasey...Those feild goals in the first quarter needed to be 7's in order for us to breathe, and THAT'S why we are BREATHLESS heading into the playoffs and probaly hurting. All I gotta say is Kasey oughta have a freakin' interstate named after him in CLT!!! God bless his leg:)

Jennifer said...

I really dont care who Michael is, ignorance is bliss to me...

Having gone to elementary, middle and high school with Pep, and like Mr. Richardson we come from Firebird territory, Im not sweating any Pepper haters.

But I respect Mr. Scott and I wont disrepect his blog by arguing about it...

Hope everyone had a great holiday and....

Happy New Year....

Enjoy!!

A said...

I don't have negative comments lke most people! The Panthers have had a great season and its not over yet! Here's to the playoffs! Cheers!

Natasha said...

Amen...to that...Hey Y'all it could be worse...We could be Dallas Fans!!! GO PANTHERS!!!

Thomas said...

Scott,

i got a 6th thing for you that I liked...

Dante Wesley gets his first career TD... on special teams.

For a guy who began his career in Carolina, and has made it back from Chicago and New England has been hustling all year on special teams and helping out as a back-up in the secondary.

J Thomas said...

Procton,

Again your comments are those of a complete idiot. Fox’s play not to lose mentality cost us the #1 seed and nearly cost us the #2 seed. Your idol Delhomme is the worst QB in the division and you stated Williams was a bust and a wasted daft pick. You need to concern yourself with the “academic rigors” (LMAO) of Catawba College and leave commenting about the Panthers alone.

Kebred said...

The defense is getting burnt every week and it's playoff time. It's nice to be in the playoffs, but that is not the ultimate goal. The goal is to win the superbowl and you cannot do that with the defense that I've been seeing the past couple of weeks. Thank goodness that Steve Smith is a beast, which is what got the Panthers in position to kick the winning field goal.

Chris said...

Here's one thing I didn't like.....how about the TV guys going on and on about Brees breaking Marino's record while basically ignoring the fact that the game had actual playoff implications.

Jason said...

If we aren't going to cover WRs at all, why don't we just play 4 safeties and stop paying cornerback salaries?

panthercrush said...

I also liked the way they moved Peppers around, and it is always easier when u have a 350lb guy in the middle!! GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!
Was a good win and we still have a the week off!!!!!!!!!

Michael said...

Good call, J Thomas...Delhomme is DEFINITELY worse than Garcia, who couldn't even hold down a starting job this year over Brian FREAKING Griese, or Brees, who racks up every important number...except wins. I'll take my QB and his 5-2 playoff record against any other guy you want, division or not. JAKE is the reason we beat NO today. JAKE is the reason we won against Chicago and Arizona when we needed fourth-quarter comebacks. But hey, since you hate him so much, I'm SURE Vinny Testaverde and Chris Weinke are available for the playoffs.

Jason, again, it's hard to cover wideouts when the D-line can't get any pressure on the QB. Plus, given that NO has no run game and were down big from the second quarter on, what else were they going to do? Should we ignore the fact that we held them to, what 50 yards?

Natasha said...

Jake is not what I call a "smart QB" like an Aikman, or Brady...He's more of a risky loaded gun..like Favre or even Romo... when he's ON its great, but when he's off its really bad... this point just proves you can't build a whole team around a quarterback...HENCE the Giants comeback last year...if the panthers advance...its gotta be a Team Effort. This Panthers team is way better offensivly than the Giants were last year...BUT their Defense is not deep enough...sorry but true.

panthercrush said...

I would like to see what would happen if if the corners were 1 on 1. Carolina is a zone defense with a rush the QB mentality. Everybody knows it's a zone so exploit it. Is that a personal issue or a coaching issue?

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

D-Will and Smitty were the reasons we won. Jake was about number 10 on that list. Smitty bailed out Jake with that ridiculous catch.

Has anyone seen Romo's record in important games... the whole Delhomme-Romo comparison isn't a good thing. And last I checked Favre is done for the year.

Fox should be torn up for his second half game plan and Trogovac should be fired for his terrible defenses this season with that amount of talent.

Kimmy said...

ONE BIG thing I didn't like ...Ken Lucas is ineffective in his position. He is too small, and not quick enough. Teams quickly pick-up on his weakness in our defense and capitalize. The only thing he did was block Breez's pass to beat Dan Marino's record, and like Scott said, I would have liked to see him get it.

J Thomas said...

Procton,
Your feeble mind again makes this so easy. Garcia started 12 games this season. The other four were missed due to injury. Garcia never lost his job to Griese. What an idiot!

Michael said...

Natasha, I disagree wholeheartedly about your comparisons between Delhomme and Favre/Romo. Just look at their INT%. Jake's is the lowest, and even in his worst year, he threw 16 INTs (just one per game.) Romo's already had a 19-pick season, and Favre had a 29 (!!!) INT year.

Ryan, who was "bailing Jake out" when he was hitting on 68% of his other 19 passes with a TD and a 123 QB rating?

J Thomas, you're wrong, but unlike you, I'll rise above your petty insults. Garcia was benched in games 2-4 this season because of poor performance.
From the AP recap of the TB-ATL game in week 2: "'I wanted to come out and get the win. That was my goal,' said Griese, starting in place of Jeff Garcia, who was benched after playing poorly in Tampa Bay’s season-opening loss at New Orleans."
Also, "Although Garcia twisted an ankle during the season opener, the injury wasn’t why coach Jon benched him."

I'll also note those three games were all WINS by Brian Griese. I'm sure Tampa would have loved to have a WINNER at QB over the last month of the season when Garcia was choking them out of the playoffs. Just look at the guy when the stakes get highest: 2-4 in the playoffs (.333.) I'll take Jake's 5-2 (.714) over that ANY DAY.

clink said...

Scott Fowler, Interesting that you would have any opinion at all about the Panthers since you predicted this team to be

"Mediocre again"
By Scott Fowler
Posted: Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2008

In other words, this 2008 team will ultimately be a disappointment.

It won't be great. It won't be awful.

It will be 8-8.

Jennifer said...

Clink are you saying Mr. Scotts psychic powers faltered?

Shoot I was gonna ask him to predict the Panthers playoff games, so I would know the outcome of these gutwrenching finale's.

He could have saved me the missed kick at the Giants game and prewarned me not to have chest pains wondering how the hell we were gonna pull off the "W" yesterday..

Someone needs to speak to him ASAP...lol