Thursday, September 3, 2009

Panthers lose 21-10 in preseason finale

Carolina closed out an inglorious 0-4 preseason with a 21-10 loss to Pittsburgh Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.

The Steelers led, 14-0, in the first quarter and mostly coasted after that. Both teams' starters were off the field before halftime. Pittsburgh scored its TDs on an 80-yard punt return, a 10-yard run and a 31-yard interception return of an errant Matt Moore pass.

The only Carolina TD came on a 1-yard run by Canadian Jamall Lee. John Kasay added a field goal. Rookie running back Mike Goodson again flashed some major potential but lost another fumble, this time inside the Pittsburgh 5.

The Panthers open the regular season Sept.13 against Philadelphia at home -- a scary prospect at the moment.

I posted some of these thoughts earlier on this blog, but in case you missed them, here's a brief rundown of what happened when the game mattered -- i.e. when the Panther starters were still in the game.

Panthers offense: Two series and one total first down. One dropped pass (by Muhsin Muhammad). One third-and-1 run that lost two yards. One sack of Jake Delhomme. One tipped Delhomme pass at the line. One first down (a pass to Muhammad). No touches for Steve Smith.

Panthers defense: Two series. One excellent three-and-out (while facing Ben Roethlisberger in his only action – he threw one pass before leaving). One horrid touchdown allowed.

On the TD, the Carolina D allowed Pittsburgh’s third-string running back Isaac Redman to roll right through five attempted tackles for a 10-yard scoring run. Among the men who missed or bounced off Redman: safety Chris Harris and defensive end Julius Peppers. And bear in mind, that was Pittsburgh's second-team offense out there blocking, too.

On that desultory note, the Panther defense was done for the night. It was 14-0, Pittsburgh, when the last Panther starter left the field. In other words, it was par for the course during this Carolina preseason.

However, John Fox was happier with the defense than most fans probably were. He said after the game: "I thought defensively we were much better."

-- Pittsburgh’s other early touchdown came courtesy of an 80-yard punt return by the Steelers’ Stefan Logan. Logan completed that run only 100 seconds into the game and was greeted by an onslaught of Terrible Towels – at least one third of the fans in attendance seemed to be for the Steelers. They all were having a good time, at least, on a gorgeous night for football.

-- Again, Panther rookie Mike Goodson (79 rushing yards, including a 22-yard run where he reversed field completely) looked very good at times but his fumbling problems continued – he lost one inside the Pittsburgh 5 in the second quarter.

-- The best individual play made by any Panther in the first half was a beautiful one-handed catch by tight end Dante Rosario that would have resulted in about a 25-yard gain. Sadly, it was nullified by an illegal motion penalty on Kenneth Moore.

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westcoastbound said...

When will the Carolina Panthers Organization ever learn!!!!! Until they stop playing it safe with the "good ole boy network", we will never be the frachise that we are destined to be...Mgmt/Coach has got to do better. I say we 'clean house'....Out with the old and in with the new.... "Change is good sometimes"

Brian said...

westcoastbound, change is good SOMETIMES not after the preseason! let's let the regular season play out. if the panthers finish lower than like 9-7 (which is reasonable considering the injuries and the installation of a new defense, among other things). i think the panthers made a mistake with peppers, though, unless he tops what he did last year. he has hamstrung this team, but they let him do it, so no fault on peppers.

Anonymous said...

Brian, Peppers didn't do a thing to this team but put it on the map. He wanted to be traded but Hurney blew it and franchised tagged him. Don't blame Peppers for Hurney's mistake. Hurney and Fox are both in the hot seat this year. There comes a time when you need to move on in a different direction. Fox and Hurney have thrown everyone but themselves under the bus. This year, it's their turn.

Anonymous said...

Here's the real question. No doubt at this point Hurney has an eye for talent. Question is... why the *&^ have we drafted an excellent running back and a full back when we are fully stocked as a running team vs. a QB, WR, good DT or good (multiple) O-linemen... we've made what ONE trade, DT for a draft pick when kemo went down... seems we just get stronger in our strong areas and let the others wither... we need and have needed sig. D line help, O line depth, shutdown corner and a NEW young stud QB PERIOD. I said this since before the draft... imagine us next year, moose gone, Smitty with less production, O line aging, Del-horrible, no PEP, and WHAT on D??? THIS IS THE YEAR for a while and it doesn't look like we got it right!

Anonymous said...

Panthers 2009 record: 0-0. Stop worrying about the end of the world when the REAL season hasn't even started yet. If you want to jump off the bandwagon, then jump. I'm staying and I could use some room on the bandwagon to set my drink down.

Anonymous said...

uhh, this is the pre-season, experiment and do all the screw-ups and testing now.

YOu're all doing the typical Southern thing and being all nice to someone's face and then backstabbing once they leave the room.

Once the regular season starts and you go 0-2, THEN open the floodgates.

Anonymous said...

here we go again...another year, and the Panthers have and will have the same results--no playoffs (or first round exit IF they get lucky), a coach who only knows about 4 plays in the playbook (run to the right, run to the left, run up the middle, throw to Steve Smith) and still thinks he can fool the defenses, an even more washed up quarterback than he was before his injury, and a team that is just getting OLD...time to mix it up...i strongly dislike the Panthers, but I think it's hilarious to hear all of the pre-season talk about how they are a Super Bowl contending team every year, yet they fail miserably (6 int's in a playoff game?)...change it up...start at the top-GM, Coach, QB...the rest will follow

Anonymous said...

VERY good point on the second team OL for Pittsburgh abusing our first-team D on that TD drive, and the scoring run was pathetic.

As for Goodson's fumble, it was McCown who screwed up the handoff. Yet again, Fox puts McCown in ahead of Moore, as if he is afraid Moore may succeed. Moore didn't play poorly, his one pick was due to the pourous OL letting him get yanked from behind while throwing.

Fox will continue his blind love of veterans by letting Jarrett be on the depth chart ahead of WR Moore. Fox can't stand to admit a mistake, I was shocked he cut Robinson, surely he wouldn't nut up and trade or cut Jarrett too?

par said...

The passing game is pathetic. All four preseason games, did not open up the offense.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who says "it's just preseason" is inferring that the players don't care about winning these games, and I just don't but that at all. No team (owner, coaches, players, fans) want to go 0-4 in the preseason. There is no Panther Bandwagon. There won't be one this year either. This team will be suspect the entire year. Last years 12-4 season came because it was one of the softest schedules in the NFL. We were the worst 12-4 team to come along in the NFL in decades. We all knew this too. This year we have the 2nd toughest schedule in the NFL. I see nothing from this team to encourage me that we're ready to challenge that tough schedule. Last years team would finish 8-8 or 9-7 at best against this years schedule, and our team this year isn't as good as last year. This year? Anything over 8-8 is overachieving.

Daniel said...

Wow, one of you anonymous guys are pretty ignorant. 1)Same results? The Panthers have _never_ in the history of their franchise had a first round exit in the playoffs. In fact, last season was the first time they had ever been defeated before the Conference Championship. 2)No Panther has ever thrown 6 interceptions in any game, let alone a playoff game. 3) The coach with 4 plays is also the coach that started the current Wildcat craze in the NFL. 4) The Panthers have not been considered a Super Bowl contender since 2004, when they were coming off a Super Bowl season.
Please learn some facts before you make yourself look ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Go Panthers! It's preseason it doesn't mean a thing!!!

Anonymous said...

Well before season started, I had the Cats at 9-7. Given the tough go of injuries at the thinnest areas, we could go 8-8 (with a tough schedule).

If we do less, that should be considered enough to change things around here (and not b/c of Fox and staff) to freshen it up. Alternatively, if Foxy and staff are able to push better than 9-7, they should be lauded and season considered successful regardless of playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Detroit went 4-0 last preseason, and we all know what happened after that. Preseason is a big tryout for all NFL teams. Give the Panthers a freaking break.

PPride said...

Can anyone say "identity crisis"? Who are these Cats? 1st let me explain: PPride stands for Purple/Panther... before the Blue & Black there was the Black & Blue. As a Vikings fan, I've learned to focus on team identity... the ownership, coaching, and player talent must establish a "style" that draws a following. Having moved to CLT before the Panthers arrived, I was ecstatic to see a Viking type team emerging - strong defense focus with a blue collar offense (not pretty but effective). I've been very disappointed in the talent scouts' inability to land a hard nose solid QB in all this time... not since Buerline have I had high hopes for the Cats. Collins, Weinke, Ol' Peete, Delhomme, Carr, Older Testeverde, & Moore... give us a break!

Daniel said...

PPride, as much as I loved Beurlein, he was more of a good player and less of a leader compared to Delhomme.
I mean, Beurlein with Moose and Smitty would be scary, but I believe a scarier thought would be Jake with Moose, Rocket, Walls and Jeffers.

sportsdon said...

The offense and defense have stuck with the same low risk strategies thru the entire Fox era. QB's are stuck in play action even when a pass play is obvious and the defense allows recievers to catch passes as long as they are not deep. The coordinators are irrelevant and have their hands tied. It's looking like a boring frustrating season is looming for us.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyway to get over all the same conversations we have every year? I mean, the Panthers have obviously gotten over it. They continue to follow the same standard path as usual. "We like Jake, sign him for 5 more years" When was the last time that you didn't hold your breathe when he took the field. I have felt this way for 4 years now. All the nay sayers can kiss my ass. Jake is not the leader of our offense and never will be. The sooner Charlotte gets over their man crush on this lame ass qb the quicker we can get to something that matters. Until then, enjoy your 3 and outs, enjoy the shaky guy we call a leader of our team, enjoy the Bojangle commercials, enjoy the acrobats of Smith going after an arrant ass throw. We are gonna hope that our rushing will get us through until Jake moves on. It's funny that we have to wait for him to call himself washed up? Little strange. I thought this was a business?

Anonymous said...

This is what makes some Panther fans the laughing stock of the NFL. It's the preseason and some of you want to fire everybody.

It is funny to watch the Panthers give big money to an average quaterback and a player who clearly wants to play somewhere else.

It's also funny to watch the Panthers constantly try to recapture 2003. It's 2009. Move on.

Vikram said...

My Predictions (revised)

Week 1: vs Philadelphia Eagles (L 14-21)
Week 2: at Atlanta Falcons (L 10-38)
Week 3: at Dallas Cowboys (L 10-20)
Week 4: Bye
Week 5: vs Washington Redskins (L 24-16)
Week 6: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (L 23-14)
Week 7: vs Buffalo Bills (W 21-10)
Week 8: at Arizona Cardinals (L 24-31)
Week 9: at New Orleans Saints (L 20-23)
Week 10: vs Atlanta Falcons (L 21-26)
Week 11: vs Miami Dolphins (L 27-20)
Week 12: at New York Jets (L 21-18)
Week 13: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (W 30-16)
Week 14: at New England Patriots (L 10-35)
Week 15: vs Minnesota Vikings (L 16-24)
week 16: at New York Giants (L 14-28)
Week 17: vs New Orleans Saints (L 20-27)

This was my prediction in Scott's blog last week. I have a feeling I was a tad generous. (2-14)

Anonymous said...

Finally, a new coach and quarterback next season.That 12-4 season had me discouraged. We all really knew that was going to happen in the playoffs. We just wanted to hope.