Sunday, October 18, 2009

5 things I liked in Panthers' win (and 3 I didn't)

It's time for the traditional postgame countdown on "Scott Says." I am writing this from the Tampa Bay pressbox after visiting the Panthers' locker room. So without further ado....

THE THINGS I LIKED MOST:

1) Double Trouble. Finally looked worthy of the nickname. 100-yard games for both RBs -- DeAngelo Williams (152 and two TDs) and Jonathan Stewart (110 and 1 TD).

2) The offensive line. Simply outwilled Tampa Bay on the final TD drive (8 minutes, 15 runs, 1 pass, 80 yards). "That's what we were supposed to be all along," tackle Jordan Gross said.

3) Overall defense. The Panthers' D only allowed 1 TD, sacked the Bucs 4 times (2 by Julius Peppers, 2 by Charles Johnson) and caused 5 fumbles (all by Bucs QB Josh Johnson, who looked very good in the first quarter and average at best after that). Thomas Davis continued his spectacular season by making an acrobatic interception to set up a Panther TD.

4) The weather. The Panthers picked a nice day to visit Florida. It was a sunny 64 degrees at kickoff and, while a bit breezy, a far sight warmer than it was in Charlotte.

5) John Fox's calls. The Panthers coach went for a key 4th-and-1 and made it, won a big coach's challenge to keep Tampa Bay short of a first down and kept the ball almost entirely out of his quarterback's hands on that decisive last drive, just like he should have.

THE THINGS I LIKED LEAST:

1) Jake Delhomme. Carolina won this game in spite of their QB, not because of him. Delhomme threw 2 interceptions and only managed 65 yards through the air. On the positive side, he did perform 15 handoffs without an error on that final drive.

2) Dante Wesley. His terrible personal foul against a defenseless Bucs punt returner got him thrown out of the game and earned a 15-yard penalty and at least a fine from the NFL (if not a suspension). The Bucs returner, Clifton Smith, got a concussion and missed the rest of the game. Wesley said after the game he didn't mean to hurt Smith but he mis-timed his hit.

3) That 97-yard Tampa kickoff return. The Panthers allowed a big TD return late in the third quarter just after taking a 21-7 lead, in part due to shoddy tackling (yes, Richard Marshall, I'm talking about you). That made Carolina (2-3) work a lot harder to win this one. But give them credit, the Panthers did ultimately win it, and have a chance to even their record at 3-3 next Sunday, Oct.25th, at home against Buffalo.

45 comments:

Christian said...

How about not getting Steve Smith the ball. They need to be creative in ways to do it...

Anonymous said...

Scott maybe you can explain why was Dante Wesley was thrown out of the game.I though that on a punt if a player does not wave for a fair catch that you can hit the player.And that what Dante Wesley .Also looking at the replay it did not look like it was a helmets to helmets hit.What that in minde why did the refs throwen Dante Wesley out of the game.Why was there no flag for Fighting after the play??

Anonymous said...

To me there appeared to be an illegal 3 person wedge on that kickoff return for a touchdown. Am I mistaken?

Yamo said...

Good point: keep the ball OUT of Jake's hands for all but 10 or so plays a game. How about short slants, screens, and shake and streak plays for Smith? Kudos to Wesley!

Brian said...

Somebody needs to explain the Dante Wesley penalty. The guy for the Bucs never waived for a fair catch. I watched the replay several times and never saw him call for a fair catch. Why was that a penalty?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Panthers need a lttle nastiness. I didnt see anything wrong on the Wesley play Scott. Maybe if the rest of the team played like they had a little fight in them we wouldnt be 2-3.

Anonymous said...

Jake Delhomme is done. Period. He hasn't been the same gun-slinger that he was before he got hurt and he shows no signs of ever becoming him again. The reality is, we ran all over a defense that resembles NOTHING of its former self under Monty Kiffin, and we squeaked by Washington. The defense and a strong running game are a lot to build around, but without a franchise QB, we simply can't compete with NO or ATL this year. To beat NO, you have to be able to put up at least 30 pts and that's no easy task with their revamped defense. Once again, the saying will be correct....from first to worst in the NFC South.

Anonymous said...

Once again Jake Delhomme single handedly decided to loose this game but panthers lucked out once again.

Scott Fowler said...

OK, There are a couple of questions here about the Wesley penalty. It's true that Tampa's Clifton Smith did not signal for a fair catch.
However, the punt returner has to be allowed a chance to catch the ball. Wesley absolutely leveled Smith about a second before the ball got there, laying him out cold with a concussion. (Wesley said he meant no harm but mis-timed his hit). Nevertheless, you can't do that. Punt returners, looking up and not moving, are among the most vulnerable players in the game. To allow players to do what Wesley did would be to get someone permanently disabled or worse. I thought the call -- and Wesley getting thrown out of the game -- was justified.... Scott

Anonymous said...

Here's what EVERYONE was thinking during that last drive:

"Please, please, please don't let Jake throw the ball."

And they didn't except for that insta-throw for 4 yards to Smith.

Nobody has any confidence in his ability to throw or make a good decision when given a chance to throw.

And by nobody that includes the fans, the players and the coaches. Bench this bum. When he tries to throw for more than 5 yards we have a 50/50 shot at an INT. And his arm is so weak now that it takes the ball forever to get downfield, meaning even an open WR is not once the ball gets to him. We will be a non-factor as a team if we stick with Jake. We BARELY beat a winless Bucs team, and only did so because we refused to let the QB lose it for us at the end! QBs are supposed to be counted on to win it for you at the end and we can't even let ours attempt a pass for fear of him giving the game away!

Jennifer said...

The Dante hit even after watching the replay over and over still looks brutal...ugh

Glad DT got the run game going with over a 100 a piece today, but as a true Panthers fan....I am sincerely missing the chemistry between Jake and Smitty this year...

I know Steve has got to be frustrated....Hope he can have a break out game , or one of his infamous catches next weekend, or at some point SOON!!...

Anonymous said...

Why isnt Matt Moore or Feeley getting any looks? Something needs to be done on the Delhomme situation. All day his paases were nowhere near the recievers, and nobody seemed to have any confidence in him. I understand he's our best chance to win, but whats to say Matt Moore couldnt be? Steve Smith 4 yards? COME ON.

Anonymous said...

Scott, how about the no-show again for Steve Smith. It seems like Delhomme looks for Rosario more so than Smith. Smith needs to show some of that emotion/frustration more to Jake. Jake is pathetic. Also, I only see Fox clap his hands when things go wrong. Fox needs to go.

Anonymous said...

Does Jake practice throwing to his receivers? Maybe Carolina should trade for Washington's QB Campbell. After all he was the better of the QB's last week.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the run game clicked today, but to win going into Nov, they will have to find ways to get Steve Smith the ball also... shorter routes if Jake has lost his longer range. This will work well with the Panther's ball control philosophy... three pronged offensive threat marching down the field with Dengelo, Stewart and Smitty.

Anonymous said...

This isn't the XFL, guys, you gotta let the returner get his hands on the ball b/f you hit him.

Anonymous said...

if you search http://google.com you will find more lol

Anonymous said...

I agree with Scott, the Dante Wesley hit was given the appropriate penalty. You just cannot allow a punt returner to get hit before he has a chance to catch the ball. I hate to say it, but I watched college QB's who look much more accurate than Jake. As a pro QB he should be able to get the ball close on some of those long passes so that it drops over the receiver's shoulder and gives him a chance to make the catch - and I'm not really just talking about this game as we all know.

Anonymous said...

It's getting to the point where it seems like the Panther's offense is playing against 12 defenders, the opposing team's defense and Jake Delhomme.

Anonymous said...

I understand what happened with Wesley. He tried to time the hit as the ball arrived and didn't see a fair catch (neither did I). He can't look back at the ball which makes it very difficult to do. But, if he had timed it right and hit the guy a millisecond after the ball hit him in the hands, it would have resulted in the same hit/injury with no penalty and a spot on ESPN's top 10. Let's not make more out of Wesley's intentions than we should. Besides, guys get the penalty for hitting a defenseless wide receiver all the time and they don't get thrown out.

Anonymous said...

Steve Smith was rarely double teamed today. They had a safety playing over the top but never a true double team. All year he has looked slower and has NO RAC yardage that I can remember.

Jake sucks...plain and simple, we won in spite of Jake. We have played the two worst teams in the league over the last two weeks.

Anonymous said...

The 'mistimed hit' excuse from Wesley is pure, unadulterated BS. He didn't hit the return man just before the ball arrived, he hit him nearly a full second before the ball even made it into the frame. The returner called for the fair catch and then ran up to get out of the way of the ball, at which point Wesley not only blasted a defenseless player, he deliberately and with malice aforethought drove his forearm and shoulder directly into the guy's head. That was a dirty play, pure and simple, on par with Romonowski's cheap shot on Kerry Collins back in the day. After they review the tape, Wesley should be suspended and fined by the League, and the Panthers should at least consider cutting Dante Wesley from the team. I would hope that a nice Southern gentleman like Jerry Richardson would not tolerate that kind of jigaboo crap from his employees.

Anonymous said...

jigaboo??... what a redneck statement!!

Anonymous said...

He didn't call a fair catch and he did not try to get out of the way of the ball. What a stupid suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Jake is finished what is wrong with Fox and Hurney and Richardson?

Anonymous said...

It looks like Smith is not even trying over half the time. Jake has not played well but several of his interceptions have been the fault of the receiver. They run wrong routes, make half hearted attempts at catches. How many of the interceptions have come off of tips by the receiver. And the play calling has been horrible. 2nd and 20 they run up the middle, then expect Jake to complete a pass to get 17 yards. Fox Hurney need to go.

Anonymous said...

he said jigaboo..hah

Anonymous said...

A.) NFL rule states "A defender must give the return man room to catch the ball before making contact." It doesn't matter if it is a Fair Catch or not

B.) Wesley "mistimed" his hit by 2 full seconds...check the replay

He will be suspended/fined and should be released...remember, the Panthers have return men also and they can't be thrilled with bush league plays like that

Anonymous said...

It's simple formula to stop the Panthers passing game. Put 2 corners on Steve, and wait for the lame duck pass from Jake. That's why JAke doesn't throw to Steve, He is scared to death to throw it. The most inaccurate QB ever!!

panfan1 said...

The Wesley play was more for him leaving his feet in order to make the play.You can't leave your feet & lead with the helmet.You don't release a guy for that play you idiots! It warrants a fine & possible a suspension. Bring in Moore please! Hate to say this but the only way we are going to get another QB behind center is injury or maybe a 6 INT game?

Anonymous said...

Scott, I think another reason that Wesley was thrown out was if you look at the hit, he hit the return man in the throat...so he went high, and all of us that follow the NFL closely know that the neck/head area are out of bounds when it comes to tackling. The punishment fit the crime.

Sean said...

As for Wesley, I think its fair call from referee. But in my honest opinion, Wesley is our most valuable special team players who play the hardest and give this full strength in every games. I have seen him get to players before ball reach to the returner. I won't call him the dirtiest players in team. We need nastiness in our special team and defense. Football is not about being soft game. It is hard and physical games. After Wesley has left our special team become weak and see 95 yard touchdown. He is one who made hard hit and try show himself benefit to team in every games, but that day, it is not his good day. but I agree with the call was hit before ball touch him. He could get fines and suspension. But Not kick out of team, because I know Panthers need him in special team. He is one who is underdog and try play hardest. Many players who came out of college who play real position such as WR, safety, cornerback, linebacker but not many of them has experience as special team. I think our special team is 2nd weakest link in team. But HELL Jake Delhomme is the worst! He is done for good. He is the Weakest link in the games. I can't stand see him have the ball in his hand worry me too much. I prefer we have some competition to see who work the hardest to earn the starter qb and mental prepare for the game, most important able deliver the ball and hold on the ball.

jamie said...

wesley says he "mis-timed his hit"? huh? since when does someone signaling a fair catch get hit? and why is he hitting BEFORE the ball even gets there? this guy needs to be thrown out of the game permanently. before the panther fans get upset over that, i know, and you know it is never going to happen. we allow convicted felons to play here. and people wonder why kids do the things they do, just look at their "heros".

Pattie said...

How bad is it when you see your starting QB go to throw the ball, and your butt clenches (!), and you think to yourself "OH GOD, NO!! HE'S TRYING TO THROW THE BALL AGAIN!!! SOMEBODY PLEASE STOP HIM!!!"
I've always loved Jake, but CLEARLY his best days are behind him in Carolina. It's time to move forward....with someone else!
(Ya gotta give him credit though...
he sure can hand it off!!!)

MrBernz said...

Wesley mistimed his hit thats all he did wrong. Players hit the qb late all the time, mistimed plays and dont get thrown out of the games. He didnt lead with his helmet he hit with his shoulder, jumping doesnt matter at all youre allowed to jump to tackle. Like someone else said, had the ball just got to the returner, there would have been no penalty at all so why should he be kicked off the team? I can see a fine from the nfl for the early hit but thats all. I also think any player that ran onto the field after the hit, that wasnt there to play the next down, should be fined.

AirForceDude said...

Jamie, he wasn't signaling a fair catch. Not that it makes the hit ok, just get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Wesley tackeled a defenseless Smith with a leaping forearm to the throat. I wouldn't be suprised if a 4 game suspension is handed down. I read a Tampa newspaper and the Smith kid couldn't even talk after the game because of the hit to his throat.

Moose said...

I wish the idiots commenting here would watch the replay.

Wesley did not:
a) Lead with his helmet
b) Aim for the throat
c) Lead his forearm into the throat
d) See anything but the shadow of the ball above the return man (who fake him out last time) right before laying a great hit.

Smith did not:
a) Signal for a fair catch
b) Play smart

It was a crap move to kick him out of the game. It WAS an accident - guys do worse every Sunday.

Dr. Horrible said...

Scott, you wrote:

"However, the punt returner has to be allowed a chance to catch the ball."

Can you point out where the rulebook says this? Because my copy doesn't.

He has to be allowed a 2 yard halo if he calls fair catch. Otherwise, he's no more entitled to not be hit than any other player on the field.

Nor is the revised "defenseless receiver" rule applicable here, since it only applies to hits to the head or neck.

There is protection for a returner under this situation. It's called the fair catch. Smith chose not to avail himself of it and thus has no one but himself to blame for his injury.

It's no different than a QB who chooses not to slide and gets injured because of it.

Anonymous said...

I'd get rid of Jake before Wesley. Wesley's hit was bad but what Jake is doing could be considered treason.

Anonymous said...

This is the letter Wesley received today from the NFL.

In a letter to Wesley, NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson wrote: “The playing rules (Rule 10, Section 1, Article 1) specifically provide that a member of the kicking team is prohibited from interfering with a receiver attempting to catch an airborne kick. The prohibited contact in this case went well beyond simply interfering with the receiver. Instead, by striking your defenseless opponent in the head and neck area, you committed an unnecessary and unnecessarily dangerous act that is specifically prohibited by the rules.”

Anderson added: “Your actions are of particular concern in light of the emphasis that our office has placed on developing and enforcing rules designed to protect players from injury, including head and neck injuries. The safety of our players is paramount to all of us in the NFL.”

Anonymous said...

Geez, this is some rear-covering by the NFL.

Rule 10 only applies in the case of a fair catch.

And Wesley hit him in the check, not the head, not the neck.

Pretty sad when fans know the rules better than the NFL brass...

Anonymous said...

Instead of getting angry, Smith should be courting his OLine. He should start treating them to dinners and gifts. Making the OLine the focal point of the PANTHERS offense might get them to block better for Delhomme, who will have enought ime to throw more accurate balls to Smith. ITS THE OFFENSIVE LINE STUPID!!!

Anonymous said...

To clarify for those who are confused about the rule regarding a receiver's right to catch the ball, see Rule 10, Section 1, Article 4

"During any kick (except one which fails to cross the scrimmage line), if any receiver can reach the kick in flight, no player of the kickers shall interfere with either: (a) the receiver; (b) the ball; or (c) the receiver's path to the ball."

Supplemental notes go on to state..

"A receiver running toward a kick in flight has the right of way and opponents must get out of his path to the ball. Otherwise it is interference irrespective of any contact or catch or whether any signal (valid or invalid) is given or not."

Seems pretty clear that Dante interfered with Smith's right to catch the in-flight ball, regardless of a fair catch signal or not. The additional penalties of ejection and suspension are warranted based upon the punishing nature of the hit, with forearm contact to the throat. I think he should be glad he's missing only one week and a paycheck. Could be a lot worse for Dante and Smith.

Go Panthers!

xl pharmacy said...

This is perfect because the offensive line was one of the high points in it, I'm really agree with that they got a good performance.