Here are the five things I didn’t like about the Panthers’ 17-6 loss to the New York Jets Sunday(and the two that I did):
1. Jake Delhomme. Four interceptions?! A 12.7 quarterback rating?! Is Matt Moore really so bad that John Fox is willing to sink or swim with Jake when you could tell by the second quarter that Bad Jake has crashed this party and he ain’t going away?
2. The wide receivers. Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad were targeted 13 times Sunday in Carolina’s 17-6 loss to the New York Jets. You know how many passes they caught? Three.
Now a lot of that is on Delhomme, for sure. But there were many times when he was having to try to throw the ball into a window the size of a shoebox, because those wideouts simply weren’t getting any separation. And I don’t mean just Moose (this is a common problem for him). I mean Smith, too.
3. The bad break. Nine times out of 10 the first-quarter pass Delhomme threw at Smith – who never turned around for the ball – would have fallen harmlessly incomplete. That the ball hit Smith’s foot, kicked up and was returned for a Jets touchdown speaks to the fact that all the good breaks Carolina got in 2008 have returned to haunt them in 2009.
4. The Panther coaching staff. Look, if Delhomme is going to play, you can’t hide him. You can’t run on third-and-long every time when the game is still tight and just hope for the best. Either let him play or sit him down and get someone in there who’s going to throw it around. The Jets defense was able to play run-first all day, single-cover the wideouts and limit DeAngelo Williams to 40 yards rushing. Rex Ryan and his Jets staff thoroughly outcoached John Fox and his guys.
5. The offensive line. Yes, the Jets blitz. That’s no secret. You should occasionally be able to capitalize on that for something big. Instead, the line looked to be overwhelmed for most of the day.
AND THE TWO THINGS I DID LIKE...
1. Carolina’s defense. The D played a decent game overall, I thought. It gave up only 10 points, caused three fumbles and gave the offense a number of chances (all of which were basically botched).
2. Touch football. I didn’t travel to this game and skipped large portions of the live TV broadcast in favor of playing a marathon touch football game outside with five of my relatives. I later watched a sped-up version of the Panthers-Jets game on DVR. That was the best decision I made all weekend.