Sunday, November 8, 2009

5 things I didn't like in loss to New Orleans

I wasn't in New Orleans for The Observer this time. Columnist Tom Sorensen and I split coverage of the road games while our two beat writers, Charles Chandler and David Scott, attend all of them. But here's how it looked in front of the TV to me as I count up the traditional postgame "5 things I didn't like."

1. Fumblin’ and bumblin’. DeAngelo Williams’ fumble at the 2 that resulted in a Saints TD late in New Orleans’ 30-20 win over Carolina was the game’s most egregious error.

Williams has had a serious case of fumble-it is this season compared to past years: No.34 lost only one fumble in his first three seasons and now has lost three in 2009. (And Williams also had two passes in his hands right around the goal line against the Saints and dropped both of them -- ouch).

But DeAngelo – who to be fair also scored both Panther TDs, gained 149 yards rushing and has clearly surpassed Steve Smith as the Panthers' best offensive player -- wasn’t the only one having trouble with the ball. Jonathan Stewart lost a fumble, too. And Jake Delhomme, on a fourth-down play with three minutes left when you absolutely have to get rid of the ball, instead held it too long, got sacked and lost a fumble.

2. Clock management on the Panthers' final drive. After Williams’ fumble, Carolina was down 30-20. The Panthers got a gorgeous 46-yard pass from Delhomme to Smith, who had done little until then.

But then, on first-and-goal from the New Orleans 8 with less than a minute to go and no timeouts, the Panthers actually called a running play. DeAngelo didn’t score and Jake had to spike the ball on second down with only 25 seconds left. Then, he threw two incompletions and it was “Game over.”

I’m OK with the decision to try to get the TD there rather than kick the field goal and hope for both an onside kick and a Hail Mary. But a running play with no timeouts? C’mon. (And why did Delhomme run the last two drives from under center rather than in the shotgun? Just doesn't make sense to me).

3. Julius Peppers was completely nullified by the Saints after a month-long explosion. He had no sacks and really was no factor. And, as we all know, he got paid $1 million for those 60 minutes.

4. Delhomme’s short leash. OK, so John Fox is interested in resurrecting Jake, not benching him. But for three quarters Fox mostly tried to work around his QB (much as the Panthers did successfully last week against Arizona). Jake had only thrown 12 passes in the first three quarters.

I know the Panthers like to run the ball, but this isn’t college football and they aren’t Navy. You can’t hide your quarterback forever. Even though the third-and-10 draw play worked a few times, Delhomme needed to get a chance to throw the ball a little more. If he's going to play, let him play.

5. Second-half pass defense. The Panthers’ D played a wonderful first half and was the main reason whhy Carolina led 17-6 at halftime. New Orleans’ vaunted offense got to the red zone three times and only got two field goals out of it, and Carolina’s defense set up one of those TDs with a Jon Beason fumble recovery at the New Orleans 11.

But in the second half, the Saints' long pass plays started to multiply, and Drew Brees (330 passing yards) looked like the best player on the field again. Carolina got outscored 24-3 in the second half, faltering down the stretch like an average team does against a very good team and wasting a whole lot of good plays in this 10-point loss that really was a lot closer than the final score indicates.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

With you on all of these, but wasn't the most egregious play calling on the drive that should have tied it? The one before the fumble. Carolina was killing them in the running game. With 5 minutes left they went run, sideline pass, pass, and then they had to pass on 4th down. After a day of killing them on the ground, they call the longest pass plays of the day, 3 in a row?

I just don't get it

Anonymous said...

Mr Richardson, as a Panthers season ticket holder from the inaugural season until now, I depise this waste of talent on an inadequate QB situation. If this goes on pass the end of this season, then I have no choice but to assume that you are an old FOOL.

Anonymous said...

Scott I have a question was it just me or on that 3rd and play right before the cats went for it on 4th down. Was it just me or it sure look like Dwayne Jarrett was getting hold?? .taking this away.The panthers did not lose because of Jake.Panthers lost because they not able to get into drew Brees face.And also not able a score a TD on 3 try from inside the saints 5yard line

Anonymous said...

Jake doesn't like the shotgun. He likes to watch the secondary while dropping back instead of keeping his eyes on the ball trying to catch the snap.

Anonymous said...

Meeowww losers. I told you guys a loss was coming Nov 8th. Who cares if you put up a fight. A Loss is a loss. You suck Carolina kitty cats.

Randy said...

Clearly Hargrove recovered the fumble but here's my question,

Why was it a touchdown when #67 for Carolina (Ryan Kalil) clearly reached out and touched Hargrove on the shoulder while Hargrove's knees were still on the ground (Hargrove recovered the ball while he was down). If you look at the replay, it is obvious that Kalil saw that Hargrove retrieved the fumble and reacted quickly to touch him before Hargrove stood up to run into the end zone. Why didn't Kalil tell anyone so they could review the play? Granted, New Orleans would still be on Carolina's 3 yard line but that's better than a TD.

Yates said...

Randy, the Panthers were out of timeouts at that point, so they couldn't challenge anything even if they had wanted to. That's why they wouldn't have been able to challenge if the Saints player that downed the punt at the 2 was in the end zone prior to downing it or not as well.

Anonymous said...

Smith was right. He is a non-factor and needs to be running back kickoffs or punts or doing only special option plats.
The problem is not the offense or QB though as the truth unveils itself but the defense and mainly the LBs and DBs allowing TDs far too easily. We could name names but they know who they are.
The best offense is a good defense and that is not the case with this team.
Obviously 20 points is plenty to win any game in the NFL if your defense can hold.

Anonymous said...

This is a quaterback's game. 20 points are not enough anymore. Defence is just there playing to stop the pass. A tap on a quaterback results on a first down. Any team with an above average QB has a winning record, regardless of defence....check the records. Carolina needs a quaterback and a receiver to be complete.

Jennifer said...

Oh I agree 20 points is enough to win a game, which makes it that much easier for the teams we lose to...

They only have to score 7, considering 9 times out of 10, it seems WE GIVE them at least 14 points or more <:-)

Lets blame the defense, for not being in the endzone to pop a top for the Saints, when we GAVE them the ball on the 2 yard line....or better yet, why didnt we have the defense go in and recover the fumbles from Jake and Stewart?

I personally say, with my "affection" for my "classmate" Julius...that since he was defensive player last week and probably should have been for the 3 weeks prior, lets just go back to blaming him and his millions...

Enjoy your week fellas, Im going to go paint my nails <:-)

Lynne Stevenson said...

It is way past time for the management and owners to wise up and clean house! This is getting down right embarrassing and it needs to stop ASAP. Matt Moore and AJ Feeley are both going to waste while Jake continues to be in his interception/fumble induced coma. I don't know what is worse, the fact that Matt Moore and AJ Feeley are not being properly utilized or that John Fox still has a job with the Panthers...

Anonymous said...

As a Saints fan ,all i can say is that Jake got you guys to the super bowl,I dont feel he is the main issue. I think after steve smith and deangelo williams , the panthers have a huge drop off of talent at the skill positions.they should draft a playmaker. Your "D" has always been good in my opinion

Sportsdon said...

Quit throwing away early downs, short routes to our underated stable of tight ends is the smart way to maintain possesion. Dallas Clark caught 14 passes yesterday!

At this point of the season no one has confidence in Jake hitting the deep routes. So why throw it late in the game when we need first downs. It ends up wasting a down, 2nd 8 becomes 3 and 8 and converting long 3rd downs is not a strength for us. I can't blame Davidson since he is a just another assistant Yes Man to Fox. Fox just keeps smacking his head against the same wall and doesn't know why he is bleeding.

Anonymous said...

The Aints were not the best team on the field and they know they were given an early Xmas present by the slackness of the defense in the 2nd half.

You know the object of winning is to play as hard as you can for the millions they pay you for 60 minutes. Broken down even furthur that 60 minutes computes to only a little over 7 minutes of actual play time.

If you cant put out 100% for 7 minutes of actual playing time and fail to execute especially when you dominated the 1st half and most of the 3rd quarter before the stupidity set in allowing easy TDs, you dont deserve to win.

It is up to the defense to contain the opposing teams offense and they were the ones who are 99% of the blame in knocking off an undefeated team who was begging the Panthers to please snuff them and take some pressure off them since we know remaining undefeated is extremely difficult for any team in the NFL to say the least.

The Aints tried to give that one to the Panthers as best they could but the defense refused and laid down in 2nd half and espec 4th quarter at the very end.

Somebody tell the defense that the 4th quarter is the most important in a close game and they must put out 100% until the last tick ...

Anonymous said...

Steve Smith is playing his last season in Carolina. After his second unprovoked assault on a teammate Papa Jerry wanted to trade Smith. At that time little Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch fought hard to keep Steve. Well Papa has control now, Steve is the only player with much trade value, he is no lobger an asset and he could get his wish to finish his career on the West Coast.

Curtis said...

Anon @ 9:42, I have to disagree with you about the defense giving up in the fourth quarter...if you recall, after we got the ball back with 5 minutes and drove to about midfield (before going down on a sack) our defense came in and held the Saints to a 3 and out. And don't tell me the Saints didn't try to get a first down there because if they had it would have been game over at that point. So, the defense held their end of the bargain at that point and got the ball back for us...unfortunately, we just decided to give it right back to them via fumble on the first play which resulted in the game clinching TD.

It's a little much to ask our Defense to hold one of the best offenses down for the entire game...I think they actually did an extrodinary job for most of the game. The big plays are killers...but, you just have to realize that at some point you will give up a few to a potent offense like that.

I think Tom Sorensen said it best...this team just doesn't have a closer. We had the game in control - our offense needed to close it out. A good play call...a big catch...something. But, we can't and we didn't and we lost. Saying the defense is at fault is missing the overall picture.

Anonymous said...

Calling the Saints the aints will not take away the fact that we BEAT the Kittens and are now 8 and 0. EAT THAT KITTY CATS!! And saying that the Panthers was the better team on the field is laughable. You can not be better than your record. You ARE your record. Learn how to finish a game and maybe you will win one again.

Curtis said...

Anon @ 10:18...Yawwwn.

Calling the Panthers the Kitty Cats...how clever.

Random observation here...is it just me, or is just about everyone that comments on here from N'awlins illiterate? Good grief, what has Nagin done to the public education system down there? Improper use of past tense, improper use of words, improper use of caps, misogynistic insults to Panthers posters...if you are going to come to our site to post, could you at least be clever if you're going to post illiterate comments?

You guys won and you are 8 - 0, congrats. We went 12 - 4 last year and you see how well that turned out for us. The Pats went undefeated one year and we all saw how well that turned out for them. Fact is, there is really only one happy team at the end of the year. So I wouldn't be getting too giddy about it all in November if I were you.

Rob said...

Us Saints fans know the game John Fox plays. Jim Mora used the exact same formula here. Get ahead and count on your offense to shorten the game and your defense to hold on. It works but this Saints fan doesn't miss it. I'd rather they attack on offense and attack on defense. Lose trying to make a play rather than lose trying not to mess up.

Anonymous said...

Jake had the jitters in the 4th qtr. playcalling was subpar, Saints shut down the running game in the 3rd and 4th qtr, guess they wanted Jake to air it out. Unfortunately, Saint's D won the 4th Qtr easily. For sure I tip my hat to them. Heard last night they have outscored 96-18 opponets in the 4th qtr. This wins games, it's called finishing the game!! Panthers must learn this lesson and yes, Julius statistics against the Saints, ONE tackle. worth, Yes, ONE million dollars. Like to have that job, Need to clean Da house this season! New QB for sure can't win with a mediocre player, can any one tell me why is Jake still reading the plays in his wrist?? That's for High school and college players, does he have Alzheimer? At best 8-8 this season.

Randy said...

Why was it a touchdown when #67 for Carolina (Ryan Kalil) clearly reached out and touched Hargrove on the shoulder while Hargrove's knees were still on the ground (Hargrove recovered the ball while he was down). If you look at the replay, it is obvious that Kalil saw that Hargrove retrieved the fumble and reacted quickly to touch him before Hargrove stood up to run into the end zone. Why didn't Kalil tell anyone so they could review the play? Granted, New Orleans would still be on Carolina's 3 yard line but that's better than a TD.

November 9, 2009 2:05 AM

Yates said...
Randy, the Panthers were out of timeouts at that point, so they couldn't challenge anything even if they had wanted to. That's why they wouldn't have been able to challenge if the Saints player that downed the punt at the 2 was in the end zone prior to downing it or not as well.

Yates, Thanks for your comment. I just thought that the refs would have reviewed it on their own since it was a major play and so close to the end of the game. Does it have to be less than 2 minutes to play for refs to automatically review?

Anonymous said...

Ya'll are a bunch of sore losers.
No one mentioned the fact that our 2 starting defensive ends did not play....and 13 of the 20pts the kitty cats scored was due to turnovers....cmon give the #1 team in the NFL some credit. GEAUX SAINTS

James said...

Scott, do you and Sorenson flip a coin at the beginning of the season to see who gets to go to what games?

James said...

Besides the NFC championship game in Philly, there has not been a major victory in the John Fox era, where Steve Smith has not been involved. He is our best player, he is the reason we have had any sucess in the past. GET HIM THE BALL. IT MUST HAPPEN, for us to even think about winning 6 games this year. Hopefully, New Orleans is still undefeated when we play them late in the season. I would love to get revenge.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the lack of timeouts cost us twice. The first was the touchback that wasn't called that put us on the two yard line. His foot went into the end zone and then he touched the ball. We wouldn't have been on the two yard line to fumble in the first place. Refs are going to miss some calls, so save a time-out. Clock management and game management are the issues that cost us that game.

Anonymous said...

You losers need to get a life. It's just a silly ball game!

Anonymous said...

Here we go AGAIN. Same Sh$$ different Game. Every losing game you see all the football experts commenting on what should have been done to win the game, etc. To all you EXPERTS give ME A FREAKIN BREAK!!!
Please QUIT your current job and APPLY for a COACHING (or any other) position in the NFL. Let's see HOW FAR YOU WOULD GO!! UNTIL THEN - KEEP YOUR FINGERS OFF THE KEYBOARD AND CONCENTRATE ON YOUR OWN JOBS! Let's HERE IT FOR THE PANTHERS!! You guys gave it your BEST that's all we should expect from YOU. BESIDES You Are All Human beings!!!

Scott Fowler said...

Hi guys: It's Scott. Thanks, as always, for commenting on the blog. A couple of notes here: I thought Randy had a good point on whether Kalil touched Hargrove -- refs were obviously confused about the play and did not see it clearly. Would have been worth a challenge had Panthers not burned all timeouts (play was before 2-minute warning). As for James' question re: how Sorensen and I split up Panther road games, we hold a "draft" in April once the Panther schedule comes out. We each generally cover 4 road games apiece and all 8 home games.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:43 11/9/09

if you watch the replay the saints player clearly got back into the field of play before he touched the ball -so NO TOUCHBACK. The announcers went over that several times.

i know there is a rule about going out of bounds and being the first to touch a ball but not sure about going into the end zone and coming back into the field of play to touch a ball.

dgoldst said...

The Saints played their "C" game and still kicked butt. Imagine if Colston had not dropped some crucial passes or if the first 2 minutes of the game had not been a sham? The Panthers gave us the game, but then again most winners have games given to them by teams willing to give them away. The Saints did it for years; now the Panthers have their turn.

Anonymous said...

The Aints look like a pile of s*** the 1st 3 quarters. What was the score at the half? When you have a pathetic defensive secondary as Carolina does this is what happens letting the Aints playing the best they could and luckily steal the game from you.

Reggie Bush? What a joke ...

John Donaldson said...

How come nobody talks about Gamble's defense on that last touchdown. He literally jumps in the air like he's going to chest bump the receiver, turns his back to the receiver in the air, makes very little contact, and the reciver goes in for a touchdown. Most even average corners would have used the opportunity to make a great hit and attempt to jar the ball loose. This "hit" made Deion Sanders look like Jack Tatum. It was HORRIBLE.

Anonymous said...

Smitty needs to get the ball the same way they get it to Bush. Not too hard Jags - put it in his hands in space on screens and underneath routes. Watch the film, you dolt!

Anonymous said...

Darshiva420

Wht can't you guys see it.We did to Del what we do to every QB in the legue if he would have thrown more he would have been picked off we're that good.You played us we'll and you'll probly be in it for the fight against Falcons,but you must face a reality we're the new NFC south dynasty.This dissapointment will come easier with time over the years.Good luck and pray that if you do make the palyoffs you don't face us your first game then youd atleast had kinda of a good year who dat baby

Anonymous said...

Coaching is what killed the Panthers yesterday. It seems to be a pattern with this years edition. Play quality football in the first half and then play scared and stupid in the second half. Its the sign of a poorly coached team. Jake is not the blame for this one, he played up to his career averages. Hopefully Mr. Richardson has his head out of his butt and sees what a bunch of losers he's paying for.

Curtis said...

Thank you anon @4:05 for proving my point.

"Who dat" you ask? I believe "dat" be the product of a bad edu-ma-cation.

By the way genius, to qualify for a dynasty you actually have to a) win something and b) do it consistently over a lengthy period of time.

"Who dat" you ask? I believe "dat" be delusional.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I think poor Curtis is upset. And, by the way, I'm from New Orleans. (How do you like my spelling, Curt?) We'll see you guys in the rematch, and no, I still don't see that game as a 'gimme'.

Anonymous said...

To the "Saints fan", that said that Jake got us to the Superbowl. First, that was like 50 years ago. Second, if you actually go back and look at that year it was one of those years like last year when we had a schedule as soft as tissue paper. Third, you are wrong about Jake getting us there all together. Stephen Davis, the defense that year, and younger versions of Smitty and Moose leaping out of their cleats for high balls as well as routinely coming back for underthrown balls got us there. Jake has never been the kind of quaterback to take a team anywhere except to mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think Curtis is funny with his grammar corrections. :)

Why did we lose the game? Turnovers and poor tackling, period. Two fumbles at the most crucial times. If Williams doesn't turn the ball over, the score is 23-20 and we have time left on the clock to get it down field. If we tackled properly and not missed some of them, the game drags on and time is on Carolina's side. Keep Brees off the field and we win, let him get on the field and we pay for it.

I don't understand why Carolina doesn't use more screens? Why don't we do a reverse with Steve Smith to get the ball in his hands? What about that fake pump to the sideline like last week? You have to go with what works for you and I think it is about time to get Jake to air it out some more.

I don't think the Saints played well or that they are all they are hyped up to be. I don't think they will go undefeated this year. I say we will beat them in the last game of the season. We had this game, we should have won it. That Buffalo game will come back to bite us in the butt.

For the record, my favorite players are Steve Smith and Julius Peppers but Chris Gamble did an admirable job playing hurt. I believe his hand/arm was hurt and that's why he did the chest bump thing.

Curtis said...

No, anon @ 5:59...I'm not upset. And your spelling is pretty good, but I don't think you can argue with my previous complaints!

Look, I'm a big fan of New Orleans in general...I've spent a lot of time in the city. I have my favorite places to go for food in the quarter (Gumbo Shop). I know the difference between cajun and creole. And I know a lot of good people down there (I was speaking with them after the game while they were hanging at Acme Oyster). I say all of that to reiterate my point that, the TRUE fans down there and the ones that really understand football, aren't so foolish as some of the flakes that have come on here recently to claim that the Saints are now a "dynasty" after winning 8 games or that they "dominated the pussycats". These are the same fools who called a 40 point victory. So when they do say such utterly foolish things, I take the opportunity to pick them apart as a) stupid and b) boring.

Can't help it...I just prefer a little more brain power behind my banter.

Upset? Nah. Right? You bet.

Curtis said...

Oh, and I also wanted to work in a Nagin jab somewhere - so all the illiterate NO posters made it easy.

They lob 'em up, I hit 'em out.

Anonymous said...

Would it be to much to ask the overpaid Panther D to allow opponents less than 20 pts per game? Forget allowing 30 or more.

The D needs to set a goal to shut out opponents every single one of the remining games.

The logic is simple. If the D does its job they are paid from the gitgo then the team could go 16-0 in the reg season and fans woulf be estatic. No rocket scientist needed.

Is this too much too ask filthy rich multi-millionaires who only play 50% of the 7 minutes of active play each game or 3.5 minutes? If you make a million per game thats $385,714. and change per minute.

Even if you only make a pathtic chump 1/2 million per game thats still $142,857. and change per minute. Not too shabby.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh. Your calculator must be off. Yes there are only 7 minutes of actual playtime in each 60 minute game.

If you make a million per game and play 3.5 minutes of actual play time per game that only
$285,714.29 per minute.
If you make 1/2 million per game you make a measley 142,857.14 per every minutes of playtime.
If you only make 1/4 million then you make 71,428.57 per minute of playtime. etc etc

This only takes into consideration fulltime starters on offense or defense and not RBs or WBs skilled positions or special teams who may only get in a few plays per game. The everage play last about 7 seconds between whistles.

Its not fair to players to incorrectly calculate and inflate their salary. They are only human beings you know.