Carolina started briskly on this rare Thursday night with a 12-play, 51-yard drive that eventually stalled inside the Miami 10. A John Kasay FG from 30 yards out has made it 3-0, Carolina, with 9:31 left in the first quarter.
(9 p.m. UPDATE: The game's next 4 drives ended in punts, so early in the second quarter Kasay's field goal still stands as the only scoring).
The big play on the Panthers' first drive was a 21-yard pass from Jake Delhomme to TE Dante Rosario, and some good running was mixed in as well by both backs. It looked like Delhomme called some of the plays from the no-huddle, but the Panthers also huddled some in a modified hurry-up sort of offense.
Carolina's best chance at the TD was when Delhomme had one-on-one coverage on Steve Smith on second-and-goal from the 7. The Panthers tried to run a flanker screen, and if No.89 had caught it he would have had only Miami CB Vontae Davis to beat. However, Delhomme threw it too low and it skipped to Smith, who then had to content himself with jawing with Davis post-play.
Although Smith had a fender-bender on the way to the game, he looks very fired up. He not only got face-to-face with Davis on this drive, he also got in the face of Miami CB Sean Smith on the other side during the drive. No flags, just some obvious trash-talking both ways going on.