Here are the 5 things I didn't like in Carolina's 20-10 loss to New England, which put the Panthers at 5-8 for the season:
1. Awful offense. The Panthers got a first-quarter touchdown on a 41-yard heave by Matt Moore to Steve Smith, but then just 3 points the rest of the way. Despite a defense that turned New England over three times and allowed a respectable 20 points, the offense ensured this one was going in the loss column.
2. John Fox's clock management. What was that all about at the end of the first half, when Fox kept getting Moore to throw the ball but wouldn't use his two timeouts? As it was, the Panthers just let the clock run and run and ended the half at New England's 12 after a pretty hook-and-lateral play that ended up with nothing.
3. The 96-yard drive. Although I thought the Panthers' defense gave a pretty good performance, there was one grave exception. Carolina allowed a 13-play, 96-yard drive that consumed most of the third quarter and put New England up, 14-7.
4. No sacks. Carolina's defense didn't get to Tom Brady once (shades of the Super Bowl, when Brady wasn't sacked, either).
5. Flying the flags. Carolina was penalized nine times for a season-high 92 yards, including critical ones against James Anderson for interference and Everette Brown for roughing the kicker and annoying ones like several "illegal shift" penalties on the offense. For a team that's already not that good, to make that many mistakes is going to guarantee you a loss.
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