Monday, December 21, 2009

5 things I liked in Panthers' win over Vikings

All right, here we go -- the traditional "5 things" post about the Panthers' stunning 26-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday night in Charlotte:

1) Julius Peppers. Oh my gracious, Peppers was good. So good, in fact, the Vikings pulled offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie out of the game, he was getting beaten so badly by Peppers. Peppers only had one sack but was constantly disruptive, even getting in Brett Favre's face when the Panthers were only rushing three men. NBC's Cris Collinsworth decreed that the Panthers should pay Peppers $2 million per game (not his current $1 million per) if he plays like that.

2) Matt Moore. C'mon, this guy outplayed Brett Favre? Unbelievably, he did (and thus became the subject of my column in Monday's newspaper). I never would have forecast Moore to go for a 123.2 QB rating against the Vikings. Three TDs. 299 passing yards. Really hard to believe stuff. He had a running game to play off of -- that was big -- but still. Best game of Moore's young career, for sure, and now he's 4-2 as a starter for Carolina.

3) Jonathan Stewart. It was "Single Trouble" again, as DeAngelo Williams had to leave the game early with an ankle injury after only 13 rushing yards. But here came Stewart with 109 -- the first 100-yard game against the Vikes in the past 37. He was bruising, tough and scored twice (once on a pass).

4) John Fox and the coaching staff. Talk about trying hard to keep your jobs -- a superb game plan yielded a great result. I was all set in this space to rip Fox for not going for the 52-yard field goal at the end of the first half, but given the fact Carolina beat an 11-2 team by 19 points, I don't have the heart.

5) Steve Smith. He had a huge game at the right time -- 157 receiving yards, or more than half of Moore's total. His best catch of the day didn't even count -- a sliding grab in the end zone nullified by a holding penalty -- but he came right back with a 42-yard TD pass. Great yards after catch, too. Looked like Steve Smith, the 2008 version, once again.

47 comments:

Jennifer said...

WOOT WOOT.....

LOVIN IT.....

THANK YOU MR. SCOTT, YOU JUST MADE MY HEART SMILE....

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS!!!!

Quintin said...

I know you probably meant to include this in the "Julius Peppers" one, but I think there needs to be a hats off to the whole defense, especially the secondary. I mean really, this was an excellent defensive performance all around. This team played with heart tonight.

Mav said...

Today was my birthday, and the Panthers delivered. I was happy just to see them play, but to see such a dominating performance? Never expected it...

Moore now has 4 TDs and only 1 INT in his 3 games. Decent stats!

Anonymous said...

moore played very well, but panthers need another good QB for insurance next year

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday Mav!!!!

Sportsdon said...

What I found most interesting about Moore and Fox was when Fox was asked on Gameday what he thought of Matt Moore's performance tonight he said it was good for a QB making his 3rd or 4th start!!!

He can't remember that this is his 6th...the head coach? He didn't rewatch all his starts on film?

How is not instantly aware of that?

SCpanther said...

What's the big difference? It's not like 6 starts is a lot more experience than 3 or 4. Fox was correct in his overall sentiment, because Moore did great for being so inexperienced.

Too bad Fox still sucks. If it weren't for a broken finger, Jake would still be out there throwing picks. Jake should've been benched after the Buffalo game.

Anonymous said...

Can we now drop the "strength of schedule" hurt the Panthers in 2009? They are 2-0 against the opponents determined by their 1st place finish in 2008 (Arizona and Minnesota).

Great game Panthers!!!

Oh.. and Jake who? Go Matt!!!

Will "Dougie" Young said...

i love matt moore and his record as a starter...but jake had a good record as a starter early in his career as a panther...

Anonymous said...

Fans cling to anything even false illusions. Get real. The Panthers are the panz wuz laughing stock of the NFL with a few others.

The clear fact is the Viks came in cocky and brash and dint really care about winning and just went thru the mptions only. Nobody covered Smith and he def was never doubled because he was terrible and lowly rated. It was practice only.

Moore is still Moore. The Viks allowed him to throw a few big ones.

These were NOT the real Vikings. Dont be fooled. They didnt come to play. They gave it away resting up for the playoffs and def didnt want to get hurt on a lowly team.

Farve had a bad game and acted lke he wasnt even trying.

Fans need to thank Santa Claus Viks for giving them a freebie Xmas present being so down in the dumps with a loser team.

The NFL may have instructed the Viks to throw the game to give a lil cheer at Xmas.

It is the season of giving anyway.

Anonymous said...

Who are these guys and what happened to the Pnathers?

Anonymous said...

I am happy that the Panthers won the game. But I wonder where these guys have been all season? I realize that this was only one game, but clearly Moore is getting more comfortable with being the starter. Let Moore finish the season and see what the Panthers have, so some good decisions can be made for next season. But, like I've been for the past 4 years, I'm ready to give Fox and the GM a one way bus ticket out of town.

Curtis said...

Anon @ 7:30 am....you're a moron. And I don't just mean by your painfully hard to read grammar.

If you really think that players like Favre and Peterson came to Charlotte to "give" the Panthers the game because it is Christmas, well, perhaps you are as dumb as your post makes you look.

And by the way genius, when a team is "resting its players for the playoffs", they don't actually play them!. When you are playing, you are not resting. Get it?

If you can't just admit that, for one night, the Panthers were just the better team that whipped up on the Vikings - then save your posts for the Vikings blog. We may not have been better on a consistent basis, but we sure as heck were better than the Vikings last night.

Anyway...great game all around. Moore looked good after he settled down - especially in the second half when he started to exhibit some serious confidence. There were a few good long balls thrown...the one that impressed me the most was the one Smitty caught at around 15 yards and turned it into a 45 yard gain. Moore slung it hard (just in front of the LB) and on target (right into Smitty's hands). If he can make those throws consistently, he can be a starter. And I can only imagine how excited Smitty was to finally see the ball multiple times, short AND long. If you didn't see Smitty's post game interview on NBC, it was pretty funny when he punked #22.

Last night is the Panthers game plan, the one they haven't been able to execute much at all this year. I still lament we didn't see Moore earlier - namely, after Buffalo like SCPanther said. I still don't understand Fox's "Jake gives us the best chance to win"...after seeing the team that came out last night, I still have to disagree with Fox.

So, to all my other regular posters like Jennifer, MrBernz, Kenneth, etc. - Merry Christmas y'all!!

Curtis said...

And Merry Christmas to you Scott - thanks for keeping this forum going and for having a place where us fans can come and share our thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Dougie, you're in over your head, sweet pea. Go play on the trampoline.

Scott said...

Yes, I know it's only one meaningless game, but I swear you could see Moore's chest puff out in the second quarter and the fear subside. Moving the pocket and getting him out on the edge allowed him to get in rythm, and he really took off.

While it was against a team that really had "nothing to play for", next week in the Meadowlands will be against a team fighting for it's post season life. Win THAT one, and I'll start to believe.

Ron said...

The Vikings were and still are fighting with the Eagles for the number 2 seed in the playoffs which woud give them homefield advantage.

So to say they weren't playing for anything is crazy. The Vikings needed that game

Anonymous said...

It is amazing what they can do when they play like they have nothing to lose instead of playing not to lose

Anonymous said...

hopefully this doesn't give Fox and the rest of the staff (minus meeks) another life. I still don't want them back next year!

MrBernz said...

Thats 6 wins , & a chance for more, i wonder where all the people that said the Panthers wouldnt win 2 games this year are. Probably the ones posting anonymous to get their new bashing predictions in now. I cant wait to see them now, "i bet they wont win 7 games this year". I remember before the season, half the people were saying with this schedule we wouldnt win 2, 3, 4, games, Fox has brought them up to 6 so far, & several close tough games they lost that could have gone either way. No1 is giving Fox any credit for that, they all just want to bash him for some reason. He has built the team up into what it is, last night showed with a decent qb they can go far, & dont need any other receivers they worked well with what they had. They could use some special teams players, & we will still have to see how Moore is cause 1 game doesnt make him the franchise. Oh & Merry Christmas to all the regular posters in reg names.

Anonymous said...

Scott -
Go ahead and rip Fox anyway - they obviously could have done this earlier in the year when MOST of the stating lineup was healthy - if they did this against the Vikings with a bunch of second teamers, we could still be in the playoff hunt right now.
Fox sucks, I dont care if we won today or not, the body of his work is inconsistency and "play not to lose". That doesnt get you far in this league.

Anonymous said...

Panthers win the last two finish 8-8, Fox doesn't lose his job, then decrees Jake the starter in the spring, and the b.s. continues for another year, but against a weaker schedule next year.

If Fox had benched Jake after the bye week, we beat Buffalo, Miami, and either the Saints or Jets and are in the lead for a wild card.

FOX STILL MUST GO!!!

Anonymous said...

Coach Fox - Great to see some agressive play and a great QB leading the offense. Itgot the defense fired up and ready to play as well (Thanks Coach Meeks)
We needed to see this after the Bye week not after the playoffs were out of reach. Moore is our guy not DelHomme. With any luck you won't be our coach much longer. Poor decisions (Keeping DelHomme at QB) cost the Panthers the Playoffs. Te team that rolled over the Vikings last night could beat anybody in the league. The team you had starting most of the season was a joke.

Mike in CLT said...

How quickly people forget the good things jake did for this orginization... Jake who? The guy who took us to a super bowl and an NFC championship game. He may not be our starter any longer but he did a lot for the panthers and we as fans shouldnt have such a short term memory...

Jennifer said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS CURTIS,,,

IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE SHARING THE BLOG WITH YOU...

LOVE READING YOUR POST, BUT THE POOCH WON MY HEART WITH THE JERSEY (LOL).

MAY ALL YOUR CHRISTMAS WISHES COME TRUE....

Paul said...

Yesterday was certainly a gift from the Panthers to us for Christmas. The Panthers are not in contention but they played hard, especially the defense. The offense finally gave the defense a present and that was scoring points. The defense deserves this because they played hard every game and it's nice to see they were rewarded for their efforts. John Fox and his staff were awesome. By the way, he is our coach for next season. Deal with it.

MrBernz said...

Anonymous says this, anonymous says that, How are you going to say what the Panthers record would have been had Moore started earlier? You could just as easily say all the bad throws Moore made last night would have been picked off in earlier games. If you remember, Delhomme has had a couple of good games this season. Moore earned the right to start again in my book, but he hasnt proven himself to be the franchise player you people are trying to make him out to be. Most of you are so stuck on "Fox must go" that you are willing to spew any kind of garbage you can.

misskitty said...

For those still loyal to Jake: remember that the past can't win ball games. Matt seems to be the future of this Panthers team, at least for the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

Apparently some longggggggggggggg winded idiots know nothing about sports or how winning teams drop their guard and fail to take weak teams seriously and end up losing what is nothing more than a throw away game anyway.

Agree the Vikings gave that one away. It was a freebie. Beggars cant be chosey. Nothing has changed with the Panthers and Moore is the definition of mediocrity if that.

The Moore things change the Moore they stay the same.

Mike in CLT said...

@misskitty

Im not saying he should still be the QB but saying "Jake who" like he didnt do anything good for the franchise is crazy... it is time for a change but at least say thanks for the good years...

Curtis said...

Actually, we are only "longggggggg winded" when we need to point out the fallacy of the Anon posters who think they know so much but only post comments that make no sense.

Now, to prove my point: you called this a throw away game. Really? I didn't realize teams fighting for first or second seeds, in order to get a first round bye, had games to "throw away" this time of year. I guess us who don't know anything about sports might find that odd, but hey, who am I to second guess the brilliance of that decision? You must be right - I'm sure the coaches and players decided none of that silly seeding stuff really matters. Who wants a bye anyway?

Yup, that makes a lot of sense. I wish I knew more about sports and "winning teams" to understand that mentality. But I guess we can't be "chosey" now can we? What does "chosey" mean again?

Face it, we beat them because we played the better game last night. Period. Funny, but in Brett's inteviews after the game, where he mentioned fighting with his coach and how he kept getting pressured, I don't recall him saying "well, this was just a throw away game and we gave it to them." In fact, nobody on that team said anything to that effect. I guess they don't know anything about sports either?

Face it son, you are outmatched on this one. So tuck your tail between your legs and scoot on home, ok?

Jennifer - Smokey says hi!

Curtis said...

Hey Mike...I think, for a few of us anyway, we've all praised Jake for his past performance. You always get the Anon posters who come in here and just rant but don't put much thought into it.

I held out on Jake for a long time...I gave up after the Buffalo game, which is in my opinion when the Coaches should have given up too.

But Jake will always be better remembered here for those good years more so than what we've seen in the past 8 or 9 games.

par said...

I feel good that the team showed energy. This shows the coaches had them prepared. They did not give up. My feelings the coaching staff should stay with a few minor changes. The team needs to draft a QB in the second round.

Julie said...

I agree with those that say we should remember Jake for the good he did. He should never start for us again because his arm is shot and he's not consistent. But I'll never forget his wonderful performance in the Super Bowl, the playoffs leading up to the Super Bowl, and the season we started 1-7 and lost so many starters when really it was Jake who held the team together (even though we didn't go to the playoffs that year it was special to me the way we rallied).

But onto now...I loved what I saw from Moore!

Anonymous said...

Some idiot knows nothing about football and tries to empty his idiot thoughts from an empty head as usual.

So all of a sudden there was a miraculous divine intervention for the Panthers 5 days before the Christmas religious holyday YET some no nothing lamebrain cant see the forest ofr the trees and swears the Cats have suddenly turned over a new leaf and will be A-OK now?

Stay off the crack and booze little man and try that Monday AM QBing on others who never played or coached the game for ages. You in way over your head.

Anonymous said...

Our team played great!
It was like 2008 again
Mat moore did great
Our team just........ clicked

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain why JPeppers waits until a nationally televised game to finally show up? Can you say "auditioning for next gig". Sad!!!!

MrBernz said...

Come on now, you really think Peppers was auditioning for a new job last night? You dont think the other coaches watch every game tape of him b4 they make a decision to hire him? Ok, i am gonna refrain from name calling this 1 time.

Anonymous said...

Matt Moore did an outstanding job and should be commended for it. Steve Smith did as expected for every game and the defense was phenomenal. I just love Chris Harris aka "Hitman". That guy knows how to be in the right place like when Godfrey knocked the ball loose. Those guys played great and I do not think the Vikes wanted to be generous, they have a chance to lose the second seed now and this game could be the spoiler.

Now, on to knock the G-Men out and make the Saints 14-2. Go Panthers!!

P.S. I think Fox should have kicked the 52 yard field goal like Collinsworth stated in the box.

j michael said...

I´m an X CLT resident (21 yeaars) and dedicated Panthers fan (win or lose) but now retired and living in Nicaragua. I miss going to the games and can not even get enough selection on TV to watch them on the TV here. But I got lucky Sunday night and saw the entire game (every second of every minute)
on cable TV. As many of you fans, I also have been disappoined (and questioning ¨why are they losing¨, with the talent they have. games this season and I know the team has been too.

I want to thank the Panthers for the best Christmas present I did not expect. The performamce was excellent all the way around with no special acclodes to any one player. Though a Farve fan,I particularly liked the defensive presure applied by each of the defensive players .. and even imagined that after that sack, Julius Peppers introduced himself to Farve as he picked himself up off the ground,¨Hello, my name is Julius Peppers and you will be seeing a lot of me tonight¨......... and Steve Smith, Mr. Smith to me, has always been my favorite. Well what can you say when he said it all on the field Sunday night. And dig that Hoover catching that sweet pass like he could do anytime he chose. No other team in the NFL has running backs any more exciting to watch than the Panthers. My hat off to every member of the team, as well as Fox and crew, because it was evident that the plays were happening as result of passion & teamwork during the game and because of practice and hard work before the game.... thanks for the Christmas present from each of you Panthers ..........

mike
mikeviaemail@aol.com

Curtis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curtis said...

Mike in Nicaragua...that's awesome man. BTW, I've heard some great things about Nicaragua - great prices on the real estate, great ocean views, and you can do hire a maid for like $120 a month! Sounds like a great place, hope you are enjoying.

Also, can't you get satellite down there with Sunday ticket?

Curtis said...

Lol @ anon @ 5:31...sure, you're a coach. I can tell by your brilliant statements like calling a playoff seeding game "throw away". Because as a coach, who wants a first round bye or home field advantage? No, I can tell by your Coach Speak that those things are only important to us Monday morning QBs. My apologies for encroaching on your Coaching and former player insight. Clearly, I am in way over my head.

Are you the same Coach who said the Vikings were "resting their players for the playoffs" while they played in the game? Do you use that same strategy when you Coach? "Hey 85, I need you to rest...so get out there and play the whole game, but rest while you do it!" Again, a brilliant coaching move I had never considered before.

By the way, do you even know what the expression "forest ofr the trees" actually means? Is that another one of those things where we shouldn't be "chosey"?

Frankly, this is too easy...but sure, I'm the one who is in over his head.

Great job there, "Coach"...

Kenneth said...

To all you fools that are refusing to say that a young man making his 3rd start this season and 6th total start has comletely outplayed "Shaky Jake". And to those of you who are delusional, and want to believe that the "Ragin Cajun" was ever a good NFL quaterback, GET OVER IT!! He sucks! Some of you still want to give this guy credit he doesn't deserve. Stop hating and congratulate Matt Moore. He has gotten better every week.

Also, while you are engaged in a love fest with Jake you are on the verge of running Peppers out of town. Nothing this guy does is good enough for you. Haven't you learned from letting Kris Jenkins go. We are still trying to replace him. When you have elite, all pro caliber defensive linemen you don't let them go!! Did you see #90 last night? He may not give that effort all of the time. But you'll understand how important a player of his level is when you have Tyler Brayton and Everette Brown as your starting defensive ends.

Jennifer said...

So to all the peeps referring to the fact that Peppers, played an OUTSTANDING game last night because he was using this as an audition tape for a new gig....I have one question...or two...

Do you think McKinnie sucked a@@ last night, in front of a televised audience, embarrassed and yanked because he wanted Pep's reel to look good?

Do you think Favre had a heated argument with his coach to keep getting his a@@ clobbered by Pep, just so Pep could get his name mentioned more times than his own last night?

If he leaves so be it....Obviously by reading some of these comments he hurt more feelings than just the Vikings, after that performance...

I think I have the answer.....he finally decided his hand wasnt really broken anymore and could play something besides passing downs?

Gotta love the haters!!!

Merry Christmas...He rocked that game and deserved everytime he put Favre on his ............

Anonymous said...

Playoff seeding is irrelevant for the most part with the 12 total teams to make it or 6 from each conference unless you are top seeded and get the last place team. Everything else pretty much shakes out somewhere in the middle and a matter of semantics only.
You can be damn sure in the playoffs all 12 teams to make it or 4 division champs and 2 wild card teams from each conference out of the 32 team league 16 per conference will give their best ultimate efforts.
Its all irrelevant anyway as Manning and the Colts are 20-1 Vegas odds to win the SB undefeated for the 1st time since Shulas 72 Dolps led by Griese.

Curtis said...

Anon @ 7:59, I hear what you are saying - but do keep in mind a couple of things.

Teams like Indy don't like to go to places like New England in January to play in the playoffs. Not good for them.

Teams like the Vikings get an advantage in places like their dome where the fans are always loud, especially in the playoffs.

A first round bye for someone like Brett, who is older and banged up, might be helpful...might not. But I bet you he'd like to have it.

Calling all of it irrelevant because of Vegas odds on Indy is pretty short sighted. You said it yourself, these teams all come to play. Besides, what do you think Vegas odds were for NE to win it all after going undefeated - and they lost to the Giants.

Point is, you just never know - but ALL teams want any advantage they can get, e.g. higher seeding for home playoff games and byes, when they can get them. It can't hurt, but it sure as heck can help.