The 5 things I liked the most in Carolina's 23-20 win over San Francisco Sunday:
1. Matt Moore. He came back with a flourish, reminding people of the Matt Moore from 2009 once again and burying rookie Jimmy Clausen back on the bench for awhile. Moore threw for 308 yards, overcame one horrid interception and got Carolina to its first fourth-quarter touchdown of the season.
2. The rookie receivers. David Gettis was undeniably the star, with 125 reception yards and two touchdowns – the first TDs of his career. But don’t forget Brandon LaFell, who easily had his best game (six catches, 91 yards) and caught the 35-yarder that set up John Kasay’s winning field goal.
3. John Kasay. Easy to forget now after that wild fourth quarter, but Carolina wouldn’t have been in position to win unless Kasay had already made field goals from 55 and 47 yards. As steady as ever, Kasay, 40, is 8-of-9 this season. He also hit the game-winner, from 37 yards.
4. Richard Marshall’s interception. David Carr isn’t much of a quarterback – we all know that from 2007 – but it took Marshall to really make him pay. Marshall’s interception of Carr’s underthrown pass when the game was tied at 20 set up Carolina’s final drive.
5. Steve Smith. He volunteered to return punts – and return to his roots – and that helped inspire the Panthers. Smith had one return for 32 yards, caught four balls for 50 and most importantly allowed Gettis and LaFell to routinely work against single coverage.
One last note: This will be my last blog post for a week -- I'm about to be off until Monday, Nov.1st, so Happy Halloween to all of you and thanks for reading "Scott Says" and The Observer. But I wouldn't want to miss making my weekly Panthers prediction.
So.... I'm now 4-2 picking Panthers' games after correctly choosing Carolina to upset San Francisco Sunday.
The Panthers go on the road to face St. Louis (3-4 after a last-second loss to Tampa Bay today) on Oct.31st. I'm picking Carolina to win its second straight game, 20-17, over the Rams.