Time for the traditional "5 things I didn't like" blog. Don't know if yall even remember, but I do actually write a "5 things I did like" blog whenever the Panthers win -- that just hasn't come up for awhile.
So on with the negativity for these 1-12 Panthers, who thankfully have only three more games to go:
1. Jimmy Clausen. The Panthers' overmatched rookie quarterback has now thrown 193 passes in a row without throwing a TD pass. He threw 24 passes Sunday and only got 107 yards out of them. He is 0-7 as a starter and still hasn't had a 200-yard passing game. Clausen will be the subject of my column for Monday's newspaper, and let's just say it's not going to be pretty. (UPDATE: here's the column).
2. The weather in Charlotte. In a word, nasty. Panther coach John Fox said that -- given the cold drizzle and the fact his team was 1-11 entering Sunday -- he couldn't blame the fans for not showing up. And they didn't. (The sun did come out for awhile in the second half, though).
The percentage of empty seats -- easily more than half were empty -- reminded me of a Monday night Bobcats-Timberwolves game at Time Warner Cable Arena.
3. The first quarter. Carolina was outgained 133-6, outscored 14-0 and out-first downed (I know, it's not a word) 7-0 in the first 15 minutes. Not much of a way to reward those loyal fans who did show up.
4. The pass blocking. Clausen was sacked five times as Atlanta blitzed often to take advantage of the rookie's inability to make good decisions consistently.
5. The "no lateral." OK, it's a little thing. Richard Marshall made a nice play on the last play of the first half, intercepting Atlanta QB Matt Ryan with a lot of room in front of him (but also 5-6 potential tacklers).
Marshall had to score to make the play really count, though. He was hemmed in at the 40, which would have been just the right time to try one of those risky laterals so many defensive players love to try in practice. Instead, Marshall just went down, taking one of Carolina's few scoring chances with him.