True story. I was at home for this game, watching it on TV with the DVR going. At halftime, with Carolina up 14-3, I fell asleep.
I woke up 45 minutes later, looked bleary-eyed at the TV screen, and figured I must have looked at the score wrong.
Nope. It was 24-14, Seattle, and soon it was going to get worse. So here are five things I didn’t like about Seattle’s 31-14 win over Carolina, in which the Seahawks scored 31 straight points after the Panthers leaped to a 14-0 lead:
1) Jimmy Clausen. Up 14-10, he threw a “pick-six” interception to Seattle’s Lofa Tatupu that changed the game’s tenor completely. It’s exactly the sort of error these 1-11 Panthers can never afford to make but usually do, and everything went downhill from there. Clausen was fine handing off, but when it came time for him to move the team through the air, he couldn’t do it.
2) Jeff Davidson. The Panthers’ deservedly criticized offensive coordinator will get another heaping helping after this one. And what were the Panthers doing throwing on third-and-1 with a 14-10 lead anyway? Jonathan Stewart had been the best player in the game to that point – give him the ball.
3) Seattle's 96-yard drive. Up 14-3, Carolina had pinned Seattle at the 4 after a mishandled kickoff to open the third quarter. And then there went the Seahawks – 96 yards straight down the field, giving themselves hope.
4) The 84-yard punt return. Seattle’s Leon Washington is certainly a dangerous return man, and his burst up the middle set up the Seahawks’ third straight touchdown in the third quarter. But no one on the Panther punt coverage team seemed to even get close to Washington except punter Jason Baker, whose miraculous shoestring tackle inside the 5 only delayed the inevitable.
5) The offensive line. How many times get Clausen get clocked in the second half, or else have to throw the ball away to avoid yet another sack? I lost count, but I did notice that the officials felt so sorry for Clausen they actually tried to help him up a couple of times.
Note: For those who entered my "Write a Fake Book Title for the Panthers' 2010 Season" contest over the weekend, read the comments of the blog entry below this one if you want some painful laughs (and also the names of the winners).