Thursday, August 25, 2011

5 things I didn't like in Carolina Panthers' loss to Bengals

I'm in Cincinnati, finishing up in the press box after watching the Panthers make the Bengals look like the New England Patriots in a 24-13 Cincinnati win. Lots to choose from, but here are the 5 things I liked the least:

1) The defensive interior. The Panthers started rookies Sione Fua and Terrell McClain at DT, and as coach Ron Rivera acknowledged, they looked like rookies too often. The Bengals had two running backs with more than 60 yards and a touchdown apiece in the first half, and most of that was right up the gut. Can't stop the run, can't win.

2) Cam Newton in the pocket. He was good running the ball (a 16-yard TD, a 26-yard scamper). He was decent on the run. But when Cam was in the pocket, he was really bad. He kept bumping into his own blockers and overthrowing the ball, or else locking into one receiver and throwing it to him even if he was well-covered.

"He has some moxie, but he has a long way to go," Rivera said of Newton. I still think Rivera will and should start Newton in the regular-season opener against Arizona because of the lack of alternatives, but Newton went 6-for-19 for 75 yards in this one, and that has to be giving the coach pause.

3) Offensive line. Very unimpressive the past two games, I have thought. Rivera made mention of this in the postgame when he noted the Panthers really need to work on their QB protection. Center Ryan Kalil told me postgame that since he calls out the pass protections that he will take the blame for that, but certainly it's a combined effort.

4) Armanti Edwards' fumble. Rivera said he thought Armanti took a peek to find a running lane. The fumble certainly wasn't forced, as Edwards had at least 5-10 yards of open space on a line-drive punt. The lost fumble led to a Bengals TD one play later.

5) Panthers' pass rush. Where has bbeen? Where has anybody been? Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton looked like a veteran, completing 11 of 17 passes for 130 yards and a TD. He was never sacked and rarely pressured (Newton was sacked twice).

45 comments:

bmac9 said...

...add Chris-py "Toast" Gamble to that list!

Sportsdon said...

Gamble was a two way player in college and all about speed. I'm starting to think his technique is lacking and being exposed by not being the quickest guy anymore.

If you just watch the game and ignore the stats, Cam looks good and somehow his mistakes don't result in turnovers. But when he misses on a pass he really throws it off target. If he keeps studying film and seeing the open guys he is missing he will be alright, and not need to make perfect throws to get more completions.

Clausen is still Clausen and shows no signs of being anyone else but himself.

Nanne is not helping this team, with his poor blocking and inability to get seperation.

I thought the Bengals o-line got away with a lot of holding.

Anonymous said...

We need to start Anderson next week and for the first month, maybe by then the OL will work itself into shape. Clearly, to throw any inexperienced QB out there now while it is this screwed up is inviting a loss and does little for there learning curve and could produce bad habits or destroy confidence.

Anonymous said...

Also didn't like Gamble's little dance after the fumble recovery. Uncalled for when the opposing offense has been dragging you all over the field, and then they happen to give the ball away to you. It wasn't because the defense made a play.

Chief said...

So right after you tell us our rookie QB should start in the regular season, you tell us that we don't have a good enough line to protect him. This was THE GAME for Cam Newton to make a statement and to me he didn't really do that. Why does no one on the staff want to see whether Derek Anderson can lead this team or not?

Anonymous said...

At the salary Gamble is making, he is "gourmet" toast.

Anonymous said...

Very lame game for the panthers all around. Wherer is th team that beat the Giants, or was is just a bad day for G-men?

Anonymous said...

Obviously Cam Newton is NOT the savior of this franchise . . . Jimmy didn't look good either but to his defense he was in there with the 2nd & 3rd string, and often started in his end zone with no protection.

Cam on the other hand had the "luxury" of first team weapons and looked horrible. . .

The bright side is - the way we are playing now, Andrew Luck might be in the mix for next year.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rivera....We the fans of the Carolina Panthers do not care who plays quarterback as long as we win. Cam is not ready for prime time. Don't ruin his confidence by forcing him into a starting role when he is not ready. Anderson is the answer for now because he will adjust to the weaknesses of our o-line and recognize where the ball should go quickly. Where was Steve Smith on that little flair pass right on the line of scrimmage ?

Anonymous said...

funny how once a player gets the label it sticks despite evidence of the opposite. example: Gamble being a shut-down corner. He sucks. always has, always will. Maybe in past years he benefited from the adage "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". sorensen and others must like him as an interview is all I can figure.

Anonymous said...

Idiot Rivera better wake up before its too late & his own head coach career is ruined.

Newton out of position & needs to replace Smith at WR with Anderson the All Pro bowler starting at QB who is still only 28 & a experienced vet who knows the ropes. Newton is lost. Defenses wont allow gaps like that anymore for a Qb to run. He will be destroyed.

Comparing the Cincy TCU rookie to Newton is like comparing Drew brees to PeeWee Herman at QB.

This is not even close. Dont listen to those who have an agenda & demand Newton at Qb or else. He is a WR not a QB.

Defense is as bad as it was in 2010 & will be 32th again.

Cincy Bengals like the Miami Dolphins are bottom feeder teams too.

0-16 with Newton. Better switch up ASAP.

NEVER BUY THE MEDIA HYPE who always have a not so hidden agenda.

stephen said...

Agree with Anonymous @1:26AM.

We have Derek Anderson. He may be older, but he's the best QB on the team at the moment. That of course, will change with time. But go with Anderson.

The goal is to win games.

Anonymous said...

We will have a very high draft pick next year, very possibly #1 again. This team looks BAD in every category. They have made not an iota of improvement despite all the big checks. Newton will prove one of the big busts of all time.

panfan1 said...

Andrew Luck please!!

Sportsdon said...

You Anderson fans should do a little homework on his results for the Cardinals last year. He was very erratic, often leading recievers into big hits and was benched for untested rookies half way thru the season after a post game meltdown in front of the cameras. The Cardinals would love for us to start him over Newton in Arizona.

Anonymous said...

Newton's footwork needs a ton of improvement. He has a hell of an arm but if you watch his feet he seldom has his feet set and never has the classic "weight on front bent leg" form. Hopefully he uses better form in practice and it will eventually make it into games.

Anonymous said...

Andersons effects of a bad concussion in 2010 he got in 2009 from trying to run against a couple of MLBs. He learned quick the hard way you dont run in the NFL but so long as a qb. That dont get it. Pass only. Lets your shorter low to the ground stocky strong RBs deal with the LBs.

Cards put him back out too early.

Some morons would say the holocaust would be alright too and the japs sinking a few ships in Pearl Harbor? No big deal.

Anonymous said...

"because of the lack of alternatives" and how do we know that since Clausen or Anderson have not had many chances to really see if there is an alternatives?

Anonymous said...

Only 5 things? Macklenberg High could have given the Bengals a better game than that! I know it's a new coach, a new system and all that but if they don't get a lot better in a hurry, Fans are going to demand an embarrassment discount just to show up in the parking lot at BofA stadium. Thanks for trying to sugar coat it guys but that was a disaster.

williambrendle said...

psl owners we pay full price for these pregame sissy players and coacheswhile jerry gives away free tickets to the games does anyone want to buy my psls 2 after these 15 years for the same price? this is for you too jerry.

bmac9 said...

I thought Scam did a pretty decent job, considering the lack of protection given, and only having 3-4 full quarters under his belt. He is being taught to use the "pocket", which crumbled on him often. And we saw how he can use his running ability...An added weapon that Clausen nor Anderson can come close to having. Yeah, he had quite a few erratic passes, but with more game experience, confidence should come. Remember, the kid has NO turnovers...and if we had a little help from our "swiss cheese" of a Defense, we may have won that one...

Anonymous said...

diagree. thats the 2nd game he played 3 quarters. he got 75 yards passing against a weak begal defense. 3 of 19. thats poor.
he got blocking or he wouldnt have had time to see his recievers were covered and taken the option to run for a td. only sacked once.

bmac9 said...

@ Anonymous 9:56 am...If I recall, Scam only played in the 1st half against the Dolphins...secondly, just because he was only sacked once, doesn't mean he got sufficient blocking...thirdly, on his touchdown run, looks to me like Scam did a nice job of stepping up and into the pocket and then realizing he had a nice avenue to the end zone. BTW, he was 6 of 19 for 75 yards passing...a rushing touchdown, and no TURNOVERS!

Anonymous said...

Darn. The Cam Show on Fox pre-show half-time etc failed again. Do they ever take the cam off him?

He sucked but he Dreams Big ... thats what counts ... End the intrigue. Keep him starter to the end ...

Wheresthe pics with the big smile or snarley Smitty posing for a big TD catch?

Dang. Reality bites. Its much more fun to play make believe and pretend ...

Anonymous said...

Yo Ron, The pre-season is always a preview of coming attractions. Clausen won the NY Giants game as his only start and Smith didnt play... hint hint ...

Anonymous said...

Clausen did look much more poised but by the time he got in the game at the start of the 4th quarter it was all over but the crying.

Its curious how the Jimmy haters still bash him though and not their beloved Eye of Newt

author Scott Nicholson said...

Who needs to work? Richardson has spent half a billion bucks on long-term contracts to the core of a bad team. No incentive to improve now. Mark this team down as "mired in mediocry" if they are lucky enough to get there.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is focused on the rookie QB or D-line, but the real problem here is the inept linebackers JR paid millions to keep. They can't tackle, provide no pass rush, and are always out of position be it run or pass.

Anonymous said...

Cam kept dropping back losing yardage. Someone teach him to throw in the pocket-he is big enough to see above everyone if he would just look around.

And please the country is talking about these college running back QB's. They are an embarrassment to the league! This is a team sport not a QB sport. If the guy cannot throw the ball to the receivers have him sit down.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you people saying Cam isnt good- really dont know anything about football. Its our "OL". cAM HAS 2 SECONDS to throw he ball or run. he needs 4. Dalton's line gave him well above 4.

pnthrfansince95 said...

One word: Anderson. I don't care if he was lousy last year. He deserves a chance. He just might give us the best chance to win more than a game or two. I thought everybody wanted to see Cam get a chance to ease into this deal. Well, starting him after just one preseason game and starting him is not gradual. It's throwing him to the wolves. JR, your fans are already divided on drafting him. If he fails you've lost close to half your fan base. Do you really want that?

Dr. Gillian Grannum said...

Cam suffered from bad execution by the offense, bad execution by the defense, and little or no time to execute a play.

While I like Rivera thus far my concern is he came from San Diego. I can recall multiple seasons in which they were picked to go places and started out looking like they weren't ready to play a down far less a game. They usually lost the first 4 or 5 games before rounding into form. I trust that isn't the model Rivera plans to duplicate in Carolina. His team needs to be ready to play ball starting Game 1.

Hard to evaluate Cam when the team around him looks as bad as it did against the Dolphins and Bengals.

AJ said...

@bmac9
Of course Cam has NO turnovers - he can't throw the ball where ANYONE can catch it! If his passes are 2 ft above the receiver's hands, their at his feet or out of bounds! Nearly every other QB taken in the first 3 rounds looks better than Newton. If JR wants to flush $25M down the toilet next year, please invite him to come to my house to use the bathroom. I could use the cash!

Anonymous said...

Excuses excuses excuses ...

Winners dont make excuses only losers...

Poor JR. He has been SCAMMED !!!

Its a BUST !!!!

bmac9 said...

@ AJ...Give it time Guy, give it time!

Anonymous said...

Do you see Georgia rookie WR AJ Green make that 70 yard spectacular TD grab from TCU rookie QB Andy Dalton? Dalton was throwing to everybody.

And to think the Panthers could have had Green and Dalton although if Anderson or Clausen had an AJ Green at WR it would be same.

Anonymous said...

True. Not mentioning any names but the Panthers made some really poor draft picks although hind sight is 20/20.

The diversity factor with the Bengals was a visible asset. Not meantioning any names but there are a couple teams in the league ignoring diversity and getting hurt in the process.

Anonymous said...

"Do you see Georgia rookie WR AJ Green make that 70 yard spectacular TD grab from TCU rookie QB Andy Dalton? Dalton was throwing to everybody"

Lmao it was a 40 yard td pass, where in the heck are u getting 70 yard from? I would like to know. Let's see what both Andy D and AJ D do in a meaningful game before hyping them up.

Anonymous said...

The reason the run defense was so good against the Giants is because Gaither started and blew up the line of scrimmage. The last two games the tackles were not the same without linebackers crashing the line of scrimmage to help seal their gaps.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how some of you evaluate this team. Worst group of receivers in the league, an offensive line who have not learned to play together as yet, and pretty much the same for the defense, who doesn't have any playmakers. Pick a QB and stick with him, develop confidence (which is the most importnat, as they all have talent) and the coaches and key players need provide leadership, which is sorely lackiing. Not a Rex Ryan fan but he is a leader, not sure if Rivera is ready for primetime.

Anonymous said...

The bengals held on about every big run...

Anonymous said...

Five things I didn't like:
1) O-line sucked
2) D-line sucked
3) D Backs sucked
4) Receivers sucked
5) Q-Backs sucked.

Anonymous said...

This "5 things I like/didn't like" column is so lame. Benign observations with average insight. And then there are the awkward sentences, such as, "Very unimpressive the past two games, I have thought."

"I have thought"????!!!! "I" is in the title of the column, you are a sportswriter, of COURSE it's what you "have thought."

So, the question remains, is the writer dumbing down his rhetoric for his readers, or is he just dumb?

Sorry to sound bitter but this dude's "5 things" column is pretty weak. Yes, I read it every week because I am craving Panthers news. I read it, but I don't have to like it.

Read more: http://scottfowlerobs.blogspot.com/2011/08/5-things-i-didnt-like-in-carolina.html#ixzz1WeP1cPHO

Anonymous said...

I HAVE IT - REPLACE JERRY RICHARDSON WITH CAM NEWTON ! THERE YOU GO !

Anonymous said...

I KNOW WE WERE SITTING BEN OUT - WE ALMOST BROUGHT TERRY BRADSHAW OUT OF RETIREMENT CAUSE WE WERE SO WORRIED.

STEELER 3RD STRING 33 - PANTHERS 17 IN CHARLOTTE ! IS CARLOINA RELOCATING TO LOS ANGELES? JUST A RUMOR? ANOTHER WEST COAST COACH ??
CAN'T WAIT FOR THAT GREEN BAY GAME I BET!