Sunday, December 4, 2011

Panthers' bests and worsts from 38-19 Carolina win over Tampa Bay

Thoughts on the Panthers’ 38-19 win over Tampa Bay Sunday, in which Carolina played its most complete game of the season while improving to 4-8. (UPDATE: And here's my column from Tampa on Cam Newton and his dazzling performance).

Best start: The Panthers scored on their first two drives, taking a 14-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old. Tampa Bay never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

Best run defense: Surprisingly, the Panthers played superbly against the Bucs’ LeGarrette Blount, who was held to 19 yards in 11 carries after averaging 105 yards in his previous two games.

Best rushing quarterback in the red zone: Cam Newton may be the best the NFL has ever had at this. He scored three touchdowns from one yard out Sunday, setting a new NFL record for quarterbacks with 13 for the season (Steve Grogan had 12 for New England in 1976).

Best break: The Buccaneers are a far different team with Josh Freeman at quarterback compared to Josh Johnson. With Freeman out due to a shoulder injury, the Panthers dared Johnson to beat them. He couldn’t.

Best undrafted free agent: Thomas Keiser, the rookie defensive end from Stanford, had a sack and an interception for Carolina as he continues to show up at opportune times.

Best trend: After losing 12 road games in a row, the Panthers have now won two straight.

Best throwback uniforms: While others may differ, I’m a big fan of the Bucs’ Creamsicle orange jerseys that they broke out for a throwback day Sunday.

Worst crowd: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa looked about half full for most of the game and was far less than that in the fourth quarter, when the Panthers led by as many as 26 and the fans were anxious to get out and salvage the rest of a glorious afternoon.

Best single play: Lots of choices, but I’d pick the pass from Legedu Naanee to Newton for 27 yards just for the dazzling creativity of it.

Best breakout performance: Naanee threw that pass, caught a touchdown pass, picked up a key first down on third-and-14 and threw a number of good blocks.

Best red-zone efficiency: The Panthers got inside the Buccaneers’ 20 five times and scored touchdowns every single time.

Worst Newton throw: Newton was close to flawless – the Panthers are now 4-0 when he doesn’t commit a turnover. But he was bemoaning after the game a long pass to Steve Smith that he underthrew and that ended up incomplete. Newton thought Smith might have scored had he thrown the ball better.

Best overall performance: The Panthers played their most complete game of the season, setting season highs in points (38) and victory margin (19).

24 comments:

Spencer said...

if you think newton was upset about that pass, you should have heard smiths immediate reaction

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that was about the only time Fox's audio was any good at all...just in time to catch a profanity laced tirade from Smith!

Anonymous said...

What part of the Tampa Bay defender hitting Newton's arm on the pass to Smith did you not understand?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Newton was bumped by a defender on that long pass to Smith, so he shouldn't even blame himself.

Anonymous said...

Fox's coverage was terrible with the sound being terrible. From the tight shots it was obvious they didn't want to show a 1/2 empty stadium.

Anonymous said...

Good column Scott. And I'm just waiting for all the losers in and around Charlotte who will complain about the Smith audio. If you have a problem with what you saw and heard, you are a weak a$$ punk. THIS IS FOOTBALL. The ball was under thrown and if you watch the tape, Cam actually threw off his back foot. Granted, the dude can sling it 50 yards down field off his back foot but it was under thrown nonetheless. Anyway, I'm sure Newton and Smith got together after the drive and I'm sure they are straight now. Smith is a fiery player. End of discussion.

Trust_in_Justus said...

Good column Scott. And I'm just waiting for all the losers in and around Charlotte who will complain about the Smith audio. If you have a problem with what you saw and heard, you are a weak a$$ punk. THIS IS FOOTBALL. The ball was under thrown and if you watch the tape, Cam actually threw off his back foot. Granted, the dude can sling it 50 yards down field off his back foot but it was under thrown nonetheless. Anyway, I'm sure Newton and Smith got together after the drive and I'm sure they are straight now. Smith is a fiery player. End of discussion.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim said...

Keiser will be a fan favorite for years to come. Love that kids moves.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anon at 5:47am. Did somebody make a wee wee in your Cheerios this morning?

Anonymous said...

Hey anon at 5:47am. Before you decide to question Cam's IQ, perhaps you, yourself should question your own. Last time I checked, obvious is spelled with an "o". "Abvious" is not an English-language word. Ironic that you question Cam's IQ. You obviously have some latent insecurity about your own.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:47, are you an ESL student? That's the only way your butchering of the English language makes sense.

Whistler225 said...

eh, it's Obvious that he has some major social issue that forces him to repeatedly bang his head against his little "I hate Cam Newton" wall. Can you blame him if that many impacts to the frontal lobe have effected his spelling and (to a much larger extent) common sense? I've read about what this loser keeps crying about and it certainly doesn't sound like anything major and I can understand why he was cleared by the NCAA. In fact Jim Mora made a comment about the adversity Newton has had to deal with, and putting two and two together it sounds like Cam's father is an idiot who probably acted without his son's knowledge or consent. I also think it's really sad that people who have zero direct knowledge of a situation feel so free to bandy about insulting terms designed only to aggravate and incite others. Personally I just like seeing good football, and Newton is producing just that right now.

Anonymous said...

You can hear the haters whining and crying when JR refuses to match the 100 million buyout for Newton to be the new Chicago Bear QB in 2012 after the next 4 losses and a 4-12 season. Its gonna happen.

Richardson better gird his loins again as the haters will launch a new all out assault on him for the trillioneth time the past 16 yrs calling every name in the book and for him to sell the team etc etc ... Such haters. The list of those they hate is a mile long.

Face it. Newton is a GONER and never stays more than one season anywhere and nothing haters will be able to do about it but bitch and whine.

Rest assured Peppers was happy to take 3 times more and go to the Windy City.

Dont worry. Scam the Ham will demand 500 million for 2013 and and a billion in 2014 unless defenses break his neck.

ANONpeopleareWHACK said...

Hey anon. You might want to go look at Cam's deal before you come in here posting nonsense. I'm a white guy and I am calling you out right now, you OBVIOUSLY are and your hatred is posted behind a computer moniker and you can't even type your name out. Man up. HATER.

Anonymous said...

Hey yo. This is Chicago in the house. You underpaying hicks dont deserve Newton so we will take him off your sleazy hands real soon. Its a done deal.

Gonna be fun to see how the Carolina Cam-less Panthers do next year at Soldier Field in the Windy City playing against our new guys Peppers and Newton.

Anonymous said...

There are some pure idiots on this board today....

How the heck is Cam going to be playing for the Bears in 2012? He can't demand a trade or redo his 4 yr. rookie contract (in which Carolina has an 5th year option to keep him w/o using a Franchise tag).

Please, if you could not carry on an intelligent conversation at a sports bar, please, don't feel the need to do so here.

Anonymous said...

Our Chicago guy is right under the new players union contract rules signed last summer by Jerry Richardson representing all 32 owners.
There were 800-1000 pages so you'll need to a super good lawyer at 15000 an hour to comprehende it that should'nt take more than a week and 50k fees but Newton can be bought out at the end of his rookie season.
Best way to understand it is call the Big Cat himself but even didnt underrstand.
Its all legal jargon. Richardson would'ny object to the buyout as he gets his money back and Chicago would probably pay him the year salary to boot.
You bumpkin inbreds are dumber than you look and talk.

Anonymous said...

Chicago fans are really dumb. Guess it fits with how they run their football team up there. Cam Newton isn't going anywhere. Players go where they are wanted, and obviously he is wanted here in Carolina. He will retire a Panther, and if you think otherwise, you're just plain stupid. I love how all the haters have stopped hating on Cam and now want him on their team. It's really hilarious when seeing people give Cam praise when all they did was bad mouth him when he was coming out in the draft. I love how humans use their brains... and don't use them, lol

PantherVic said...

Wow! C'mon Chicago fans. The agreement between the NFL and players specifically forbids any player drafted in the first round from renegotiating until the end of his third year. Then it is up to the team. He is locked in for 4 years with a fifth year option to the drafting team. At that point the team will have to pay him at least the Tender amount for a player that was drafted in his position. Therefore the player can be retained by the team for a fifth year without using the franchise tag. Don't know what Cracker Jack box you read but look it up. The NFLPA contract is readily available online in PDF format. Start reading on page 24 and if you can comprehend it you will see I'm right. Cam will be here at least 5 years if the Panthers so desire.
Idiot!

Anonymous said...

As a 20 year attorney who will remain anonoymous with a Juris Doctorate degree and graduate from the University of South Carolina asked to post on a question concerning adhesive legal contracts be advised they are the same in professional sports as in any other venue.
Rest assure in any civil courtroom in America any type of contract regardless of stipulation or longevity can be broken if both parties are in full agreement and it is done amicably in sound mind.

John said...

To the anon "lawyer" yeah it's so easy to break an NFL contract. That's why we see guys with tons of money breaking them all the time. Oh yeah we have never seen that.

Some of you need to do some reading. Lots of people talking out their butts here. Pretty normal for the comment section unfortunately.

intwtf said...

Worst Crowd... Being a Tampa fan and had travel to the game.. The fan are upset with the Glazers for not doing any off season purchases and spending more money on ManU (English Football) then the Buccaneers...but lord nows how many times I have seen Panthers Stadium EMPTY when losing by half..but remember the true fans stayed to the end.. including me...

Anonymous said...

Panthers need to try and keep Chud, even if it means giving him a BIG increase in salary. It would be a shame to lose him to another team. (Head Coach)
I know this is hard to control but the Panthers offense has been awesome and a lot of the creativity has come from Chud's game plan. If Chud does leave for a head coaching job, it will be difficult to replace him. Let's hope we don't rehire Davidson!!