Monday, August 27, 2012

10 quick Panther thoughts following win over Jets

Like many of you, I wasn't in New Jersey but watched the Panthers edge the N.Y. Jets 17-12 in an exhibition Sunday night on television. Ten quick thoughts:

1) I love watching Luke Kuechly. For a couple of Jets series, I ignored the ball entirely and just focused on No.59. It was remarkable. He and the ball ended up intersecting at almost every play.

I don't care how many linebackers the Panthers have and even if they all return, miraculously, to become completely healthy all season. Kuechly still needs to start and play every snap he possibly can. Cris Collinsworth said Kuechly was "already one of the best players on this team," and I completely agree.

2) If I'm the Panthers, I sit every starter on both sides of the ball for exhibition game No.4 Thursday at Pittsburgh. The fourth exhibition is a farce anyway for everyone except the players trying to fill the last 10 spots on the roster -- why pretend otherwise?

3) Thomas Davis's speed has returned, which is great. I still worry about his durability after three ACL surgeries, but at least the linebacker has not come back as a below-average player who can't run.

4) Unless the question involves great religious role models in sports, there's no way Tim Tebow is the answer. Someone has to teach Tebow to stop rolling right as a lefty quarterback. His one interception couldn't have been a worse throw. The Jets have now failed to score a touchdown in their first three preseason games -- the first NFL team in 35 years to do that.

5) DeAngelo Williams just couldn't hold onto the ball Sunday. He had two fumbles in seven carries and also dropped a short pass (which was high) from Newton.

Before you start worrying about DeAngelo's ball security, however, remember that he has only fumbled six times in six years as a pro -- a phenomenal average of just one per season.

6) Sure would like to see the video that Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil apparently made with a Charles "Big Money" Johnson impersonator. Al Michaels and Collinsworth referenced it on NBC Sunday night, saying Cam had told them about it and laughing so hard he could barely finish the story.

7) I am really not impressed with Panther wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu. Louis Murphy should be the third receiver behind Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell.

8) I was impressed with two Panther backups named Smith -- running back Armond Smith and safety Reggie Smith.

9) Thomas Keiser was rushing against the Jets' backups, yes, but he again was more effective than Johnson crashing in from the defensive end position. Keiser is tied for first in the NFL in the preseason stats with 3.5 sacks through three games.

10) Jets head coach Rex Ryan said after the game that former North Carolina defensive lineman Quinton Coples was getting winded and had a "woe is me" look on his face when the rest of the starters came out of the game but he had to stay in there. Coples did have a nice play on Cam Newton to force a lost fumble, but Ryan obviously doesn't like Coples' "motor" -- which was one of the raps on him coming out of Chapel Hill.

On the fumble Newton lost, I at first thought Cam made the wrong play not to go after the ball there. He simply walked away once it was batted out of his hand.

Then I realized two things: a) Newton acted as if he had heard a whistle, which Gross said afterward indeed was blown during the play, and b) Newton doesn't need to be in a pileup going for a loose ball in an exhibition anyway. If you watched the telecast, you saw the (unflagged) cheap shot he took earlier in the game while on the ground courtesy of the Jets' Muhammad Wilkerson.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Panthers fail to score a preseason touchdown a couple years ago?

Anonymous said...

They did blow the whistle. Everyone thought Cam looked like he didn't care (which he shouldn't anyway), but once the whistle is blown initially the play is dead and nothing else is reviewable. Yay replacement officials!

freddy said...

Saw that incredibly cheap shot by the Jet's Wilkerson on Cam's head while he was defenseless on the ground. What a classy operation they got up there in the Jets.

Anonymous said...

Not sure the play was whistled dead at the spot. I went back and looked again.....it was blown early, but after it was on the ground and the Jets guy had jumped on it....but was before control was gained. At first I thought it was earlier, but at the same time don't know what delay there is from the whistle on the field to when the mics pick it up on TV. I think we can chaulk it up to the officials as it was clearly botched...just not sure at what point it was botched.

Anonymous said...

On Cam's "fumble", watch the last replay they show from low and behind the play. It clearly shows the ref blowing the whistle in his mouth while also pointing at the spot where he was (incorrectly) blowing the ball dead. All this while the ball was still being recovered on the ground. Absolute proof that the whistle was blown before a "fumble" was recovered.

Bad enough the refs blew the play dead but then ignoring that fact was atrocious.

Kyle82 said...

The Panthers did not score an offensive touchdown in '10 and went on to a 2-14 record

Anonymous said...

#59 is gonna be a BEAST! I admit, I have been doing the same as Fowler when the Panthers are on defense. Dude finds the ball, every play.

Anonymous said...

In 2010, Goodson returned a kick for a TD, so we did have a TD, just not an offensive one. Jets don't even have that so far.

Anonymous said...

Mike Goodson returned a kick for a TD in 2010. We just didnt have and offensive TD.

Anonymous said...

How did the tdless team from 35 years ago fare during the regular season?

Anonymous said...

Kyle82 - you are correct. The 2010 Cats only had a kickoff return for a td and a fumble return td in the preseason.

Anonymous said...

Has any one notices that the starting D has not allowed a touchdown this preseason. Maybe a quality D flying under the radar here

Anonymous said...

Thought 11 -
Special teams (coverage) still looks pretty weak. Too early to be nervous?

Buckshot Jenkins said...

It's hard not to like Kuechly. he seems to be in the middle of everything. Haven't seen much of Edwards though. We still need a run stopper!

TLHB70 said...

I agree with your points 6 and 7.

I would love to see the video and I am not very impressed with Ajirotutu. Murphy should be third receiver.

I also want to add that I am upset that they let Josh Vaughan go!

manu4t said...

Special teams coverage has still been pretty bad. Nakamura whiffed on the opening kickoff. Too many holes and this was against the Jets - we gotta get it together before we play some division rivals.

Conversely the D looked good except the secondary, which gave up way too many passes. Kuechly is a Pro-Bowler. in the making

Walkin-n-Waggin Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Services said...

I'm nervous, especially since the new kicker doesn't seem capable of kicking deep into / beyond the end zone. No question: coverage teams STINK.

Anonymous said...

I also like watching Gary Barnidge. Soft hands, nice speed and always open.

Anonymous said...

Just Watched it on replay and there are three whistles. The first while he is just starting to get up, the second while the ball is in the air, and a third as the ball hits the ground and recovered.