Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Panther Bests and Worsts at midseason -- what do you think?

I know everyone is a little busy with it being Election Day, so please VOTE before you read this.

OK, you're done? Good. I'm writing a column for Wednesday's newspaper and online with the working title of "Panther Bests & Worsts at Midseason." I'd like your help. I'm trying to pick out some of the most extreme moments, both good and bad, at the halfway point.

UPDATE: HERE'S THE COLUMN that resulted -- I did read closely everyone's comments who submitted something down below and they helped very much in making my final selections.

Some of the categories will be pretty straightforward, like: "Best Player." I'm leaning toward Charles Johnson there, although Luke Kuechly certainly deserves consideration. Other categories may include "Worst Single Play," "Best Single Play," "Worst Coaching Decision," "Worst Call by an Official For and Against the Panthers," "Worst Thing An Announcer Said on TV About the Panthers" and so on. They don't all have to be serious -- I plan to have some fun with this.

If you have any input on the categories and what you'd put in them, leave it in the comments section below. Also, feel free to make up your own category. If you post your comment before 4 p.m., I will be able to read it and take it into account before submitting this story and might even quote from it in my story. So let your voice be heard on Election Day -- twice -- and tell me what Panther moments, both good and bad, you remember most from the first eight games.

P.S. -- Also remember that I moderate my own comments below this blog. Anything goes as long as you don't use profanity (this is the No.1 reason when comments don't get posted) or you don't outright slander someone.

You absolutely don't have to agree with anything I write -- I've been a sportswriter for 25 years now, so I have a very thick skin. But since kids read this blog, too (it ranks as one of the 2-3 most popular blogs on the CharlotteObserver.com website), we're not going to have a bunch of cursing and name-calling on it. Thanks, Scott


Anonymous said...

How about you for worst predictions of the year.

Anonymous said...

Worst play of the year is Cam's fumble in the Atl game, that one hurt and could of been the straw that pushed the panthers forward. Worst coaching call was to allow the Chicago bears receivers 7-10 yards of cushion and et them come of the line with o pressure in a game with less than two minutes. Best play was Armanti's catch Sunday saved the game for panthers.... Worst signing was Tolbert, we don't even use him like they did in San Diego and he's been mostly ineffective and dropped a bunch of passes like Murphy. Both should be released when the new GM makes football decisions.

Panthers Fan Forever said...

"Best Player" - Thomas Davis coming back from 3 ACL surgeries and playing well.

"Worst Single Play" - Cam Newton fumbling on 3rd down that would have led to a victory against Atlanta.

"Best Single Play"
"Worst Coaching Decision" - Not kicking a FG before half time against the Bears

"Worst Call by an Official For and Against the Panthers" - Atlanta Falcons game, short pass to Turner that went 60+ yds for a touchdown. I was at the game and there was a blatant hold on Tony Gonzales that wasn't called.

"Worst Thing An Announcer Said on TV About the Panthers" - Criticizing Cam Newton about not congratulating Murphy after recovering a fumble in the endzone.

RB225 said...

Most embarrasing moment..after the NY Giants game when Eli had to search for Cam and found him walking with his head down, under the towel, and it appeared that he did not even shake Eli's hand.

D Merritt said...

"The guy who just can't seem to act as if he has been there before" award goes to Cam or Cameron, or Cammie or whatever he is calling himself today.

We once were a proud organization who didn’t put up with celebrating individual actions over the team. Remember Fred Lane? Now we applaud this child for acting like a pee-wee player. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Best Player - Tie between Johnson and Kuechly so far, but Kuechly has been more consistent. Runner up - Thomas Davis - best story not told on ESPN. Second runner up - Olsen playing as well as he has with all the health problems his son has had.

Worst Single Play - Going into soft coverage vs the Bears on their last drive Runner up is Nakamura
blowing coverage on Roddy White v. ATL repeatedly.

Best Single Play - has there been one?

Worst Coaching Decision - Many to choose from, but failing to go for it on 4th and 1 in ATL is first. Runner up is the mismanagement of the clock v. TB, Second runner up is the soft coverage D v. the Bears

Worst call by an Official For and Against the Panthers - The ref who got in the way then called delay of game in Wash, followed by the failure to call the hold on Gonzales in ATL.

Worst call for the Panthers - have we gotten any calls this year?

Best offseason move by GM - drafting Kuechly. Runner up is getting Frank Alexander. But given the draft failures in the past, the law of averages is more to credit than Hurney.

Worst offseason move by GM - failing to bring back Shockey, and instead handing out contracts in positions we didnt need (RB). Runner up - failure to get Asante Samuel when he was available, failing to get another WR better than Murphy. Second runner up - drafting a punter instead of getting a cheaper FA for a shorter contract.

Adam Bernstein said...

Most pleaant surprise: D line

Biggest disappointment: Running game

Biggest disappointment, runner-up: Big Cat's continuing lack of candor and accountability to fans about what's going on

Best performance: Hardy vs. Chicago

Worst performance: Nakamura vs. Atlanta

Best comeback player: TD

Best rookie: Kuechly

MVP: Kuechly

Worst play call: Soft prevent pass D at end vs. Chicago

Worst play call, runner-up: Firing GM in middle of season

Anonymous said...

Best Player - Luke or TD for coming back after 3rd ACL.

Best play - TD's first hit of this season

Worst call by official - delay of game when the official was behind center during the Redskins game

Worst Coaching decision - not kicking the fg before half time!

Anonymous said...

Ok here's an honest opinion from the most optimistic Panthers Fan.

Biggest Surprise-Keuchly
Biggest Disappointment- Beason
Worst Coaching Decision - There's a ton. 1. Not going for 4th and inches to win at Atl. 2. Coverage calls at Atl and Chi.
Worst Play - Nakamura getting beat deep in Atl
Worst Officiating Call - 3 play sequence against Dallas. Timeout given, No Pass Interference, Followed by bogus Horsecollar call.

Panthers should at least be 4-4 (atl,chi) and probably 5-3 if you split the close games with Seattle and Dallas. Coaching has cost wins, because the Panthers have played not to lose instead of trying to win.
Honorable Mention Horrible Call. Goalline option against Seattle.

Anonymous said...

"Best Trick Play" - Throwing to Armanti Edwards.

"Best Player" - Steve Smith.

"BEAST Defensive Player" - Luke. Easily.

"Worst Single Moment" - Atlanta's pass.

Anonymous said...

"Best Player" - Luke Kuechly

"Worst Single Play" - Panthers at Atlanta, busted coverage on the bomb to Roddy White.

"Best Single Play" - not an App State homer, but maybe just because it's fresh in my mind, but that long pass to Edwards this past weekend was great.

"Worst Coaching Decision" - to punt at Atlanta and give one of the most potent offenses in the NFL the ball back with plenty of time left.

Dustin said...

Best Player - Charles Johnson-even though we never blitz he's still getting to the qb - Steve Smith- if not for him this team would have no fire (I love his game time mantality).

Worst Plays - Cams fumble at Atlanta, Cams girl like throw on 4th down vs Seattle, and letting Roddy White behind you for the go ahead fg.

Worst Coaching Decision - Not letting your strong footed kicker try a field goal at half time against Chicago (still blows my mind) and then letting Chicago run the same play 7 times for the go ahead fg (still blows my mind even more, and we had a timeout to think about what we were doing).

Anonymous said...

The worst thing an announcer has said about the Panthers is in the Chicago game "Kenny, Moose, and Goose" decided that they should jump on the "lets hate on Cam" bandwagon and called him out for not congratulating Murphy. It was like they were going out of their way to criticize.
The biggest heartbreaker had to be having Atlanta pinned at their own one, only to see the 60+ yard bomb to White.
Best player - Luke Kuechly
Most improved player - Greg Hardy (that guy is lighting it up)
Comeback Player- Thomas Davis
MVP- We win with Cam and we lose with Cam. He is our most valuable player.
Biggest surprise- Never saw the firing of Marty Hurney happening in the middle of the season and never thought the Big Cat would do it anyways.
Worst call be an official - The Williams touchdown. That whistle should've never been blown
That's all I've got right now.
Enjoy reading your stuff Scott.

D-Wil said...

Best Single Play - Thomas Davis' goal line stop against Tampa in his first game back. Made me believe anything is possible with this organization.

Best Defensive Player - Charles Johnson, having lofty expectations and living up to it. Looks to be the leader of a good 6 man group.

Best Offensive Player - Steve Smith. I don't want to know how bad we'd be without him.

Best Rookie - Luke Kuechly. On track to be Rookie Defensive Player of the year.

Best Unknown Player - Josh Norman, has played really well given his competition level in college and the pressure to start right away.

Best Acquisition - Dwan Edwards.

Worst Single Play - I know a lot of people will want Cam's fumble or "bowling" pass or Haruki's pass defense, but I say a 6 yard punt is the worst I've ever seen in my life.

Worst Call by an official - The pass interference no call on Murphy at the end of the Dallas game.

Most Disapointing player/s - The $100 million backfield. 875 combined rushing yards roughly = $57,000/yard over the year.

Worst Coaching Decision - Not allowing Cam to fall forward 2 weeks in a row on 4th and 1 to "win the game" - Herm Edwards voice.

banks said...

Best single play: Armanti for 82. With Steve Smith blocking. That's it; that's how little we've had this year. The New Orleans win is such a faint memory by now-- I remember we had a pick-six in that game, but Armanti's play was bigger. A ray of hope for the player and for the organization.

Worst play: The Smith Slip. Worst only because it compounded the misery already accrued from the 4th & goal vs. Seattle, the fumbled first down in ATL, and the Roddy White.

Worst call: The horse collar, I guess.

Worst best call: The DeAngelo touchdown.

Best Player: The Thomas Davis.

mrshlthmps said...

Worst coaching decision. Playing defense passively when the game is on the line.

swiznami said...

For worst thing an announcer said how about "The Panthers just haven't tried to get another receiver to complement Steve Smith." It's said at least three times a season even though we keep spending second and third round picks on the position. Yeah, we didn't go after Manningham but how's that working out for SF?

Anonymous said...

Best Player - Kuechly ... since he's taken over in middle, their D has been better than it previously was - & it's says a lot when you lose a Pro-Bowl MLB for the season, & your Defense actually gets better w/ Luke in the middle. Gonna be the cornerstone of this Def for years to come.

JD said...

"Best Player" - Luke Kuechly gets it for me because he's brought a different attitude to the entire defense since shifting to the middle.

"Worst Single Play" - Absolutely has to be the 59-yard pass play given up to the Falcons from their 1-yard line with 59 seconds left and no timeouts. Cam's fumble was bad, but we didn't even lose possession on that play. That 59-yarder under those circumstances is the type of play you may see once a decade.

"Best Single Play" - Has to be Armanti's 82-yard reception. That play was a statement that we were not going to blow this game like we have all the others.

"Worst Coaching Decision" - Personally, I think it was the decision to punt from midfield in the Falcons game on 4th and 1, but the result (downing it at the 1) somewhat justified that decision. But, imagine if that had been one of Nortman's shanks from the past two games....

"Worst Call by an Official for the Panthers" - Has to be Whistlegate from the past game, even though the result might have been the same (DeAngelo still might have scored on that play).

"Worst Call Against the Panthers" - Horsecollar call on Thomas Davis against the Cowboys

Anonymous said...

Worst play call -- Not going for the field goal before the half in Chicago. Even if he misses, you'd have to be an idiot not to try it.

Most embarrassing - Cam's Superman/Hello Kitty act when the game was out of control.

Worst officiating -- Dallas' mystery timeout which killed a crucial 4th quarter drive and completely changed momentum.

Best player -- Jury's still out, but Luke has come on strong and shown consistency after a very slow start in pass coverage.

Worst play defense -- ATL's pass...not even a close second.

Worst play offense -- Cam's dirt pass against Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Best player - Kuechly. Not voting for Johnson because he wants to play for the Falcons and I'll always hold that against him.

Worst player - Tolbert, with honorable mention to Nakamora and Silatolu.

Best play - Armanti Edwards' 82-yard catch. After 2.5 years, welcome to the NFL, kid.

Worst play - the 60-yard pass from Matt Ryan to Roddy White. A season-buster. If someone knocks that down, we win that game, and perhaps have the confidence to win the Seattle and/or Chicago game. We could be in a completely different place if someone just knocks that ball down.

Best from TV announcers - Mike Martz developing a severe man-crush on Cam after announcing the Panthers first 2 games.

Worst from TV announcers - like others have said, the senseless criticism from "Kenny, Moose & Goose" because Cam didn't fuse his body to Murphy's after Murphy recovered Cam's fumble in the end zone.

Best new player - Kuechly. Honorable mention to Thomas Davis, who is like new after nearly 2 complete seasons on IR. Great to see him back and contributing.

Worst new player - Watched a bunch of the Raiders-Bucs game on Sunday Ticket and saw Mike Goodson break a couple of nice kickoff returns. He wasn't a free agent, right? Didn't we trade him to Oakland for another player? Who is that player?

codeman said...

Worst announcing job: Easily the criticism of Newton after Louis Murphy's fumble recovery against Chicago. The offense gets such a fluky touchdown, and the color guys decide their time is best spent riding the player who is deservedly upset because he fumbled? Awful job.

Worst officiating call: The non-horsecollar tackle called on James Anderson against Dallas. Ruined any last vestige of hope Carolina had after he just made what should have been a great play.

Best group effort: The defensive line. Johnson, Hardy, and Dwan Edwards almost single-handedly gave the Panthers a chance in the Atlanta and Chicago games with their effort and seriously rattled Griffin in the Washington game.

RedtailD said...

I don't know if you 'see the pattern' that I do. But over and over again I see single worst calls and single best/worst players etc. But I also see multiple 'worst coaching' decisions on individual posts. The coaching was the single factor that cost us more wins than any other play, call or mishap combined. When you spend most of the game steaming (and screaming)about the absurdity of the play calls; and the absence of leading our best players by using their talents in the correct play calls... goose egg of the season goes to the coaching by far.

Kevin Phinney said...

Kuechly wins best player hands down.

Worst play is a tie between Cam's fumble against Atlanta that cost us the game-winning first down, and Nakamura's complete inability to judge a football in the air and allowing Roddy White to catch that 60 yard bomb.

Worst player is Tolbert. He's a glorified fullback that has dropped too many passes this year, especially for his contract.

Worst call is a toss-up. Defensively it is our soft pass coverage that allowed the Bears to walk down the field and win the game. Offensively it's the bootleg on 4th down that lead to Cam spiking one at Olsen's feet. Our backfield costs entirely too much money for us to run a bootleg pass on 4th and goal.

Biggest disappointment is anyone who has carried the ball this year. Cam, Williams, Stewart and Tolbert. There's not enough carries to go around (thanks to Chud) and no one has run well. I think our ball boys have more yards carrying the balls on the sideline than our $100 million backfield.

Shane P said...

Biggest Here We Go Again Moment: 6 yd punt against the Bears. I instinctively knew we were going to lose, like a bad movie I've seen too many times.

Biggest Surprise: TD, he's been an impact player this year and a big part of the turnaround on D. Be honest, how many people saw this coming?