Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blame the offense for this one -- Panthers get hammered in Arizona



You have to look closely, as I took this picture with an iPhone from my seat in Arizona, but this is Steve Smith's end-zone drop that set the tone for a bad day for the Panthers.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- How many mistakes can one offense make?

The Panthers tried to answer the question Sunday as they lost, 22-6, to Arizona on Sunday. It was a contest that was ultimately defined by the way the Panthers' offense so badly mishandled the game as the team dropped to 1-3 while Cam Newton threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.

Start with the first drive, way back when Newton was as sharp as a cactus. He completed his first five passes in a row. Carolina got inside the Arizona 10, and Newton threw a sixth straight great pass -- this one to Steve Smith on a slant in the end zone.

It hit Smith in the hands -- and the 13-year veteran uncharacteristically dropped it.

So began the litany. Smith would drop the very next pass thrown to him, too. Brandon LaFell dropped a critical ball from Newton on a fourth-and-1 from the Arizona 15 that would have given Carolina a first down. Rookie Kenjon Barner dropped a pass later.

But there were offensive mistakes everywhere. The offensive line too often got blasted by the Cardinals, who had Newton uncomfortable for much of the game. Newton was wrong not to get the ball out on a third-and-5 at the Cardinals 30 -- the sack took the Panthers out of field-goal range -- but it would have been a moot point if the play had been blocked better. Same thing with the safety Newton took on another sack -- a critical two points as it allowed the Cardinals to basically put the game out of reach with a field goal with 3:38 that pushed their lead to 15-6.

Then there were Newton's two awful interceptions. One was an underthrow to Smith, which was gladly picked off by Patrick Peterson. The second came on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Newton tried to throw the same slant pass to Smith that had almost worked for a TD earlier. At that point, Carolina could have gone ahead 13-12 with a TD. But this time, Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington sniffed it out and one-handed an athletic interception before the ball got near Smith. And don't forget Newton's late fumble after yet another sack.

The Panther defense played plenty well enough to win this game, intercepting Carson Palmer three times and hurrying him much of the time. There could have been a fourth turnover, but Palmer was judged to be down before Charles Johnson ripped the ball out of his hands and scored.

Still, this one is on the offense. Arizona's point total was artificially high after being inflated by a late TD following a Newton fumble (his third turnover). If you can't score a touchdown in the NFL, you can't win. New Orleans hit the Cardinals up for 31 points a couple of weeks ago, and the Panthers can only score six?

I've seen this sort of Carolina game too often over all these years, and I'm sure you have too. It's why I picked against them in this game in the first place. Carolina has so often lost coming off a big win in a game against a mediocre opponent.

So now all those good feelings about beating the New York Giants have evaporated. Turns out everybody beats the Giants this year. The Panthers -- who led this game 6-3 at halftime and had outgained the Cardinals 259-118 at that point -- are 1-3. And all the old questions are about to resurface.

43 comments:

Mike Dikta said...

As spectacular as Cam can be, he still gives the other team points-producing assists too often. It's why the NFL analysts keep saying he has to prove he can be a winner. The truth is, I don't think he can. He makes too many critical errors. I have to think Gettleman is trying to figure out if he even wants to make Cam a low-ball offer on a new contract. Cam will be back, but maybe for one more year. The coaches? They won't be so lucky.

LitLover said...

Agreed. Horrible offensive game.
Steve's drop set the tone for the rest of the game. Seems like every time we got close to the red zone, we self-sabotaged. Our O-line was absolutely horrible.

This game was perfectly winnable. The defense played a great game, but as usual we are never a complete team. The defense, offense, and coaching staff are never on their A game at the same time. Why?

Ghoul said...

Arizona had pressure all day, where were the screen passes, the quick outs and slants, passes to the flat? Why can't Cam roll out, then decide to pass or run?

Time for Rivera and his stupid OC to go.

Anonymous said...

Time to fire the coach & staff - Put in interims - Play calling is terrible!

Anonymous said...

You called it right Scott...not much more to say.

Cannot get mad at the Head Coach, if the PLAYERS aren't making any plays.

Jason said...

Gotta put this on the OC, mostly. If you can't score, but move the ball up until you get into the red zone, it's almost certainly play selection.

No QB runs called this game. All Cam's runs were scrambles. If you don't let him run, he's not being Cam Newton. I'd love to chart points scored vs. called QB runs.

Anonymous said...

We have a perfect Owner.
We have a perfect coaching staff.
We have a perfect quarterback.
We have a perfect Defense.
We have a perfect mix of vets and rookies.
Unfortunately they are perfect losers.

Anonymous said...

Bad coaching is evident in the sloppy play !

Anonymous said...

You can't say enough bad stuff about the offense. This was a really bad loss and it's all on the offense or lack there of.

Anonymous said...

Worst..offensive line....EVER

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Scott, the OL looked pathetic as they were constantly being pushed backwards. That fan that got Byron Bell's shoes two weeks ago should give it back, sign it "you're game is soooo weak". We need to bring back the read option and run it more often! I see Cam overthrowing his receivers a lot!

Anonymous said...

Can't blame it all on the offensive line when your Quarterback stands back there like a statue. Can't understand why this staff won't move the pocket for him to use his athleticism.

joe said...

It just goes to show we dont have a very good team especially on offense.6 and 10 maybe? that may be pushing it.

Anonymous said...

This team has very little heart to win and the coaching was pretty bad today. Maybe next year, because it's over this season.

LEE LYLES said...

How long will the keep players coaches who obviously can't get the JOB done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The Panthers should walk home from Phoenix. If you can't beat an opponent like the Arizona, you are a pretender, not a contender. No playoffs this year. They should have been up by at least two touchdowns in the first half and the game would have been totally different. Instead, more of the same mediocrity from the offense and another bad loss.

Anonymous said...

Why is nobody asking to sit Cam down? He clearly is struggling and doesn't have "it" to be our franchise quarterback. Let's take a look at Derek and see if we can make a run and salvage the season. We are going nowhere if we stay with Cam.

Anonymous said...

How soon can we trade Cam and the coaching staff for some late round draft picks?

Anonymous said...

The panthers have to be the worst team in the nfl. They give you a little hope and snatch it away from you. We all know they couldn't win a game if their lives depended on it. What really makes me mad is the fact they all stood on the sidelines and smiled and laughed about their stupidity. Tell them they won't get paid until they win and let's see if they could even win a game then.

Anonymous said...

At one point I was a real huge Cam fan, but now. Im not at all.. I've realized that he is not a QB , he is just an athlete. He can't make reads at the line for coverage at all. Doesn't even try to see what the defense is giving him then make a cover call or a hot route, or a read or an audible.. nothing.. He loves to see the pocket collapse and have it collapse with him. Also, he telegraphs every pass he throws.. you know exactly who he is going to before he even snaps the ball. Like I said he is a great athlete, just not a QB.. He doesn't have that Andrew Luck or Russell wilson brain to play QB or Locker or kaepernick...list goes on. I can't even blame this game on the OC or OL .. Lafell is not a number 2 receiver either, he drops way to many passes.. we need to trade alot of players and get good ones or alot of draft picks

Anonymous said...

Agreed the Offense was the problem today, but that goes back to coaching. HC and OC need to go. The sooner the better.

Anonymous said...

Cam Newton is the problem, He is NOT a good QB. He 's another Josh Freeman, they will not go to the next level or Super Bowl with him in the center, if anybody believes he will,is gonna get thier feelings hurt. Coaches have nothing to do with his inability. Cam.......time to go. This team been threw enough!

Anonymous said...

LOOK at how colts threw away there season to get there franchise QB when we could of done the same and got him instead,Carolina new like everyone else how good he was but we took a chance on Cam? Luck is the real deal,Just like Breez,Brady,Manning,Rogers,These QB`s keep there team in games,And drives alive. I have to ? is Cam our answer at that position? Look at our division Breez,Ryan, these Qb`s are way more consistant than Cam

Bryan said...

The trouble with Cam is that everything was handed to him. Everyone protected him. college scandal etc.

He thinks he is superman. Not a hard worker just a another taker.

He is a child in a mans body.

Jimmy Clausen was thrown in a lions den. But he came to work everyday and never complained.
Never made excuses. Never had a chance.

That's a winner.

Anonymous said...

The first problem in Carolina starts with the fans. Unknowledgeable about the pro game generally and the opponent in particular. Arizona may sputter on offense, but their defense is seriously good, and they showed it today. The better team won this time.

Anonymous said...

THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY - Doing the same things over and over and over and expecting a different result. Panther fans, YOU ARE ALL INSANE if you think anything is ever going to change with this owner. You've made him rich, your PSL's keep him rich. He has the spineless city council in his pocket, free dips into tax payer money whenever he cries like a little b&!$@ and year after pathetic year, as other franchises turn it around by getting quality players, quality coaches ... the panthers continue losing. 18 years. 4 playoff appearances. You all deserve EXACTLY what you are getting. Fools and suckers galore! And yet you continue whining and moaning. Go panthers .... and take the boobcats with you!

deepenwide said...

Whats it going to hurt to give Derek Anderson a shot. He can't do any worse and I have noticed that he is accurate with his passes and cares about winning. Cam has turned into Josh Freeman. He can't make adjustments at the line or read the defense. He's not a shiny new toy in the NFL anymore. Defensive coaches have figured him out. Head coaches tell their players to just make a push at Carolina and they will fall. The Panthers don't win because they don't care. Cam plays without heart.
I knew Rivera couldn't coach 2 years ago when in his first close game he called a timeout with 2 seconds to go before the half so that New Orleans could let our former kicker kick a field goal. Rivera later said he was worried we had too many men on the field. Never mind NO didn't have time to run a play. Read this from game five 2 years ago.
http://www.catscratchreader.com/2011/10/9/2479879/from-qb-to-head-coach-rookie-mistakes-again-cost-panthers
Coaches screwing up. Cam screwing up. Smitty making excuses.
Seems like it was only yesterday...

Kevin Glass said...

Time to move on from Rivera, Shula and Cam.

They are proven losers.

Smitty is on his last leg, no game with over 57 yards receiving this year, now dropping balls. Olsen and LaFell are not quality 2nd/3rd options. The offensive line? HA! Worst in the league.

The front 7 is all we have. The secondary is full of middling UDFA players.

Let's face it, we have a dysfunctional organization, a horrible owner, poor coaches and coordinators, and a LOSER for a QB.

Time to move on... let's join the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes because CAM IS CLEARLY NOT AN NFL STARTING QB.

Anonymous said...

I don't Cam is the problem...... All we need is a new coach and another WR thats it. Ron Rivera doesn't make adjustments at all!!!! after the first 2 seasons of doing the same stuff and it didn't work.... WHY are u continuing to do the SAME STUFF!!!!
I kind of wished we lost the Giants game so they could of fired him!!!!!!!!!!!!

southernflava said...

the defense did there job yesterday, 6 pts i don't know who the panthers think there gonna beat scoring that much. The Jaguars have nothing and scored 20pts. Things that make u say HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!

Gordon Gecko said...

Everyone is correct. The Panthers organization is a Pyramid scheme. The crap starts at the top and rolls downhill. Richardson is a stubborn, egotistical fool. Every coach he hires fits his philosophical mold. THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!! He won't hire somone with the guts to do it their own way, hence why we see the same results (and same style of play) year after miserable year. The Panthers will NEVER win consistently under Richardson's watch.

Anonymous said...

Please pay for a good coaching staff, im sick of being angry every Sunday because of the Panthers!! Call Bill Cowher to come coach, Thanks

Anonymous said...

With this kind of effort coming off a bye week......going to be a long season.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with some of the Cam comments. I know the O' Line hasn't been great, but wasn't having a 6'5" big QB with speed supposed to be a selling point for this guy? What happened to escaping pressure and making plays? I really want to like him and see him be successful, but at some point "unlimited potential" has to translate into wins.

MTNH2O said...

"Why is nobody asking to sit Cam down? He clearly is struggling and doesn't have "it" to be our franchise quarterback. Let's take a look at Derek and see if we can make a run and salvage the season. We are going nowhere if we stay with Cam."

Have you ever seen Derek Anderson play? He would get sacked 20 times a game if he had to play behind this O-Line.

MTNH2O said...

"Jimmy Clausen was thrown in a lions den. But he came to work everyday and never complained.
Never made excuses. Never had a chance. That's a winner."

Do you not recall the 2010 season? Jimmy Wasn't much of a winner that year. There is a reason he is watching football on the couch like you and me instead of at least holding a clipboard. Jimmy can't play dead in a cowboy movie.

NASTAR99 said...

1.24am has it exactly right -- as long as Boone's Farm is owner Panthers will stink.

Ronnie Whitworth said...

Scott,
I am not one of the Cam haters because I believe he is still a good QB. No he is not Brady or Manning, but he can win in this league. The problem with my Panthers is coaching. Buffalo game, Cam 38 pass attempts to Deangelo's 22 rushes in a close game. Arizona game, Cam 39 pass attempts to D Will's 12 rushes in a close game! Question, so if the Panthers ran the ball more and gave their starting running back 25-30 carries a game with him averaging 4 yards per carry, does the LB just sit back in coverage and pick off Cam Newton's pass like he did yesterday? Those of who have played the game, knows the true answer to that question. I am not making excuses for Cam, but sometimes you have to help the O line and QB with play calling!

Ghoul said...

Just imagine if we did not have the cheapest owner in the NFL. We could have hired Harbaugh coming out of Stanford instead of low paid Rivera. Think Luck would have come out knowing Harbaugh was waiting for him with the first pick? Look how each of them turned around losing teams. We would have made the Super Bowl with them together.

Anonymous said...

To Rivera and all other panther coaches, It wont make a damn if you win your last 5 games in a row you`ll be coaching for nothing because you will be jobless at the end of the season unless we make and compete in the playoffs,WERE FEED UP,If I knew my job was on the line and that`s what I`m facing Id coaching my ass off less if not to keep this job to build my resume for the next.Or maybe we`ve mistaken all of you for someone who really does`nt give a damn...Players that make costly mistake should be given costly punishments,Lafell next week Hixon has your spot unless he screws up then so on and so on.It will make you accountable I guarantee it.Atleast wipe the smiles off there faces.5 will get you 10 Cam never matches or beats Dellhomme`s record of 1 superbowl appearance 4 playoff games even with better talent around him ,He is showing he can`t make the quick reads to keep drives alive.Hey Cam do like Brady go over to smith and Lafell on camera and say you got to catch the damn ball its your job I cat do both.

Rory Ali said...

Dear Cam (Game plan preview) Since were having problems blocking anybody we've decided not to call any designed run plays for you;but we do expect you do get the job done. Oh! expect alot of LB blitzing and nearly unblocked DL's so we won't be calling any screens, draws, sweeps, slants and anything else that will help you get the ball out of ur hands fasters. Instead your going to have to stand in there and just get the job done. Just know that were doing all that we can to put you in a situation to be successful.
Sincerely yours (Coaching staff)

joe said...

I keep reading there`s some winnable game ahead,You better WAKE UP, We better not over look Any of those 1-3 teams that we are getting ready to play,REMEMBER we have a offense who for some reason can`t get it done week in and week out.I would look for the Vikings to run a lot of the same type of defensive plays that Arizona did ,Being our offense had trouble protecting Cam.
We should by all means win our games against these teams but will we? And if we do it still does nt tell us what kind of team we have because we only would have beat teams with 1-3 records,We would need a 8 or 9 game winning streak to really be recognized in this league

joe said...

I have ?s for this coaching staff that deserves a response!!!
When CHUD was our offensive coordinator we averaged 38 points a game,Do we still have that playbook, We must have game film footage of that year,Why can`t we start running the same style offensive plays that CHUD drew up,Hell the players most likely still know them in there mind.All I`m saying is it worked we were a high scoring team on offense w just didnt have the defense to stop other team from out scoring us BUT WE DO NOW!!!!!FOOD FOR THOUGHT????