Tuesday, November 19, 2013

5 things I liked in dramatic Panther win over Patriots



They seem to be getting the old band back together again -- does it not seem to you like the Cardiac Cats are back? Carolina edged New England, 24-20, Monday night on a game not decided until the final play. The 5 things I liked the most (as well as a couple I didn't):

1. The dramatics. Hey, if you're a little tired on Tuesday, suck it up. Was that game not worth it? It wasn't decided until the last play, when Tom Brady threw an interception in the end zone and a pass-interference flag on Luke Kuechly was controversially waved off (due to the ball being deemed uncatchable by Rob Gronkowski, who Kuechly was bear-hugging. This was one of the most electrifying wins in Panther franchise history. (Also, I am holding a quick contest on Twitter only -- best nickname of that final play wins a copy of my new Panther book. Enter by going to Twitter and putting your nickname and @Scott_Fowler in your tweet to make sure I see it). Deadline is 3 p.m. Monday.

2. Cam Newton. Simply put, one of his best games ever. Three TD passes. Zero turnovers. A 14-yard scramble you had to see to believe. And the signature fourth-quarter TD drive his career needed. Here's my column on Cam's performance, which netted him a 125.4 quarterback rating and, far more importantly, a win. He thought he could fly (see picture at very bottom of this blog) and it turned out that he could.

3. The crowd. "It was phenomenal," coach Ron Rivera said. "This city wants it, and we're going to give it to them." Rarely has it been louder at B of A.

4. Thomas Davis and Kuechly. Unofficially, Davis had a remarkable 17 tackles and Kuechly had 12 (as well as that bear hug of "Gronk" on that last play that was not called).

5. Robert Lester. On the final play, the rookie undrafted safety was in the right position and intercepted Brady. After watching the Georgia-Auburn game Saturday, you know that it's not a sure thing to make that interception right at that time.

There were a number of problems this game showcased for the Panthers, too. Brady shredded Carolina for 296 yards and the Patriots ran for another 107. Charles Johnson got leg-whipped by the Patriots' Marcus Cannon (it should have been a penalty) and his injury status is unclear, although I was amazed to see him back in the game late. Cornerback Melvin White looked overmatched many times and was obviously targeted by the Patriots. The Panthers couldn't run the ball at all, as the offensive line had all sorts of trouble run-blocking and the running backs did little.

But, hey, they won another close game over another extremely good team. It was a huge win on a number of levels, and it pushed the Panthers to another in what recently has been a series of mountaintops. Here's how Greg Olsen felt about it in a postgame hug with Rivera (and no wonder Olsen is so sure-handed; he has three hands). And then look at this Newton "flying" picture (all of the pictures in my blog are from our excellent Observer photographers - Jeff Siner and David Foster were shooting Monday night's game and did a great slideshow you can find elsewhere at charobs.com).



12 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot the pass interference on the last play.

Anonymous said...

WICKED AWESOME!!! Right, y'all?! CRY BRADYS! Your team has gotten calls like this go YOUR WAY for years. Get over it. GO PANTHERS!

par said...

Melvin White looked outclassed all evening. I was surprised the pathers did not bump/run double team Gronkowski at the line. He was open often.

Anonymous said...

He actually did mention it toward the end of #1. Try reading before commenting. Plus even if Luke was not there, Gronk at best would have just knocked the ball down and disrupted the interception. Either way, the time ran out so it would not have mattered.

John said...

Anonymous 12:40.

By rule, you cannot have pass interference on a "tipped" ball and the same applies on an interception that occurs before it reaches the intended receiver.

The right call was made... go pick up another box of Kleenex!

Anonymous said...

I am a Panthers fan, so please do not lambaste me. But Anonymous, it actually would have mattered because the Patriots would, by rule, have been given an un-timed down from wherever the penalty deemed. The game cannot end on a defensive penalty under any scenario....

Frank said...

This is a good Patriots team, def not a very good team. Look at who've they beaten and lost to. That being said, a good win at home for the Panthers. More importantly this was a game the Panthers needed both in terms of confidence and the standings. NE has the AFC East all but wrapped up so losing on the road on Monday night isn't such a big deal. In fact many Patriots would have considered this a coup had they won.

Anonymous said...

They said the last play was a short pass and time ran out. Brady sure was a sore loser and to think we criticized Cam last year.

Was good to see Cam progress so well as he has and how well he has done on the passing game.

Great game. Try to open up a running game and get some points on the board and not run the game so close.

Two team I despise in the NFL and its Patriots and Saints.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to to see what the NFL does to penalize Brady for his antics after the game.

Wade said...

Let us assume for a second that a pass interference was called, what guarantee is there that the Patriots score?

Let us assume for a second that Luke didn't touch Gronk. Do you mean to tell me that a guy going straight can turn around, push somebody beside him out of the way, and then also catch the ball instead of a DB who was facing the ball? If you believe that, then you would have to believe that Superman is real. The ball was thrown behind Luke, meaning Gronk would have to push Luke out of the way to get the ball after stopping and then somehow have time to catch the ball instead of a DB facing the ball.

The error of the officials was not explaining why they did what they did.

But, if you have to complain about one call not going your way, you deserve to lose. The Patriots should have scored more points in the first half and their defense should have played better. If the pass interference call was made and Tom Brady did score, then the Panthers also deserved to lose. The defense should have never let Brady drive down the field to begin with. You should never be in a position where a call affects the outcome of a game.

Anonymous said...

Pats fans crying about the last play but they were ok with all the other complete BS calls in your favor the entire game including the Pass Interference bull call 2 plays earlier. Get real.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you just happy to see the Pats lose one of these? I mean Beantown wins in every sporting event and at this point, I'm just happy to see Belecheat lose a close one for once. Also, Marcus Cannon should have been penalized for the leg whip. I saw him 2 other times launch himself at the knees of other players. But then, non-calls are just that, I am over it and pat fans should leave it as well. The better team actually won.