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The Panthers had a couple of lingering quest
03-01-2019, 08:57 AM,
Post: #1
The Panthers had a couple of lingering quest
The pass rush was anemic , the secondary was either very young or very old, and the running game sounded too dependent on a paper thin offensive line blocking for a guy that some didn’t believe could run through the tackles. They answered them Sunday, taking time to emphasize each weakness and fear that was exposed by their game against the Falcons.Matt Ryan moved the ball at will and Cam Newton had trouble keeping the offense on schedule. These were not great developments before a Week 3 date with the Bengals, who had been one of the stronger and more efficient teams in the league to start the 2018 season.Let’s not kid ourselves and think this would have been the same game if AJ Green had stayed healthy. Andy Dalton made great use of the rest of his offensive skill players, but you can’t discount the effect of losing one of the best receivers in the game. That said, Efe Obada may have enjoyed a bigger shoot out. It would have given him more opportunities to rush the passer.The Panthers bye week comes at the perfect time for fans to revel in the glory that is their new breakout star defensive end. Obada has gone from feel-good story of the year to the heir apparent to Julius Peppers off the strength of one game (and a solid preseason). Is it too early to crown this man? Absolutely. Do we care today? Absolutely not.Obada was part of a resurgence of the Panthers defensive line that saw Mario Addison, Peppers, and Obada make huge plays while a handful of other players delivered key pressures. They answered the questions about the pass rush.Donte Jackson was his own revelation. The rookie corner stayed stride for stride down the field with Bengals’ speedster John Ross and hauled in two interceptions to punctuate a statement game. It turns out being very young is not a cause for concern in this secondary unit.Some of what happened yesterday was luck. Let’s march all day in Obada’s parade, but only if we acknowledge that his interception was a one in a million play. It was incredibly athletic. We should praise his awareness. We should also buy a round for Bengals’ fans because we’ve all been on the other side of those. Still, the tipped ball was a good play for the line. It was proof of a success that was nonexistent just a week ago. The Panthers would be 3-0 right now if this defense had shown up to play against the Atlanta Falcons.There can’t be optimism about Cam Newton’s performance since he proved yesterday that he is regressing as a passer. His 62.5% completion rating was a season low and thus a sign that the end is nigh. Woe is he.Fortunately, Christian McCaffrey was there to save the offense. He provided a consistency that Rivera must have loved. With 28 carries for 184 yards, McCaffrey finally out performed his quarterback on the ground. He also proved once and for all that he can run between the tackles. He also ran around some tackles. He also ran straight through at least one would-be tackler.Keep in mind Color Rush Christian McCaffrey Jersey , McCaffrey’s career day came behind that paper thin offensive line we spent so many weeks being worried about. I’m going to continue to be amazed at how well Chris Clark has done at the left tackle position so far. The Panthers may give him a lot of help in pass protection, but he’s at least good enough that his help is effective. That hasn’t always been the case when the Panthers leave in extra blockers.Now, if Newton can just keep his wide receivers from dropping perfectly accurate passes then he can finally take that next step toward being a decent quarterback. That is all that is standing between this team and a fifth trip to the playoffs under Rivera.Jokes aside, it seems as if the Panthers have found ways to adjust to their weaknesses and to answer those questions from the start of the season. They now have the bye week to look back more closely at what went right against Dallas, what went wrong in Atlanta, and how much they liked their game plan against Cincinnati. That is a good position to be in when facing down the rest of the season. And it leaves us fans two weeks to loop Efe Obada’s highlight reel. Plays to Love, Plays to Hate (aka “P2L, P2H”) looks at the most significant plays in swinging momentum and impacting the eventual outcome of the game. There is always plenty to hate about NFL officiating, so we will only focus on the plays on the field, not the refs.Three plays to love2nd Quarter 10:28 – Panthers 3, Falcons 3. Panthers ball 3rd-and-5 at ATL 15The Situation: The Panthers faced third down in the red zone, looking for a touchdown instead of a field goal attempt. The Play: Cam Newton dropped to pass Youth DJ Moore Jersey , felt pressure, and rolled out of the pocket to buy time. Cam then threw against his body - on the run - to Devin Funchess for a first down. The play extended the drive which ended in a touchdown instead of a field goal attempt. Just incredible athleticism, strength, and smarts from an elite quarterback. 3rd Quarter 14:20 – Panthers 10, Falcons 17. Falcons ball 1st-and-10 at CAR 39The Situation: The Falcons took a seven point lead into the half then started the third quarter with the ball. Their first play was a 30-yard gain to the Carolina 39, then Wes Horton came up big on the next play.The Play: Matt Ryan dropped back to throw a bomb to a streaking Julio Jones, but Wes Horton appeared to contact Ryan’s arm on the release. Ryan’s pass looked more like a punt and Donte Jackson was able to come down with an easy interception.4th Quarter 2:30 – Panthers 17, Falcons 31. Panthers ball 1st-and-10 at CAR 49The Situation: The game looked just about over with Carolina trailing by two touchdowns and the two-minute warning drawing near, but then D.J. Moore happened. The Play: D.J. Moore ran a deep in route over the middle, caught the pass, shook off a tackler, then sprinted 51-yards for a momentum-shifting score. The play pulled the Panthers deficit to just seven points and gave the team one last shot at a late comeback. Three plays to hate2nd Quarter 7:25 – Panthers 10 Color Rush Dontari Poe Jersey , Falcons 3. Falcons ball 3rd-and-9 at ATL 26The Situation: Call this the “Donte Jackson Implosion Sequence.” The Play: On 3rd-and-9, Matt Ryan’s pass fell incomplete to force an apparent punt, but Donte Jackson was called for (a questionable) pass interference to extend the drive. Two plays later Donte got juked at the line of scrimmage by Tevin Coleman who ran for 36 yards to the Carolina 24. The drive ended when Calvin Ridley beat Jackson in man coverage for a touchdown. Horrible sequence by the rookie cornerback. 3rd Quarter 13:01 – Panthers 10, Falcons 17. Panthers ball 3rd-and-2 at CAR 10The Situation: The Panthers offense took possession on the Carolina 2 following Donte Jackson’s interception. Three plays later they faced 3rd-and-2 from the 10, hoping to convert a first down and avoid punting from their own end zone. The Play: Devin Funchess ran past the first down sticks and Cam delivered a beautiful ball to his back shoulder, just past the defender. But instead of catching it, Funch let the ball bounce off his shoulder pad for an incompletion on a pass he absolutely must catch. This play led to a domino effect of: 1) Punting from the end zone, 2) The Falcons fair catching the punt at the Atlanta 42, and 3) Atlanta capitalizing on the good field position to eventually score a touchdown for a 24-10 lead. 4rd Quarter 6:26 – Panthers 17, Falcons 31. Panthers ball 1st-and-10 at ATL 22The Situation: The Panthers ripped off 53 yards on consecutive passes to Devin Funchess and Torrey Smith to get near the red zone, finally getting some momentum. Trailing by two touchdowns in the fourth, Carolina desperately needed a score. The Play: C.J. Anderson ran a short route Youth Cam Newton Jersey , turned around, and was hit right in the hands with a perfect dump-off pass from Cam. But the ball went right through Anderson’s hands and off his shoulder pad where it then popped up into the air and was intercepted by Ricardo Allen. This play was an absolute killer on a drive where the Panthers were getting so close to a much-needed fourth quarter score. Bonus play to both love and hate4th Quarter 8:11 – Panthers 17, Falcons 24. Falcons ball 2nd-and-2 at CAR 5The Situation: Atlanta led by seven early in the fourth quarter. They sustained a long drive that put them just five yards away from a touchdown to go up by 14. Carolina’s D needed a huge play. The Play: Ito Smith took a handoff off right tackle and Kawann Short knocked the ball out of his hands, forcing a fumble. For one beautiful, glorious, hope-filled moment the ball bounced around on the turf waiting for someone to jump on it. This was perhaps Carolina’s last best shot to slow down a Falcon’s offense that had dominated them all day. When a fumble hits the ground it’s usually a 50-50 proposition if the offense or defense will recover. In the end, Atlanta’s Brandon Fusco fell on the ball and the Falcons scored a touchdown on the very next play to take a 31-17 lead. The game could have been totally different if the Panthers recover this fumble. I “loved” the play by KK Short but “hated” the fact the Panthers couldn’t come up with the fumble and prevent another Atlanta score. Closing it out and summing it upThis was a fairly predictable loss. Disappointing, yes, but at the same time the sky isn’t falling quite yet. Jarius Wright continues to impress while Christian McCaffrey is quickly becoming the only consistently viable offensive weapon. The patchwork offensive line held up fairly well considering our starting left tackle Chris Clark was signed four days before the game. On defense, James Bradberry should be commended for the part he played in limiting Julio Jones to just five receptions (on nine targets) for 64 yards and zero touchdowns. There were many negatives in this game though. The normally dominant front four was shockingly bad, registering zero sacks on Matt Ryan (on 28 attempts) and rarely even pressuring the Falcons QB while also getting destroyed by Atlanta’s rushing attack. If the front four plays like this the rest of the season, Carolina has no shot at the playoffs. Every wide receiver minus Jarius Wright has been pretty bad so far. It seems Carolina’s receivers are almost never wide open and completions only happen when Cam throws a perfect pass. The 1-1 Panthers hope to right the ship against a suddenly frisky 2-0 Cincinnati Bengals team next week. Let’s hope the front four and the wide receivers show up this time. Plays to love season leaders1 - Cam Newton , Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Kawann Short, Mario Addison, Wes HortonPlays to hate season leaders1 - Amini Silatolu, C.J. Anderson, Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, Donte Jackson, Mike Adams
03-03-2019, 12:47 PM,
Post: #2
RE: The Panthers had a couple of lingering quest
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03-14-2019, 07:50 PM,
Post: #3
RE: The Panthers had a couple of lingering quest
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