Tuesday, December 9

Panthers scouting report

Saw the Panthers last night and the last quarter and a half was really good. They ran roughshod over the Buccaneers.

If the running game hadn't gone berserk, and if they had lost, Jake Delhomme would have been the goat of that game.

I was pretty frustrated for the first two and a half quarters. The passing game was not working well and TB had really never stopped the run. So why in tarnation did they keep passing?

Here's the AP's take.

You might protest that they needed to establish the run or they wore down TB, but that wasn't my view. Maybe a little. It was more like the offensive coordinator finally got the message that the run was working and the pass was not.

Let me hasten to say that no one except Mike Martz loves the pass more than me. Maybe Steve Spurrier. But you have to go with your strengths and what's working.

'Goat' might be too strong, but Ronde Barber had a pretty bad game for TB. He had a couple of significant penalties and got stiff-armed to the ground on one of the long TD runs. On the plus side, for him, he had an interception.

Carolina's defense was ok. They did enough to win in the end. They certainly didn't dominate.

The stars were the blockers (offensive line + TEs + FBs) and the RBs.

But back to Jake. The Defense got a three-and-out on the first series and Carolina started with the ball inside TB's 50. To take advantage of that, they should have gotten a TD. And they made good progress, until Jake took a stupid sack when he should have thrown the ball away. 3 points instead of 7.

They AP story says the wore down TB, but, again, I disagree. They just finally stuck with what was working.

Worse than Jake's sack were his two interceptions.

But all well that ends well.
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