Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, September 20, 2004 10:46 am

Panthers 28, Chiefs 17

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 10:46 am

OK, I’m feeling a little better now.

The Panthers’ front seven held last year’s touchdown leader, Priest Holmes, to modest production (and might have taken him out of the game with a late leg injury), the secondary stepped up big in the second half and Carolina found its lost running game. This has got to boost the Panthers’ confidence going into the team’s bye week. It sure boosted mine.

Granted, the Chiefs’ defense was among the league’s worst last year and looks no better this year. But after the Panthers’ anemic running performance Monday night against the Packers, I was really worried. OTOH, I’m not sure what DeShaun Foster’s 174 yards against the Chiefs really means. If he’d run up that kind of number against Green Bay, I think we’d know.

Delhomme played a generally good, generally smart game, but he got picked twice and was just lucky he didn’t get picked a third time on the touchdown throw to tight end Kris Mangum, when he was being twirled around by a defender. Rookie Keary Colbert, in for the injured Steve Smith, had a short touchdown catch as well as two other acrobatic catches for 46 yards. They tried to go to him deep a couple of times early without success, but I’m betting if they keep trying that, it’s going to pay off.

The defense, which looked almost helpless against Green Bay, looked much better against the Chiefs, particularly in the second half. The later it got, the less comfortable Trent Green could be that his blind side was taken care of; Mike Rucker was in his face on almost every play. And the secondary came up big, with rookie Chris Gamble getting his first pick.

I’ve said before that the Panthers’ 11-5 record last year easily could have been 7-9. But this game could have been lost, particularly after the Chiefs dominated early with their passing game, and yet the Panthers found what they needed to turn it around.

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