Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, November 20, 2006 7:56 am

Panthers 15, Rams 0

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 7:56 am

Lest I be construed as churlish, let me say that a win’s a win.

But let it also be said that the Rams had to be the worst 4-5 team in league history. The Panthers tried to give them the game. Fortunately, the Rams wouldn’t take it. That fact, combined with Saints and Falcons losses yesterday, puts the Panthers in a tie with the Saints for tops in the division at 6-4, and the Panthers have an edge at the moment because of their earlier defeat of the Saints.

It helped that the Rams’ run defense was even worse than advertised. Even Deshaun Foster was able to rip off an 18-yard carry at one point and had nine carries for 63 yards before leaving the game with what radio said was a hyperextended elbow. Deangelo Williams finished with 114 yards, and Nick Goings and Brad Hoover had 34 yards. Each. Looks like offensive coordinator Dan Henning decided to reward Hoover for his game-saving touchdown last week against the Bucs, and it looks like Hoover responded.

Delhomme didn’t have a great game, but then he didn’t need to. He threw one dumb interception into double coverage, balanced by a terrific 62-yard TD pass to Steve Smith (who has been making up for fewer yards after the catch this year with some spectacularly acrobatic catches, including this one).

I hope everyone who has been calling for Henning to be less conservative was happy when Keyshawn Johnson took an end-around, then attempted to throw into the end zone and got picked.

On defense, the team looked much improved, but in fairness, with the Rams’ All-Pro left tackle, Orlando Pace, done for the year with a torn triceps, it was a different Rams offense. The Panthers got six sacks, including two by right DE Mike Rucker, one of which went for a safety with a little more than two minutes left in the game. The Rams amassed only 31 rushing yards, and although All-Pro Torry Holt had seven grabs, they went for a combined 68 yards, barely more than two-thirds his average yards-per-catch.

With six games left, the Panthers are where they need to be: in first place and in control of their own destiny. But four of their last six games are on the road, starting with back-to-back games against Washington Sunday and then at Philly the following Monday night before returning to Charlotte to play the Giants. The ugly loss to Dallas will really hurt the team’s wild-card chances if it doesn’t win the division. But more than that, the Panthers left a lot of points on the table Sunday against an awful team. Against the remaining schedule, they will need to cash all those points in.

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2 Comments

  1. Philly’s done.

    Comment by DrFrankLives — Monday, November 20, 2006 5:28 pm @ 5:28 pm

  2. With McNabb done for the year, that’s probably true. But I’m still not confident this team can win the games it *should* win.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, November 20, 2006 5:43 pm @ 5:43 pm


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