Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Sunday, October 14, 2007 9:55 pm

Panthers 25, Cardinals 10

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 9:55 pm

I’ll take any win, especially a win in which you pull away in the fourth quarter. Arizona was fourth in the conference in scoring coming in, so holding them to 10 is admirable. But this game was closer than the score indicates. Take away a few big plays and the Panthers were mediocre, in danger of losing to another mediocre team also in quarterback trouble.

The biggest big play was probably Deke Cooper’s spectacular juggling interception with less than 3:30 to play. How that ball stayed off the ground long enough for Cooper to finally secure it will always be an NFL mystery.

Second biggest was the TD bomb to Steve Smith, a score I chalk up directly to poor coaching by Whisenhunt. Memo to him, straight from the 2005 Seahawks: If you want to control Smith, double-team him and hit him at the line. (Not that I am advocating that. By all means, follow Whisenhunt’s example so Smith can score.) Carolina’s other receivers are essentially the same as they were in 2005: incapable of breaking games open if Smith is neutralized. (The one exception might be TE Jeff King, who’s a definite improvement as a target over the now-retired Kris Mangum.)

Here’s the bottom line: If you took away the bomb, Smith’s numbers would have been 9 catches for 61 yards, or 6.8 yards per catch — not even mediocre.

Deshaun DeAngelo Williams’ 75-yard run helped a ton. Take it away, and he still averaged 5.1 yards per carry, better than respectable. But the feature back, Deshaun Foster, managed 2.5 yards a carry. You want that number up around 4.2 or better. For much of the game, the Panthers’ O-line looked like it couldn’t manage to push the Cards’ D-line around much.

Finally, all hail Vinny Testaverde. He looked damn good and probably just bought himself a starting job for the rest of the season. (UPDATE: Not so much, apparently. Which is why John Fox is head coach and I am not.) As my mother the former Latin teacher said, “Vinny, vidi, vici.”

Next: two weeks to prepare for Indianapolis. Reminds me of ’96, when we had 2 weeks to prepare for San Francisco. Maybe it’ll help. Maybe.

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2 Comments

  1. Carr starts against Indy unless he’s physically in much worse shape than anyone’s let on.

    Comment by Tony Plutonium — Tuesday, October 16, 2007 10:22 pm @ 10:22 pm

  2. So it seems. And it’s DeAngelo Williams, not Deshaun Williams. Stoopid Lex.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:32 pm @ 7:32 pm


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