Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Sunday, October 26, 2008 8:19 pm

Panthers 27, Cardinals 23

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 8:19 pm
Tags: ,

I keep watchin’ and the Panthers keep winnin’.

This was a game of blown chances, and the Panthers are fortunate to have pulled it out. The Cards blew an extra point and unsuccessfully tried a fake field goal. If they’d kicked the PAT and the field goal, they’d have had a shot in overtime. On the other hand, Muhsin Muhammad dropped a pass in the end zone, so maybe not.

The first half was depressing — the offense simply couldn’t move the ball, and Kurt Warner was dinking and dunking down the field for the Cards as he has all season. The Panthers were lucky to be down only 10-3 at halftime.

But then came the third quarter, when the Panthers made up a 17-3 deficit inside of two minutes. That second TD came on Steve Smith’s immaculate deception or else one of the finest calls by an official this year — you be the judge. I thought at first he’d stepped out. Then on replay it looked as if his toe had remained inbounds with his heel not touching the ground. Adding to that impression was the divot his toe threw up — clearly green grass, not white. They don’t come any closer than that.

Jonathan Stewart was supposed to be the big, bruising, up-the-middle tailback, but DeAngelo Williams was the one who put up the numbers today, including an 18-yard TD run. Stewart had 10 yards on eight carries. That’s not how you get to start.

Warner put up a lot of numbers — almost 400 passing yards — but the defense stiffened in the second half. And then the Panthers went on a clock-eating, game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter to put it out of reach. And credit where due to Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin. He got his face smashed, literally, just weeks ago against the Jets — so badly they closed a lane of the Lincoln Tunnel to get him to the hospital faster — and this was his first game back. He was a stud, getting 9 catches for 63 yards and two scores. When that happens, even to an opponent, you have to admire his guts.

It wasn’t as pretty a win as you could want, but what you want is a win, and that’s what we got. Now, with the bye week, perhaps the battered O-line can get healthy again and build on what’s already a healthy 6-2 record.

Next up after the bye is at Oakland, who isn’t scaring anyone this year. But as they say in this league, on any given Sunday …

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