This is what we wanted to see.  Every fan of the Carolina Panthers had wished for this.

Ultimate victory in the game was only part of it.  What was the most sought after prize on this night was a group of victories.

The new and improved offensive line.  Victory.

DeAngelo Williams carrying the rock aggressively.  Victory.

Julius Peppers returning to his former self.  Victory.

How could anyone ask for anything more?  This was exactly the start the Panthers and John Fox wanted.

When the starters were in the game, they dominated on both defense and offense.  They appeared to be a fresh team, fast, strong and confident.  The Colts starters didn’t pose much of a threat outside of a single drive that netted them only three points.

The final score might indicate that Carolina won this game 23-20 in overtime on a John Kasay field goal.  That’s not as important as the score that was displayed on the scoreboard at Bank of America Stadium when both teams sat their starters on the bench:  Carolina 14, Indianapolis 3.

Early in this game, Julius Peppers took an aggressive approach to reach reach Peyton Manning’s replacement, Jim Sorgi and made the most of it getting credit for both the sack and the forced fumble.  Peppers’ team recovered.

That’s when the offense came on and began to display the newly rebuilt offensive line.  If this was any indication of what to expect from this group of five monsters, we can all begin talking loud and proud about our running game.

Large holes were created in the Colts defense and DeAngelo Williams took advantage.  In a little over 3 minutes of game time, Williams had gained 55 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.  One of his scores came on an explosive 10 yard run.

Jonathan Stewart was held out of this game but he had to be wondering just how easy it would be to take the starting job away from Williams.

Meanwhile, Jake Delhomme only attempted on pass to Muhsin Muhammad in the end zone which was defended closely.  It fell incomplete.  A better look at how his reconstructed elbow will perform will have to wait another week.

It was the kind of performance we had all hoped for from the starters.  This was exactly what the doctor ordered.  More of this and we will expect game victories to come in bunches this season – big bunches.

Here are some game notes courtesy of the Charlotte Observer.

Second-team quarterback Matt Moore looked sharp, completing seven 7 of 14 passes for 107 yards and no interceptions.

Backup running back Nick Goings was quick to the hole and made some nice cuts running the ball (seven carries, 27 yards).

Receiver Dwayne Jarrett, a 2007 second-round pick trying to make good after a disappointing rookie year, had three first-half receptions for 43 yards.

Receiver Jason Carter (three catches, 32 yards) continued to make a case that he should make the team and perhaps even get some regular-season playing time.

Rookie linebacker Dan Connor, a former Penn State All-American, had five unassisted tackles in his pro debut.

Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd boomed all but one of his kickoffs into or out of the end zone.

Carolina’s second-team defense didn’t fare so well, giving up two second-quarter touchdowns with third-team quarterback Jared Lorenzen directing the Colts’ offense.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers DeAngelo Williams Indianapolis Colts Jake Delhomme John Fox Julius Peppers Preseason Game One

  • Kidd

    Man, I was there I and have to say, the first team looked beautiful. J-Pep got off that line on every single snap and beat the lineman. The rest of the D swarmed, sacked, and berated the Colts starters. I couldn’t have asked for much more from them. DeAngelo made me feel like there could be a viable running threat in Carolina once again. And it’s always nice to see Dwayne Jarrett try. The second teamers….yeah….little work needs to be done.

    The biggest problem I had was this: Where the hell was the fan noise? It’s third down, Colts are trying to take the lead, why in the world are we not chanting? Or trying to rattle them? It blew my mind to see such lackluster care from the Fans. I mean, sure it’s preseason, but you’re at the game. Make some friggin’ noise. Jared Lorezen is in. We should have been chanting “Pillsbury Throwboy”. Definitely need to step it up guys.

  • Drew

    Man, I was sure making noise Saturday night, but I bet you couldn’t hear me from my TV.  It was a fun one to watch, and sure gives you some hope going into the season.  It’s FINALLY football season, thank the LORD.  First team did look good, and Pep was beating their starting left tackle, so that’s a good sign.  It wasn’t some scrub in there, and granted it wasn’t Peyton playing, but he is the one who they trust to come in behind Peyton and produce, and we made him look bad.  I’m going to the game this year IN TAMPA, so that’s going to be interesting!  A shame they didn’t get Favre….that would’ve been nice to see.