Thank God we have a defense and can cover on punt returns! Otherwise, the Carolina Panthers would have come home with one of the most humiliating defeats in their history.
Jake Delhomme looked pretty bad. Four interceptions – FOUR! He didn’t complete a pass in the third quarter. None. Did he play that badly or is Nnamdi Asomugha that good? My hope is that it’s the latter.
The running game struggled all day until DeAngelo Williams took off on a 69-yard scamper in the second quarter. Aside from that run, Williams had 71 yards and the Panthers had 78 as a team. This was the game that we actually had our starting five back on our offensive line. What was up with that?
Sure, Ryan Kalil went out in the second quarter meaning that Geoff Hangartner had to take his place but that hadn’t hurt the team in previous games.
The bright spot – just as we said at the top – the defense. Julius Peppers was a beast! He finished the day with 3 sacks and two forced fumbles not to mention all of the other plays he made. Pepp was everywhere.
Why go into all the specifics? The Panthers are lucky to get back to Charlotte with a “W” in their hip pockets. Here are some random thoughts from today’s game:
- Richard Marshall killed one scoring threat with an interception in the end zone.
- After dropping so many interceptions, the Panthers pulled in two on Sunday.
- Moose dropped another pass on Sunday that he’ll likely be talking about tomorrow.
- With the first half becoming a battle of field position, Carolina gave up a 17-yard run that allowed Oakland to punt and pin the offense deep in their own end.
- One more false start penalty, this one on Steve Smith, brings the season total to 22.
- Steve Smith was totally controlled on the day with only 1 catch for 9 yards.
- Julius Peppers hurt his left arm in the third quarter but returned. He will be a major focus this week.
- Charles Johnson continues to make plays nearly every time he’s on the field.
- Mark Jones improves nearly every week. Today, he contributed a 55-yard punt return late in the game that put the offense in position to put up the final three points.
- Dante Wesley is one of the unsung heroes of this team. He seems to nearly always be in on the tackle on punt coverage.
- That stupid Fox robot keeps reappearing. This week he was being thrown in the air by the Burger King like a cheerleader.