I expect all the Jake Delhomme comparisons to continue all week. I can write that off to the nature of fans. We love our team and we want to see them do well.
It was a terrible loss and definitely a game we should have and could have won. And a lot of accounts will refer to this as revenge and so forth and so on. Thats fine. But we were beat by a sloppy team and that tells me that there are things to improve on. Week 1 is the time to get to work on that.
So what went wrong?:Indeed the Offensive Line let us down. My expectation was different, but this I fear may have ended up a bit more costly. Excuse me, It could get very costly. At the time of this writing, the status of Matt Moores health is still in question. Pass protection was very poor today. Very poor. Besides all the sacks and forced fumbles, 10 Quarterback hits were recorded. In an earlier conversation today, Dkes from carolinagrowl told me he felt like Moore may have had a concussion before he was taken out. That does raise a good question, “Was Matt Moore literally knocked silly?” by the time he got around to his last two interceptions? Who knows? He did manage to get the ball to the end-zone?
In short, I just feel like the O-Line let Moore down. Jordan Gross tends to see it that way as well and sounds like he is ready to lead the way in correcting the problem.
And I do agree with Eric completely about Marshall and Gamble. Where were they at? Marshall did show up big time with a tackle to delay a touchdown, but as far as pass defense goes, all the PD and Int stats have Godfrey and Munnerlyns name on them. Beason and Anderson also stepped up to that task a bit as well. Hopefully, Meeks will address this come practice time.
And finally for this part will be Matt Moore. All the turnovers and so forth will turn a lot of the coming weeks conversation to, “Are we going to have another Delhomme like season?” Not really a nice way to put that but that is how it will be put forth. Okay, yes. 3 interceptions in the red zone area is an alarm, but I doubt it is time to throw Matt out and bring Clausen in just yet. Remember, we did the same thing to Josh Freeman last year and the last time I checked, Tampa is not ready to throw him out just yet. So before the drum beats of “Fire him” start, lets wait till he deserves it first.
What did we do right? Yes, there are some things to be pleased with besides the fact they found the stadium and got their jerseys on correctly.
If I had to pick a player of the game, how about this? That kid from Penn State Dan Conner. He obviously came to play today. Not only getting the lone sack on Manning but leading in tackles and getting 3 Tackles for Loss. Seems to be filling the MLB spot pretty nicely.
Would you believe that we were more efficient at 3rd down conversions as well. (47%) I realize that not scoring as many points is the one that counts, but I am just saying we are not hopeless. And don’t forget that Double Trouble has never started out very strong.
And if you take a look at the rushing stats on this game, you may notice that the better back was DeAngelo Williams. This also tells me that our run defense did better than they will be given credit for.
And Mike Goodson had a terrific showing as a Kick Returner. By his own tweets, he got poked in the eye and he is doing fine.
And it was nice to see Steve Smith hit the end zone,score, and tap his arm as if to say “See! Chump Proof”
All in all, I would not worry too much about today. Yes it was a loss and an ugly one at that. But this is Week 1. All we can do now is trust that the team will get at it hard in practice this week and get ready for these next guys coming up. Last I heard is, they are hungry after three straight losses to the Carolina Panthers, but more about them later.
In all, I would say this is Week 1. Although there is much room for progress there is still time but I would implore Fox not to waste this time. Right now we will have to await what will become of Moores Concussion, and knowing Fox, he will promptly update us all on this late this week. Very late. Until then, I say let the guys work out some things this week. Remember, they have thus far worked out getting into the end zone and some scarily terrible special teams play. So I expect they can get these problems handled as well.