The Panthers held off a last gasp and poorly run two-minute offense from the New York Jets last night for a 17-12 win.
Yes…as you might surmise by the score, the Jets had four field goals.
The Panthers offense did about like I thought it would. I figured if they were on course to maturing, they’d still struggle at times against a very aggressive Jets defense with a secondary that can cover. They don’t call it “Revis Island” for nothing.
The Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers offense got a couple of scores and some punts. On the surface, Newton himself didn’t have a very good game, going only 6/15 for 60 yards and a TD. He had no interceptions, although one throw probably should have been. Otherwise, he made some good throws that few NFL QBs can make and spun away from a nearly untouched blitzer to avoid a safety, only to throw the ball away on the sideline.
Newton threw a number of balls away. It’s the preseason, so no reason to run for the first down unless it’s a sure thing you can make it without taking a hit if you’re the star QB, no matter how athletic you are. Regular season, he’d have run more and thrown it away less. It’s a testament to that Jets duo of Antonio Cromartie and Revis at the corners. Revis is his opponent’s shadow while Cromartie plays looser coverage but has a great make-up burst.
The Panthers’ running game did fine overall – again, about as expected. They moved the ball against a stiff defense but didn’t get any big plays.
The defense did what frankly I expected as well if they’re going to prove their worth this season. The Panthers led 10 games with 4 minutes left in the game and only won 6 of them. That is NOT the way to win. And you can call me Captain Obvious on that one.
The fact that the Panther defense stiffened when it had to was good to see. The one miscue Cam had was a fumble at the 12 that he didn’t chase down – and could have recovered – as he pretended to act nonchalant like he was down when it was an obvious fumble.
Twelve yards away from a score, the Panthers held the Jets to a field goal. That simply had to be as uplifting to the Panthers as it was maddening to the Jets. Sanchez actually moved the team fairly well at times, with a sustained running game, until they got in the red zone.
Either way you look at it, the Panthers played exactly how I figured they would to and I set the bar fairly high but realistically. No offensive TDs allowed – not even allowing for a gift on the doorstep that the Jets couldn’t convert. Score enough points so that the now-patented Tony Sparano FG machine can’t chew enough of them out to keep up over the course of an entire game.
WR Louis Murphy caught a short TD toss from Newton for the first-team offense. The seconds played the second half.
Tim Tebow had several perfect throws that Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady couldn’t throw better. The rest was junk. Another layer to the Tebow Mystique.
One concern is Panthers’ RB Jonathan Stewart left the game with a sprained ankle and won’t play in week 4.