The Broncos received the opening kickoff of the second half, as ready to attack the Panthers’ defense as Cecil now is ready to attack Mick from the back of the chair. Mick is not oblivious to this as he avoids walking near, but Cecil has the leaping ability of Michael Jordan at minimum.
If this game continues the way it’s headed so far, watching the two felines play might wind up being more interesting if you’re a Panthers’ fan like I am, but I digress.
I am so happy to see Trindon Holliday ready to return, but Medlock kicked it out of the side of the endzone for a touchback. Whew!
McGahee was stuffed for a 1-yard gain on the opening play. I’m liking this Panthers’ run defense more and more.
He caught a 5-yard swing pass on the next play to make a 3rd and 3. Manning misfired from the shotgun as the Panthers’ front four got pressure as Greg Hardy managed to swipe Manning’s shoulder blade on his throwing arm, causing the inaccurate throw. Colquitt’s punt was fairly short although he’s 3rd in the NFL in net punting…but a penalty on Carolina pushed back their starting position. Instead of having great field position around their 40, they started on their 23.
Stewart bulled his way off-tackle for 6 yards as the Panthers needed to get something going on this drive to keep pressuring the Broncos. Another run got 2, leaving 3rd and 2. Dumervil now isn’t playing, which should help ease the pressure.
As soon as I type that, Kevin Vickerson came up the middle and sacked Newton, forcing another 3-and-out punt.
This is getting old.
At least one Panther is having a decent game, other than kick coverage, and that’s Brad Nortman. He had a 45-yarder fair-caught, so other than the coverage breakdown, he’s forcing the Broncos into having to have long drives for a touchdown.
Starting their drive at the 37, Manning hit an 8-yard pass on the left side. So far this game, the Broncos’ bread and butter has been short passes.
McGahee gained 3 to move the chains on the next play. Again, once I type something, it changes. Manning then hit Stokley for 22 yards down to the Panthers 22.
Probable Pro-Bowler Charles Johnson got a sack/fumble on Manning, stripping him with a swim/hack move, while Hardy recovered from the other end spot. It was Manning’s first sack in 145 pass attempts, but even this was turned into something foul by the Panthers.
Newton rolled out to pass but was forced back inside. As he was falling down being tackled, he launched a strike – right to backup cornerback Tony Carter – who proceeded to turn on the jets and scored a touchdown 40 yards later. Carter then mocked Cam’s “Superman” pose. Such is life in the NFL.
The Panthers started at the 11 and Stewart took a short pass 62 yards but a holding penalty on LT Jordan Gross negated it. In reality, it was another rookie mistake by LG Amini Silatolu – they flagged the wrong guy, but same result.
DeAngelo Williams started beeping again, losing 5 yards on a run to their own 1-yard line. On the next play, Brandon LaFell, the best-performing offensive player this season in my opinion, took a pass 22 yards to eek out a first down and some breathing room for the Carolina offense.
Once again, Robert Ayers got to Newton, forcing an ugly incomplete pass that was nearly a fumble. The Panthers’ pass protection is not getting it done.
Newton narrowly avoided another sack in a very athletic escape, ran out of bounds for a short loss, and was hit by Vickerson with a horse-collar tackle and a 15-yard penalty. After no gain by DeAngelo Williams, Cam threw a hurried incompletion, showing demonstrably that the rush has him rattled. Yet another sack followed, causing the Panthers now to be 0-for-8 on third down.
That was the fifth time Cam had been sacked today, tying the most he’s ever been sacked during a single game in his career.
The Broncos wasted little time moving the ball before fumbling after Greg Hardy punched it out of Willis McGahee’s hands. The Panthers’ Charles Godfrey recovered, keeping the Panthers barely in the game as time is becoming a factor.
Broken record time – Cam tried a QB draw and got stuffed in the backfield by Von Miller. 0-for-9 on the game on third down.
Another decent punt had the Broncos start at their own 30, up 24-7, and severely out-playing the Panthers. If not for the defensive plays made by the Panthers’ d-line, they’d already have been blown out. It’s not even close as it is.
Stokley caught a 10-yarder to movve the chains, then another one for another first. Another 17 yard completion to Thomas gave them their third first down in as many plays to the Panthers’ 30-yard line.
TE Joel Dreessen then caught a 22-yard pass down the right sideline – perfectly thrown by Manning – to set up a first-and-goal at the 8 to close out the third quarter.
Kuechly stepped up and smothered McGahee’s run up the middle for no gain. Charles Johnson forced an incomplete middle short pass and Manning was pressured the next play to force a FG attempt. This is the red-zone defense I’m starting to expect to see from this Panthers defense, but the offense hasn’t helped them at all.
The Prater field goal was good, increasing the Broncos lead to 20 at 27-7.
The Panthers started another drive at their 20 and the broken record continues. Von Miller caused a Stewart fumble, but the offense recovered for 2nd and 14. Cam was forced to throw it away as the o-line is now barely even an obstacle, let alone a force to be reckoned with, under a rush.
You guessed it. 0-for-10 on third downs and another punt. The rookie punter certainly earned his paycheck today.
SEVEN PANTHERS DRIVES NOW ENDED IN “THREE-AND-OUTS.” This is COMPLETELY unacceptable and WILL be the subject of a post coming in the very near future once the Panthers completely embarrass themselves on the field today by the time the clock reads 0:00.
The Panthers gained only 10 yards the entire third quarter.
Denver began their drive at their own 32, but FINALLY the Panthers forced a three and out of their own as Luke Kuechly battled Joel Dreessen for the ball on a third-down pass attempt. This is one great rookie player, folks, and never mind how the season goes; he’s a guy the franchise can and will build their defense around for the next 10-15 years, as he’s only 21 years old.
It’s the offense, ironically, that needs a major overhaul. The talent is there. The teamwork is not. That, my friends, is a coaching issue.
Nothing is going well offensively for the Panthers today. They had an offensive pass interference call , backing them up to their own 5 yard line.
Yyyyyeeeeaaaahhhhh you guessed it – Newton was sacked inside his own 1 yard line – by Robert Ayers.
Don’t fret though – Newton was sacked for the safety on the following play by….half the Denver defense.
Denver 29, Carolina 7
At this point, I’ve lost interest. Really. Carolina looks like they don’t even belong on the same field as Denver.
I’m sitting here with over 10 minutes left in the game and don’t care to keep up relaying the game flow. I think the picture that’s being painted is horrible by now if you’ve read my first-half recap…the second half is even more wretched-looking.
Recall the Broncos-Chargers game a few weeks ago…when the Broncos were behind 17-0 and scored 35 unanswered points? Well, we’re at 29 now here and counting…and the defense is playing pretty well!
John Fox took his former team out behind the woodshed and whipped ‘em really, really well.
It’s days like this that I wish I weren’t a blogger – there are a lot more interesting games to watch than this one for sure.
The Panthers got their first third down conversion of the game on a penalty. Cam did have a good hard pass completion on a play he had time to throw, but I’ve noticed he is throwing off his back foot – STILL – and that’s a mechanical flaw that should’ve long since been corrected. Oddly, he’s being accurate with such passing on this particular drive.
Another coaching issue.
The Panthers got a first and goal at the 5 on a pass interference call. Everyone was well-covered, however.
Greg Olson caught a five-yard TD while a safety tried to cover him running across the field.
Denver 29, Carolina 14.
The onside kick failed and Willis McGahee fumbled on the drive but recovered it himself. Ronnie Hillman replaced him in the backfield at that point. On third down, Demaryius Thomas hauled in a 46-yard pass to the 5 yard line and Hillman scored on the ensuing play as in-over-his-head safety Haruki Nakamura couldn’t pull down a 200 pound running back.
Denver 36, Carolina 14.
Cam threw a pick on a tipped pass, but he threw it too high. Armanti Edwards should have been able to handle it, but couldn’t.
The last time Denver didn’t allow a third down conversion during an entire game?
Well, let’s just say Bill Clinton was President.
Final score: Denver 36, Carolina 14.
The game was not as close as the final score might suggest.
Ugly, ugly ugly game that Panthers’ fans are getting all-too-accustomed to seeing. It’s the Panthers’ fourth consecutive home loss as they fall to 2-7 on the season. The Broncos improve to 6-3 and look to be as good as anyone in the AFC, possibly the NFL. Watch out for the Broncos in the playoffs…they are a Super Bowl caliber team.
At least the Falcons dropped their first game today, leaving the Panthers ONLY 6 games out of first place with 7 to play…
I’m not holding my breath. Neither should you.
Rivera may not last the season after all.