Nov 11, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Tough Game To Watch, Even Tougher Game To Write About

Coming in to Sunday’s game against the Broncos, there was a very ominous feeling at our tailgating spot. We had hope, but we all knew and figured things would be bad, not too bad, but bad enough to lose. Holy Schnikes was I wrong. Not only did we lose, but we lost badly. The Broncos scored on all three fronts defense, offense, and of course Trindon Holliday’s punt return score. Of course it wasn’t all bad, but I’ll save that for the end of the article, for now it’s the list.

  1. The Offensive Line – To me, where our offense failed was our front five guys. The Broncos have a tough defense and we’re still missing Ryan Kalil, but again excuses are just excuses, especially for a competent Offensive Line, even without Kalil. Cam was rushed the entire game. The line allowed seven sacks, and a touchdown. They didn’t actually give up a touchdown, but if Cam hadn’t been rushed, he wouldn’t have thrown the pick, and they wouldn’t have scored.

    Nov 11, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) with the ball as Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe (95) and outside linebacker Von Miller (58) defend in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

  2. Penalties – There were three penalties that really stood out to me, and would have turned into first downs for the Panthers. Jordan Gross’s facemask on a Jonathan Stewart screen play which would have gone for a first down. The other two were pass interference calls on Brandon LaFell and Louis Murphy, and both plays would have been for first downs. Gross’s penalty really upset me.  He is a veteran of ten years, and the offensive leader with Steve Smith. He shouldn’t make these rookie mistakes. Speaking of rookie mistakes, Amini Silatolu didn’t have a penalty, so that’s a plus.
  3. Dropped Passes – There were a few dropped passes during the game, but there were two that stood out to me. One was Brandon LaFell on a pass in the first quarter that could have been for at least a twenty yard gain. It wasn’t a defining play that hindered the drive in any way, if I remember correctly, but it just stood out to me. The other one being the second interception, that Cam threw. From the replay that I saw, Armanti closed his hands before the ball reached him, which caused the tip, and ultimately the interception. I do not blame Cam for the last interception.
  4. Special Teams – Dear Lord, I can’t believe Trindon Holliday. I also can’t believe we couldn’t tackle him. It just disappoints me to see the same problem last year reoccurring Sunday afternoon. I’m not really going to dwell on the unit.
  5. Running Backs – DeAngelo couldn’t get hot, which has been a reoccurring problem this year. As a little side note, in the two games we’ve won DeAngelo has scored, coincidence? But either way no one could find a way to get past the Broncos stout Defensive Line. To win we need to find a way to effectively run the ball, either Cam, DeAngelo, Stewart, or Tolbert, it doesnt matter, just someone needs to run effectively.
  6. The Secondary – First round pick for next year’s draft should definitely be a corner or safety. Peyton is of course known to mutilate defensives, but the Broncos receivers continuously got separation on our corners, and a few times, on our safeties. They did have a few good plays, specifically Josh Norman’s breakup on Demaryius Thomas, but beyond that it was just the Peyton Manning show. Sorry for the addition to the list, but I felt like I should put the Secondary in.

Like I said, it wasn’t all bad. Cam played well; Greg Olsen played one of his best games in his career, and made a lot of fantasy owners happy. Kuechly again showed why he was the 11th pick of the draft, and the rest of the Linebackers played great as well. Our Defensive Line played really well again, three forced fumbles, Charles Johnson with two and Greg Hardy with one, and Johnson also had one sack, but compared to the Broncos Defensive Line that wasn’t good at all.

I’m sure most sane people would have picked the Broncos to win this one, as I did, but things will get better, hopefully. The Panthers still have the rest of the AFC West to play, Oakland, Kansas City, and San Diego. Three very winnable games and we should be able to win more with the Eagles, Bucs, and Saints on the road, and the Falcons at home. So don’t give up hope Panthers fans! I still think the Panthers have a chance to finish the season with a better record than last year, hopefully…

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Denver Broncos

  • criolle

    “Though” game, sports “gernilizm”.

    • Catman

      I just love readers with such self-esteem issues they’ve gotta go around being typo police….

    • Tony Cardwell

      I dont know what gernilizm is. And I’m sorry criolle. Hope you enjoyed the article “tough”!

      • criolle

        When you’re up against a deadline, grammar errors are going to creep into your work (5. “pasted the Bronco’s … Line”?).
        It happens.
        When it happens in the headline, it sorta, kinda, leaps at ya.
        I make mistakes, I’ll raise my hand for my fouls. You did, with good humor.
        I’m not a professional “journalist”.
        It WAS fine analysis.
        Suggestions (from you) for how the Panthers could improve would be greatly appreciated. These are some of mine.
        The O-Line is playing a rookie at left guard AND right guard AND a 2nd year right tackle. The center is playing out of position. That’s sort of an issue. The defensive line had the same issue last year. The addition of twenty years experience in the center has made a noticeable improvement in the overall defense.
        One wide receiver has more than three years experience. Tight end is a patchwork after the excellent Greg Olsen and he seems innocent of blocking.
        The punter has been asked to do thing IN MID GAME that he has never practiced. Why has he never practiced these things?
        The kicker was never tried until last week. His skills are now evident and should be utilized more often.
        Cam needs some three-second whistle drills. Three seconds … complete the pass or THROW IT AWAY! That inexperienced line is not going to protect him.
        Your turn.

        • Tony Cardwell

          Glad you thought my joke was humorous, and I’m also glad you said professional journalist, something I am not (read my bio) but I like to think I write at a pro level.
          As for your points, I agree with almost all of them.
          The O-Line is young and unexperienced. Byron and Amini have a ton of potential, but both are very young and Amini came from D2, and while he was a stand out, he has never played at this level. Geoff was our back up center a few years ago, and played gaurd last year and the begining of this year, so I can see your point there to an extent.
          As for the D-Line, I’m assuming your talking about the Edwards twins. They continue to improve, and Frank Alexander was one of the better draft picks in Panther history.
          Our recievers are a tricky subject. There are few future starters, LaFell, Gettis, and Joe Adams (only based on his Arkansas stats) Smith is out of his prime and has a few years from leaving. Olsen is a keeper even though his blocking is inconsistent. I’d like to see Hartstock and Gettis get more time and looks as well.
          Nortman is a rookie, and this Medlocks first NFL year, and Brian Murphy wasn’t the best.
          As for Cam, he needs work. It’s more apparient this year, but I have faith for the future. He needs this season more than any other player.
          Glad you feel as strongly about the Panthers as I do.

          • criolle

            An hour after I commented on the O-Line, they signed Bridges.
            He’s an adequate guard, but has off-field issues. That’s not the sort of thing The Big Cat usually tolerates. At least they’re trying and not holding bad cards.

            GO PANTHERS!

          • Catman

            Yeah I noticed yesterday Cam is still throwing too many passes off his back foot. He actually was accurate on a lot of them, which is kind of a bad thing since it reinforces bad mechanics, but my point on Cam is he should have had a lot of those mechanical flaws coached out of him. But as with many young QBs with very strong arms, they tend to rely on it alone to make plays/get them out of trouble and it often backfires on you…

        • Catman

          I think Hangartner actually came into the league as a center but with Ryan Kalil…moved Geoff to guard but he’s no Kalil in any case. Good points there criolle….I think the defense is coming along well considering out back-four but the front seven has picked things up. The issues are the coaching all over the offense. Olsen not hustling to a ball against Chicago that was intercepted shows even one of the best offensive players needs the Panthers have needs some fine-tuning that he shouldn’t need at this point in his career. If David Gettis can get rolling, we might have something but everything begins and ends and the o-line who is playing atrocious football….