Man! Panthers again give away the game late. After an impressive performance against Super Bowl hopeful Seattle Seahawks the Panthers manage to let Seattle sneak back to Washington with a win. I can say this is a loss Carolina can build off though. Carolina held their own against the vaunted Seahawks and their talented quarterback Russell Wilson.
I thought all week the Panthers had a good chance of winning this game. But I realized the most important thing for Carolina was to have a good showing. And they did just that. The Panthers have a very exciting defense. Their front seven is as good as any team in the league. The secondary is their Achilles Heel. The front four were able to generate intense pressure on the 2nd year player Russell Wilson. Wilson spent most of the day running for his life. That was a crucial part of the Panthers strategy today and will likely be the rest of the year. I will say the Panthers were punishing Seattle’s ball carriers. That includes Wilson. The defense was completely dominant for 31/2 quarters. The only way Seattle was able to move the ball was through the air. Wilson moved it well, to the tune of 320 yards passing. The bulk of which came in the 4th quarter when Seattle hit a long 43 yard touchdown strike to take the lead from the Panthers. It was in the 4th quarter when I could see the fatigue beginning to show on the Panthers defensive players. The line just was not getting the same type of penetration as earlier in the game and Wilson had time to wait for his receivers to get open. Don’t get it twisted though, the defense did their part to win this game. If your defense holds the opponent to 12 points you should win the game. That brings us to the offense.
When it comes to the offense, it’s a new season but the same problems. We have got to find a way to score touchdowns! And more than just one. I know Seattle has a good defense but they were without some of their starters today. So not being at full strength should have allowed us to score more easily. But we had difficulty as per usual. I thought Shula did a very good job mixing up plays. Cam did an awesome job of just being satisfied with what the defense was giving him. DWill did a great job and I really love the fact that we are finding ways to put the ball in his hands. He gives all his effort every time he touches the ball. I think that fact came back and hurt us today. To my surprise the offensive line played well. I know this group was just sort of thrown together but they blocked very well for Cam and they allowed the run game to be effective. I hope we haven’t lost Garry Williams for the year but his knee injury did look pretty bad. Even after his departure however the line continued to play well. My only complaint is the offense did not go vertical enough. I’m sure part of the reason for that was the look Seattle’s defense was giving us, but we still only hit one pass that was thrown to a receiver that was more than 15 yards downfield. Olsen had a couple of drops that could have kept drives alive for us, that hurt and of course there was the “FUMBLE”. I can’t whine about that too much though. DWill was giving great effort and he was winded. I saw him sucking air in the backfield right before the ball was handed to him. It was not one particular play or a certain player that should take the blame for this loss, but it was a collection of stalled drives and a couple of turnovers that doomed Carolina.
I like the way the “team” played. Defense was spectacular and offense ran the ball well. We just could not find a way to close the deal. This is our modus operandi. We are a young team and must find a way to close out these close games. This is not something that can be taught or learned in a classroom it can only be developed on the field of play. If the Panthers can’t figure it out soon, it may cost the team it’s head coach.
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