Oct 20, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (top) is stopped at the goal line by St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis (55) during the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers Double Up on Disgruntled Rams, 30-15


The St. Louis Rams visited Charlotte, NC in search of their third consecutive blowout win but found only frustration, dropping the game to the surging Carolina Panthers, 30-15.

Captain Munnerlyn intercepted a Sam Bradford pass on the first play of the game and ran it back 45 yards for a touchdown and the Panthers never looked back.

The Rams had to “ramp” up their scoring, starting with a safety when the Panthers began a drive inside their own 1-yard line after stopping a 4th and goal pass attempt. Everybody in the Universe knew RB Mike Tolbert was likely to get the ball and the Panthers’ offense obliged as he was stuffed behind the line, barely even able to reach the goal line and his forward progress short of it for two points for St. Louis.

Although the Panthers dominated play and the Rams were forced to play from behind the entire game, the big story of this particular match-up had little to do with the play on the field but with the action after the plays.

The Rams were flagged for five different personal foul penalties and Rams DE Chris Long was ejected in the third quarter for throwing a punch.

That was just the beginning, however. The Rams, coached by longtime NFL Head Coach Jeff Fisher, became completely unglued, acting like a bunch of spoiled kids.

Guard Harvey Dahl was especially insolent, drawing several flags for unsportsmanlike conduct and probably should have been ejected himself but wasn’t.

On a play where the not-so-fleet-footed Sam Bradford was running for the sideline, he was ushered out of bounds by Mike Mitchell in a legal and in fact relatively gentle shove. Bradford wound up injuring his left knee, and Dahl confronted Mitchell on the field.

For the Panthers part, they didn’t take the bait. Often, the Carolina players were standing there with their arms out while irate Rams players pushed, shoved, slapped, and acted all-around like toddlers who weren’t getting their way.

I lost any and all respect I had for the Rams and Head Coach Jeff Fisher today. While I can certainly understand emotions running high, professional ball players should carry themselves with more decorum than the Rams displayed and frankly I expected it from a Fisher-coached team.

None was forthcoming, however. In the second half, especially with the Rams’ offense on the field, just about every other play threatened to devolve into a temper-tantrum fueled melee by the Rams’ frustration. A seasoned coach like Fisher should have a LOT more control over his team than he apparently does, and now I can see why they themselves play with such a lack of consistency.

They’re little more than a bunch of thugs.

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  • Joey Riollano

    When it comes to how the Rams played, you told it like it was.

  • RamFan4Life

    Not saying it was perfect, but as a Rams fan your Panthers werent as perfect as you perceive them to be. Both teams were at fault. The Panthers threw punches in that scrum as well as Long and I still have no idea why there weren’t off setting penalties. Throwing things out of the stands and shouting obscenities at a player walking off the field really isnt the classiest thing to do. Steve Smith also did his share of taunting and running his mouth. Dahl had a right to go after Mitchell as Mitchell was celebrating over a clearly injured Sam Bradford. Both teams lost a little respect for each other today, but hey it is what it is. Good luck with the rest of your season. Hope to see you write a little less biased in the future.

    • Catman

      Neither is flipping a bird to the fans, dude. Smitty is Smitty, intense as he is, but just about all players trash-talk. He’s just one of the best at it, according to his peers, and “one of the funniest trash-talkers.” Janoris Jenkins had been posting things on the internet about Smitty’s WIFE and KIDS for goodness sake! And Mitchell had his back turned to Bradford and wasn’t aware of the injury until well after. Players do NOT “celebrate” injuries to another player, period. Do I expect a LITTLE pushing and shoving? Of course. Football is an intense and emotional game. But as I said above, I expect players to act with a little more decorum on the pro level. I played a little myself (in high school), back in the 80′s when you could still cut low and use crackback blocks and horse-collar tackles, etc…- it was a LOT tougher game even then. If someone ticks you off, what you do is hold it in until the next snap, then smack ‘em extra hard – legally. That’s the BEAUTY of the sport! In fact, I never had the first penalty called on me the entire time I played as a RDE. Not even offsides – I simply looked in on the center’s hands and when that ball moved, off I went, and I was at least a half-step quicker off the ball than anyone else on my team by playing that way to the point I couldn’t even do the 4-man sled drill with my teammates because I was always hitting it so much quicker than the other 3 I’d bounce off every time. Never had a late hit (although by today’s rules I would have but I played within the rules AT THE TIME), personal foul, not even a 5-yard penalty for not having my mouthpiece in. It’s called “discipline,” and I was certainly no pro.

      As Joey said, I told it like it was.

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