Panthers week 1 summary/report card

So, the Panthers begin the season 0-1after an ugly 31-18 loss at the hands of the New York Giants. Am I freaking out about this loss? Not at all? Am I disappointed in the way we lost this game? Absolutely. It was frustrating because it seemed that the Panthers had control of this game going into the 2nd half but the Giants made adjustments and we obviously didn’t pick up on them. Remember those “final thoughts” I posted before the game? If not I’ll quote them.

“I’m confident that Carolina can win this game IF we a) rush the passer, b) establish a strong running game and c) Matt Moore makes the plays when he needs to.”

Let’s see… aside from a few plays, Manning had all day to throw, DeAngelo Williams only had 62 yards on 16 attempts and Moore turned the ball over 5 times. Sounds like neither of those things happened.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m not placing the blame on anyone in particular since the whole team didn’t look good at all but if I had to say what caused us to lose the game I would say that the turnovers, poor play calling and TERRIBLE pass defense is what did us in. However, I’m not panicking because it’s only week 1 and the Giants are a good team. If a similar thing happens against the Bucs next week then it will be a different story.

Standouts/Grades:

Matt Moore: He lookoed absolutely lost out there and showed zero confidence. He did a good job playing the mop-up role last year when Delhomme was hurt but those games were meaningless. Now other teams have some game film on him and know how to shut him down, so I expected him to struggle. I was not expecting him to constantly throw passes into triple coverage, though. That was just painful to watch. Moore failed to show any confidence in his arm and just heaved passes up for grabs even if there was another open receiver in the area. He made good throws on a couple of drives but for the most part, he looked awful. The Giants did exactly what I thought they would do (stuff 7-8 guys in the box and force Moore to make plays/adjustments) and Moore did neither. The starting job is his to lose and I expect him to be on a shorter leash. However, I’m hearing that he has a concussion and could miss next week so Clausen’s first start might come sooner than I thought. Regardless, this was a very disappointing game from him and he needs to actually make adjustments at the line of scrimmage and learn to read the defense if he wants to succeed.
Grade; D

Offensive Line:
Jeff Otah’s absence really showed yesterday as the Giants were getting to Moore with no problem and neither Williams or Stewart could find any holes. Another reason for Moore’s struggles is the poor offensive line play since he was getting murdered back there and eventually had to be taken out of the game. Mackenzey Bernadeau was getting abused by the Giatns D-line and it’s clear that things would have been different had Otah been playing instead. Here’s hoping Bernadeau doesn’t see playing time at LT for awhile. The unit as a whole did an okay job in the first half but they really struggled after that.
Grade: D+

DeAngelo Williams: Had one big run in the 1st quarter but that was it. Mustered about 62 yards on 16 carries. Granted, he didn’t have a lot of room to work with.
Grade: C

Mike Goodson:
Was one of the best players for the team today. Had a few great returns and caught a few big passes out of the backfield. I hope we use him more that way.
Grade: B+

Steve Smith:
Decent day for him but he was the best receiver.
Grade: B

Dwayne Jarrett
Was actually….useful today. Only two catches but they came on big plays and he was only targeted a couple times. Hopefully he can keep it up.
Grade: B

Charles Godfrey
2 picks off of deflections. Unfortunately that doesn’t excuse some of the awful pass coverage he showed throughout the game. He HAS to be better and he knows it.
Grade: C-

Captain Munnerlyn
….I don’t even know where to begin. I figured the Giants would expose him with 3 wide out sets, leaving him covering Hakeem Nicks. Guess what? Nicks had 3 TDs. Nice work Capt!
Grade: F

Richard Marshall and Chris Gamble:
Gamble did a fine job, while Marshall struggled a bit. I give some credit to the Giants dialing up the right plays but some of Marshall’s coverage was pretty bad.
Grade: C

Linebackers:
Great games from Dan Connor (13 tackles and 1 sack) and Jon Beason (10 tackles) and James Anderson even had himself an interception. Big reason why the Giants running game couldn’t get anything going early. Greg Hardy also did a nice job by blocking Dobbs’ 3rd punt.
Grade: A-

Tights ends:

Didn’t play much of a factor at all aside from Rosario. Granted, they weren’t thrown to much.

Grade: C-

Defensive line:
Wasn’t a factor all game. Manning had all the time in the world to throw and they didn’t even record a sack. This has to be better, especially after the high expectations set in the preseason.
Grade: D

John Kasay:
He’s still got it.
Grade; A

Lots of D’s and C’s….not the kind of week 1 performance you want to see. Here’s hoping things go better against the Bucs next week.

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