Found October 07, 2013 on The Farm Club:
This will not be a play by play recap of the game, you could find that anywhere. Instead this piece will spell out the positives and negatives from the 22-6 defeat at Arizona. (Hint, it’s just about all negative despite the few highlighted players) Positives: Robert Lester: Two career games, two interceptions. Frankly, he and Mike Mitchell have looked fabulous together. Robert can make tackles, and is smart in coverage. He had one interception, but was in the area on two or three more passes. Graham Gano: He’s now 6-6 on the season. Considering how poor the kicking game has been the past two seasons, this is a very bright spot. Since Kasay was let go following the 2010 season, Carolina burned through two kickers but Gano has found the accuracy to meet his leg strength, and the results have been fantastic. Ted Ginn: Before he had even taken a snap this season he was being written off as a receiver by everyone. Today he had 4 catches for 78 yards, and got them in a number of ways. Known for his speed, it was fantastic to see him run a flawless deep in route. He came here to prove he could be a receiver and he’s making the most of his opportunity in a receiving corps that has, by and large, been disappointing thus far. Negatives: Offensive Line: It’s tough to find the proper wording to describe the group. Silatolu’s injury didn’t look good and will likely end his season, meaning two of the five opening day starters will be on the IR. In a piece on QC Roar, I mentioned that if the group stayed healthy they may be OK. Only a quarter of the season in, we are in crisis mode. Cam Newton, the toughest quarterback in the league to bring down, was sacked seven times today. Whether or not receivers were unable to get open, the pocket collapsed in around Newton too fast. The run blocking also left a lot to be desired. Execution: I said this piece would focus mostly on the negatives, and this is what I mean. Nine penalties accepted for 78 yards, four turnovers, and four drops. It started with Steve Smith dropping a TD and then another on the next series, both right in his hands. Brandon LaFell then dropped an easy 4th down conversion, Rivera wanted seven points, not three,  and was let down by his #2 receiver Nine penalties is just way too many, especially when they add up to points for the other team. The Senn personal foul and Smith pass interference call that backed the Panthers up to their own 5 yard line, which ended in a safety for Arizona are prime examples. Cam’s first two turnovers are the only two I really deem relevant to the outcome, the first was a badly under thrown pass on a deep ball to Smith, while on the other he forced a slant route to a covered Steve Smith that was intercepted on a great play by Daryl Washington. Once again, Carolina had shortcomings in the redzone and failed to convert touchdowns on their opportunities. Final Thoughts: This was a huge chance to prove that they had learned from their mistakes, and that these were not the same old Panthers, but they threw that opportunity out the window. Instead, they ARE the same old Panthers, a team who challenges you to think of a way they can’t lose, only to prove you wrong. Deep down I knew we would lose and it would be frustrating, and it certainly was. Ron Rivera is once again on the hot seat amid rumors that GM Dave Gettleman is already looking to replace him. He faces another must win in Minnesota, or else the Panthers will fall to 1-4 for the third straight season and face another autumn of meaningless football. Here’s to hoping they come out swinging against an equally underwhelming Vikings team. The post Carolina Panthers: Takeaways From The Disaster In The Desert appeared first on The Farm Club.
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