Wow, I couldn't have scripted it too much better. What else needs to be said about the Panthers Smash-n-Dash RB combo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart? They not only ran for over 300 yards and 4 TD's but they ran with an attitude as they punished the Bucs weak tackles. WR Steve Smith has also his usual self with 100+ yards and score.
The Panther defense had a tough time containing WR Antonio Bryant (200 yds, 2 TD's) but did keep Panther nemesis RB Warrick Dunn in check (49 yards). The Bucs offense in the end couldn't keep up once they got down by two scores.
Other game notes:
- It all starts up front with the Panthers offensive line just destroying the Bucs defensive line play after play. Big kudos to Gross, Wharton, Kalil, Vincent and Otah. The big boys up front got it done tonight
- CB Ronde Barber got punked on several plays via a Williams stiff arm. It might be time for Ronde to join his brother Tiki in retirement.
- The Bucs quick passing game keep Julius Peppers in check for most of the game, but not enough to keep him registering a sack and half. He had a key sack on 3rd in the 4th quarter that stopped a Bucs drive that might have tied the game
- QB Jake Delhomme threw two INT's where both were just poor decisions. On the other hand he did hit WR Steve Smith for a 38 yard TD
- The Bucs defense had given up only one rushing TD all season prior to giving up two each to Williams and Stewart.
- CB Richard Marshall led the team with 9 tackles and chipped in a key sack on a blitz. This shows how much time the Panthers played the nickel against the Bucs WC offense
- The Panther defense rang up 5 sacks as they finally got pressure on the fleet-footed QB in the 2nd half.
Just a huge win for the Panthers who now have the inside track for the #2 seed. Shoot, if they run the table they would be the #1 seed. Here's the best thing about this game:
They put the BEATDOWN on the Bucs baby! They demoralized their defense and bewildered the offense. They got popped in the mouth over and over. They got abused for sloppy tackling and in the 4th quarter they suddenly couldn't keep containment on the Panthers pass rush.
Yes my fellow Panther fans this was one game to behold and enjoy for the moment. Who could not watch that performance and not be impressed with the Panthers running game (except Kornheiser of course)? This Panther team is legitimate and maybe now they will start to get some props from the rest of the league.
Check back for more analysis to come and I leave you with the very telling picture:
Bow down to the Power that is Smash-n-Dash!