I was thinking this would be a good game but I meant more along ‘competition’ lines. Still a good game, it was instead the Panthers completely dominating the Redskins on both sides of the ball. If you were worried about the pass rush you have to feel some relief as the Panthers put pressure on the QB all night long getting several sacks from the starters and a forced fumble and recovery. The offense started a little slower but then got the running game in high gear as both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart put up a 100 yards and long scoring runs. Jake Delhomme started slow but once the Redskins starting moving people up to stop the run he found people open, including two TD passes.
· The offense started slow as all they could get out of two turnovers in Redskin territory was two field goals. J-Stews score came on a left end around where he outran the safety and an attempted ankle tackle. D-Will’s score came right up the gut as he cut left after getting through the line and outran the Redskin secondary. On both runs FB Brad Hoover made the key block to spring the runner.
· I can’t say enough about Jeff Otah and the job he is doing. The rookie hasn’t run into anyone that he can’t handle so far and in many cases he’s just annihilating his opponent.
· We finally got to see J-Stew flash the talent that made him the #13 pick in the draft. He showed that great stiff arm, the ability to break tackles and the speed to outrun the secondary. I don’t think it will be long before the Panthers are recognized as having the best RB duo in the league.
· The WR position looked very good too as Steve Smith was himself, hauling in four passes and a TD reception. Dwayne Jarrett looked good in catching four passes as well and provided a good block on Stewarts TD run.
· Smith was also involved in the “Oh no!,..Alright!” play of the day. D-Will took a hand-off and broke through the middle of the line and was running for daylight when the safety ran by and knocked the ball out of his hands. If he had not dropped it he would of scored I believe. Instead the ball bounced forward right to Mr. Johnny–on-the-Spot Steve Smith who scooped it up in stride and dove in to the corner of the end zone. That’s when we knew it was going to be all Panthers on this night.
· The kick return game was much improved as both KR Ricardo Colclough and PR Jason Carter ripped off nice returns. Colclough went 37 yards on the opening kickoff and Carter went 19 yards on a 1st quarter return.
· I think earlier this week I stated I didn’t care about having a TE that could stretch the field. Ok, after seeing Dante Rosario make an acrobatic catch for a 24 yd TD against a safety I stand corrected. Rosario is a weapon I look forward to seeing deployed every week.
· Since it looks like RG Keydrick Vincent and LDE Tyler Brayton have won their starting spots the only starting position that still seems under contention is SLB. Starter Na’il Diggs played well but then so did Landon Johnson. I’ve gone on record as saying Johnson will win it but if that is the case it didn’t show as Diggs stayed with the starters. One intangible Diggs has that I didn’t consider is the fire and enthusiasm he plays with on the field. He excels rushing the passer and plays the run fairly well too. It’s still a toss-up but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong on this one and Diggs remained the starter.
In the end though can we draw anything from this game? I think so but I bet Redskin fans would say the opposite. The Panthers executed both their offensive and defensive game plans with only a few hiccups. Special teams were much improved as the kick coverage resulted in poor Redskin field position the entire game. Overall this performance was nearly an opposite result from last weeks’ sloppy performance against the Eagles. The Panthers have a lot to be happy about, at least until the next game. So is life in the preseason.
Any questions from those who failed to witness this fine piece of football action?