For those who don't want to look at the whole article, I'm going to give you a general discription of all of the ball plays during our last game right now. I'm going to leave this in the sidebar and Jack can upgrade it to the front page if he wants, but this is going to be a big shoutout to our offense and special teams. The defense of the Panthers escapes my ire for this week, as they did the best they against the Bills and would have held them to just 6 points if it wasn't for the turnovers caused by Jake Delhomme.
The playcalling on offense was absolutely horrendous. After watching the game for the 2nd time around, it seems like I'm only repeating what I've said all along. The biggest problem on our offense is not Jake Delhomme, but Jeff Davidson. The Panthers gave up the running game in the 4th Quarter when it is precisely that time when the running game is the most effective.
DeAngelo Williams was also not available in the late game because of leg cramps, which could be because the trainers on the sidelines did not make sure he was hydrated sufficiently. Of all the things I expect for a football team, the very least I expect is that you take care of your players. Little things like that cost us this game, as I will detail later on in my article.
Penalties also continue to be a problem on offense. False start penalties. Holding penalties. We even a delay of game penalty on a crucial 3rd down because Jeff Davidson couldn't get the play in on time.
Special teams had the worst game of the season, two muffed catches, two missed field goals, lots of dancing/getting owned on kick and punt returns. The sad fact of the matter is that no one is blocking when they're running downfield. No one is blocking, and our returners can't catch the football. Consistantly giving the offense the ball at the 20 yard line is not a formula to help this team win the football game. It is the most amazing thing in the world that Danny Crossman still has a job on this team. He should be the very first coach fired when we hit the off-season.
That's just the overview of it all, here comes the real stuff. We're going to go over every single offensive drive that the Panthers had, and what killed it.
Kenny Moore didn't impress on his first kickoff return. He ran up the left side of the field, got to the 19, froze in place, and got tackled. You'd see that a lot before the game was over, so if I don't discribe the special team play from now on just assume that that's what happened.
The Panthers started out empty enough. We went 3 and out. Williams couldn't get any yards on the first play of the game, and on 3rd and 5 Jake Delhomme forced the ball to Dwayne Jarrett in tight coverage and a good ol bearhug from the corner blew the play up before it had a chance. The play was pretty close to being called pass interferance, as Smith was close to the play and he was being held, but the refs didn't call it.
What blew my mind on this drive was that DeAngelo Williams was taken off the field on the first rush in favor of Stewart. He's not tired. He's not dazed from a hard hit. But you use up all this time to subsitute and allow the defense to get perfectly set up for the next play. It's stupid and annoying, and it happened several times as the game wore on.
The woes on special teams stuck once more, as Captain got swallowed up after a 3 yard return. One of the few people that was blocking was Rosario off to the left side of the field, and he got called for holding to start the Panthers at the 16 yard line. ((Second time the offense had to start behind their own 20.))
The reason the 2nd offensive drive failed was because of the Mike Goodson substitution for DeAngelo Williams. After gaining a first down to get the ball to the 27 yard line, Jonathan Stewart came in for Williams and jammed his thumb on a quick pass play off to the flat. So Stewart came back off the field and Williams comes back in, everything is fine and dandy.
A few plays later they call him off the field again in a 1st and 10 situation in favor of Mike Goodson. Instead of running between the tackles like a good boy, he started playing the game the next two running plays like he was in college and failed tremendously, running to the outside of the play instead of between the tackles and leaving the Panthers in a 3rd and 8 situation. Jeff Davidson called a horrible passing play on 3rd and 8, and Jake Delhomme threw the checkdown to Rosario in tight coverage, leading to a 4-3 situation and the end of the Panthers 2nd drive.
((On special teams, see drive 1, 3rd time the Panthers start drive behind their own 20.))
On offense, Jake Delhomme gave a gift. On the first play of the 3rd drive Jake Delhomme did this. Please note that he is not under any kind of pressure at this time. The guy coming behind him doesn't really count because Jake Delhomme doesn't see him. He has a perfect pocket right in front of him, and he throws an uncatchable ball over the head of of the tight end for the big INT.
The turnover later lead to 6 points by Marshawn Lynch, and I gained 6 fantasy points on my Fleaflicker fantasy league.
((On special teams, see drive 1, 4th time the Panthers start drive behind their own 20))
The 4th drive was another promising one, one that swallowed up almost 7 minutes and featured a beautiful 1 handed catch by the Ghost of Wesley Walls, a few quick passes to DeAngelo Williams and Smitty, and a good ground game. But on 1st and 10 at the Buffalo 35 yard line Jeff Otah was lined up ahead of the line of scrimmage. It cost us 5 yards, and along with a couple other mistakes it proved to be the choking point of this drive.
We fought back to make it a 3rd and 3 on a quick pass play to Williams on 2nd down. But all of the sudden Jeff Davidson starts being stupid and calls out the wildcat to show the Bills that we were going to run the football. Williams gets the snap and only makes it two yards up, and on a 4th and 1 John Kasey is called for the field goal and misses it from 43 yards out, killing whatever momentum we had gained.
((See Drive 1, Captain froze again and blocking failed but the Bills didn't kick it far enough for them to start behind their own 20, ending the streak of 4 consecutive times the Panthers started a drive behind the 20.))
Once again good drive by the Panthers. Williams makes a good 17 yard run, and King catches it wide open down the middle for 15 yards. It looks like the Panthers haven't lost their momentum from the previous drive, but Jeff Davidson decides to screw up a drive once more. He had been taking a while to get the plays to Jake Delhomme, but this one was especially long. The refs call the quickest delay of game penalty I have ever seen, leaving the Panthers at a 3rd and 11 on the Buffalo 42 yard line.
They were forced to punt it.
((After the Panthers put two points on the board thanks to a safety, Captain runs the ball back to the Panthers 27 yard line. Momentum is on their side. Surely the Panthers will score this time won't they?))
This drive was killed by a uncharacteristic chop block by Deangelo Williams, one which will probably be a cause for a fine later this week. It left the Panthers right around where the drive started at a 3rd and 20, and our coaches smartly did not allow Jake Delhomme to throw the ball downfield. We made an 11 yard game to a checkoff pass to Steve Smith, and punted on a 4th and 9.
((See 1st drive, also a blocking above the waist call by Tony Fiametta. 5th drive started behind our own 20.))
Slowest 2 minute drill I have ever seen. Let me repeat that, this was the SLOWEST 2 minute drill I have ever seen. Remember the Chargers game when every single member of our offensive unit was rushing to the line of scrimmage? This game they were waddling. The Panthers wasted plenty of time getting to the line of scrimmage, and they failed to spike the ball on 3 seperate occasions where they could have saved time on the clock, using their final timeout on the 3rd. I actually got a pretty good laugh at that, because on television it looks like Jake Delhomme is still running the hurry up offense on the field and suddenly he reached out of the television screen and grabs a water bottle from out of nowhere. It's sad at the same time, because you could see other players on the field and you didn't know they were doing the hurry up because they were moving so damn slow.
Nevertheless, they had a pretty good drive going. Jake Delhomme missed a few passes, but also threw a few strikes right up the middle of the field. Somehow the Panthers lucked out and managed to spike the ball with one second left to go on the clock. It proved to be a non-factor, as John Kasey missed a 39 yard field goal to send the Panthers into halftime with their defense having outscored their offense by two points.
((See Drive 1, Fair catch called at the Panthers 12, 6th drive started behind their own 20.))
Deangelo Williams put Jake Delhomme in respectable position for the 3rd down conversion, but on 3rd and 5 Jake Delhomme threw the ball behind the yellow line to Jeff King for a 3 yard gain. These are the kind of stupid decisions that has earned the ire of many a fan. No pressure on Jake Delhomme, and he throws it to a receiver who was in tight coverage, so with the ball at 4th and 2 the Panthers punted yet again, squandering another opportunity to put points on the ball.
Finally a good punt, the Bills kick the ball out of bounds, forcing the Panthers to start the drive behind their own 20 for the 7th time. Do you see a trend going on here? I swear, it's a mystery.
Here's an important drive. Down by a score the Panthers need to rally and make a touchdown. At first, the drive shows promise. A quick pass to Williams and a long pass to Gary Barnidge and suddenly the Panthers are threatening the Bills at their own 22 yard line. Then Jake throws a ball way out of reach of Daunte Rosario on 1st down, throws a badly thrown ball to Stewart whom barely caught it for 3 yards, and then ran it up the right end for 6 yards to make it 4th and 1 at the Buffalo 13.
The Panthers go for it. I would have loved to have Williams in the game right now, but he's on the sideline due to his legs being all cramped up. That was a huge thing going into 4th and 1, because the Bills plugged up the middle of the line and stuffed Stewart. Williams might have been able to run the ball to the outside and break a TD run right there, both lanes to either side of that pile in the middle of the field was wide open, save for one man to beat on either side. Unfortionately, Stewart tried to pound it up the middle, and he was stuffed at the line. Panthers give up the ball.
This is the first time we've seen any return by the Panthers up to this point. The blocking was still bad, but good enough for the Panthers to make it back to the 23 yard line.
But alas, Jake Delhomme strikes again. They get one first down, but on a 2rd and 6 Jake Delhomme does this. I'm not even going to say anything more. That was what killed the drive. No pressure. Plenty of time to throw.
Really Jake? Really? We deserve better than this. Matt Moore for President!
Goodson muffs it on the kickoff return, but luckily the ball didn't go far and he was able to pick it up and kneel it for the touchback.
Here is where Jeff Davidson really starts to show his genius. That is massive sarcasm quotes by the way. He completely abandons the running game after the INT, and 4 straight passing plays later the Panthers punt the ball again, the highlight of the play being the Jake Delhomme sack on 3rd down.
The Panthers start to play like the New England Patriots yet again, and the result is a massive wad of shit thrown in the faces of Panther fans everywhere. Any potential comeback is blown dead in the water right here. It's the 4th quarter, the defense has been on the field a whole lot, and they're getting off the field because of Davidson's playcalling. Clap....clap....clap.
((See Drive 1, Captain gets slaughtered for a no gain return. Panthers start at their 22.))
About 10 minutes left to go in the game, don't worry Panther fans your suffering is almost over. Jake Delhomme is given the ball to pass seven straight times to get the ball to the Buffalo 15. He managed to luck out and get the ball deep to Steve Smith for a 48 yard gain. In fact, Steve Smith could have taken the ball all the way if he hadn't tried for the stiff arm on Byrd.
Finally, on 4th and 1 they call the first running play of the drive on Buffalo's 15, and suprise suprise the play goes for a touchdown. The Panthers opt to kick the extra point instead of the conversion, and it's a one possession game.
There is no 13th drive. After Carolina wastes 2 timeouts on defense, and they manage to stop the Bills on their own 45 yard line, they punt the ball and Moore pulls off his infamous muff. The failure leads to the Buffalo Bills kicking the field goal to put themselves up by 11, and with 2 minutes left to go on the clock it's enough to put the game out of reach.
The Panthers get the ball at the 40 yard line due to a kick out of bounds, but since the Panthers are forced to throw it due to the time left in the game he gives the ball up to Wilson 4 plays later on his 3rd interception, highlighting the problems the Panthers have had in the passing game all day. The Bills kneel the ball 3 times, and with no timeouts to stop the clock, ((They wasted them during the 12th drive of the Bills.)), the Bills were able to kneel the ball 3 times and finish off their victory.
Next week we go up against Arizona, and if Jake Delhomme is at the helm we will be slaughtered. It's time to take the offensive playcalling duties away from Jeff Davidson and send Matt Moore in to be the QB of the Panthers.
That is all.