If you are searching for answers as to why the Panthers lost to the Patriots today you can't blame the defense. They held a potent Patriots offense to 20 points while creating 3 turnovers and denying 8 of 11 3rd down conversions. No, if you are looking for answers look at the offense
Back-up QB Matt Moore didn't have a bad day statistically speaking: 15 for 30 197 yards and a TD. But outside of a bomb to Steve Smith he misfired repeatedly throughout the day. In many cases he had a receiver wide open yet overthrew the player, sometimes badly. I'm not pinning this loss on Moore I'm just saying if he could have hit some of those passes he missed in the first half the Panthers might have made this more of a game. As it was the Panthers stayed close but it was only a matter of time before the Patriot offense got untracked.
The running game seemed to be effective at times but was mostly shackled by a lack of touches with only 20 carries between Williams and Stewart. Combine that with the 30 passes for Matt Moore and you have a team that lost in TOP. So if you want to throw a dart at the Panthers defense it has to be the run defense. They got gashed for 180+ yards that allowed the Patriots to control the ball.
The notable Panther performances are after the jump...
- LB Dan Conner has 5 tackles and three assists and recovered a fumble in his first start at SLB.
- LB Jon Beason led the team with 9 tackles
- WR Steve Smith put up 83 yards and a TD on only two receptions. How did Smith not get more catches?
- FS Charles Godfrey chipped in 5 tackles, 3 assists and a FF
- RB DeAngelo Williams had 82 yards on 13 carries (6+ yards per carry)
- DE Everette Brown had a critical roughing the kicker call that prevented a possible Panthers game tying scoring drive. What were the chances of that really happening given how the offense was playing? One in ten at best.
Let's hear it Panther fans. Should Moore continue to start? What if Jake can start next week, put him back in? The Panthers are still not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs believe it or not.