The Panthers did everything they needed to in the first half of this game to lead the Cowboys 7-0. They blitzed on defense more than they had all season They ran play action and hit the open player releasing on offense. But then the 3rd quarter started and they reverted back to there same pathetic ways. The run defense became porous and the offense couldn't get a first down. Any hope we held at halftime quickly dissipated into the familiar "here we go again'.
Before I start my rant about the details of the loss let me first cover a couple trends I think we have to acknowledge.
- As much as I love QB Jake Delhomme the mistakes are getting maddening, whether they are his fault or not. Maybe Smitty did blow the route on the pick 6 but its Jakes job to make sure everyone is on the same page. On the first INT it looked like Moose wasn't even expecting the pass.
- Jake's arm doesn't seem strong enough to throw the deep ball anymore. Every deep throw is coming up short
- DE Julius Peppers is not worth the investment. The Panthers should dangle him before the trade deadline to see what they can get for him ....more ranting after the jump...
Looking at this tough loss here's what is really is annoying:
- The tackling completely sucked by the defense
- The blitzing that was effective in the first half dried up in the second
- The offense couldn't do squat in the 2nd half, four straight 3 and outs and just looked pathetic doing it. The play calling was bad but it seemed the offensive line decided to stay in the locker room.
- The Panther zone coverage got ripped time and again on 3rd and long
There might be some positives to take away from this game but darn if I can think of them so far. I'll leave that to our resident optimist James.
What am I leaving out?