Panthers Fall to Steelers 21-10 in Preseason Finale

Going 0-4 in the preseason isn't exactly the preferred way to prepare for a season but the Panthers will start season just like that none the less. Preseason game 4 mean absolutely nothing so I will spare the doom and gloom because in the end I think our 1st team offense would put up more points if they played the entire game. Instead here are my capsules from the game which as I look it over it looks like a repeat from the previous two preseason games.

The Good:

  • When talking about the Good there is no better place to start than rookie RB Mike Goodson. He again looked brilliant running (15 for 79 yds, 5.3 TPC) and catching the ball (2 for 13 yds) but still made some rookie mistakes. He got run over trying to block DE James Harrison which led to a sack and fumble and then had a costly fumble in the red zone. I know the coaching staff wants to get this kid on the field but the turnovers have to be a concern.
  • I feel like a broken record in my praise of WR Kenny Moore (6 for 59 yds) but he again delivered big time. After watching Moose stone hand a pass I started to think Moore could be the #2 on this team by the end of the season. That off-season work with Steve Smith has paid off big time. I even loved his post game interview in that he wasn't happy with his performance (he had an illegal motion penalty). This guy is a keeper.
  • WR Dwayne Jarrett finally showed something getting 4 catches for 44 yards. With a long of 11 yards though I wonder why the Panthers don't try to use his height downfield.
  • DE Charles Johnson recorded 1.5 sacks as he showed nice speed coming off the edge. He should see increased PT in 2009.
  • DT Nick Hayden had his best game as a Panther. He had 3 tackles, half a sack, a QB hurry and a nice tackle for a loss. But was it enough to stay with the team? Probably but more help at DT is needed.
  • New Panther DT Louis Leonard got significant action and he appeared to play well ringing up a tackle for a loss.
  • Rookie RG Duke Robinson had some nice blocks when pulling to support outside runs

The Bad

  • Neither QB Matt Moore (49 rating, pick 6 INT) or Josh McCown (11 for 15, fumble) distinguished themselves from the other in my view. McCown had a decent rating of 86 but he missed a wide open Jeff King for an easy TD. Overall it's a toss up in my view meaning for the #2 McCown holds his spot.
  • The PR coverage was horrid in giving up a 80 return for a TD for Stefan Logan.
  • RG Keydrick Vincent got run over by LB Kenyaron Fox for a sack. He's got 80 lbs on the guy but went down like a domino.
  • The back-up offensive line got pushed around a lot, gave up too much penetration and didn't inspire anything but doubt. It will be interesting to see who sticks.
  • Sideline reporter Pete Yannity called WR Kenny Moore a UDFA during the broadcast when he's actually a 5th round pick in 2008 of the Lions. He then repeated his error during his post game interview with Moore. Moore coolly corrected Yannity in his response and then conveyed his dismay with his own performance right after Yannity praised his game. So he's cool and mature too. What's not to love about him?

The Bubble Watch

  • RB Jamal Lee finally got significant playing time and he responded fairly (11 for 37 yds). You can tell he has some potential with his size and speed though he does still run a little upright. Look for Lee to make the practice squad.
  • RB Decori Birmingham and T Patrick Brown didn't get on the field and it cannot be good for their chances. Time for them to cut bait.
  • S Joe Fields missed a couple tackles so I'm bearish on him. Look for Quinton Teal to be the back-up SS.
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