The hurry-up offense is our most effective weapon. I've been saying that for a few weeks now. Every really good drive that the Panthers have had this year has come from a 2 minute drill (or much less) that Matt Moore has engineered, starting from the 1st game vs the Giants, where he went 50 yds in less than 33 seconds, to throw the go-ahead TD, end of the 1st half.
Pictured via cdn0.sbnation.com
Matt Moore throws a pass against the Rams.
The INTs he's thrown this year have far overshadowed his accomplishments, in the eyes of a lot of others on this board. But the word <engineered> that I used above is the key. These aren't scripted drives; he's running the show in these hurry-up sequences. And that's probably WHY they work, or part of it. He doesn't have to use the crap the OC sends in, but works from the shotgun, usually with 4 WRs and Goodson the lone back (who, incidentally, has turned into a really fine blocker - notice when the D sends only 4, Goodson leaks out as a safety valve receiver; when they bring 5 or more, he stays to pickup the blitzer - he's far better at it than Williams, Stewart, or Fiammetta, especially.)
To give my idea some substance, I'm taking the time to enumerate each hurry-up drive Moore's run this year. See if it doesn't open some eyes, as to just how effective he's been. Analysis after the jump...
7th drive, behind 9-14, when he takes over at midfield, 0:33 left in the half. He takes 0:24 to score. The play sequence is: pass complete to LaFell for 8, incomplete pass, complete to Smith for 10 (FD), complete to Goodson for 13 (FD), complete to Smith for 19 and a TD, to go up 16-14.
13th drive, behind 18-31, 2:38 left in game. Gross misses block > sack/fumble > knocked out of game with concussion.
Game 2 (TB)
I maintained, and still do, that Fox should've rested Moore this game, to fully recover from the concussion the previous week. He threw a TD pass in the second quarter, but it wasn't from the hurry-up, so let's move on. Later, the 4th series, started at the 7:36 mark of the second quarter, consumed 5 minutes, gaining 55 yds, but ended with a punt, after a sack. Moore was replaced by Clausen in the 4th quarter.
Game 3 (CIN) Moore DNP
Game 4 (N.O.) Moore DNP
Game 5 (CHI)
Moore replaces Clausen at the 3:35 mark of the 4th quarter, not hurry-up yet. His second pass is the one that Armanti Edwards couldn't hold onto, and the pass took a crazy bounce off his hands, then his knee, right into the arms of Brian Urlacher, for one of the several INTs counted against Moore, but very unlucky.
15th series, 1:56 left, the game is out of hand, down 6-23, but no huddle, hurry-up, from the shotgun, so I'll recap it: We start at our 40, after their KO goes OOB. Pass complete to King for 14 (FD), incompletion, incomplete, complete to Clowney for 5, complete to King (on 4th and 5) for 6 (FD), complete to Gettis for 9, spike to stop clock with 0:14 left, Hail Mary in EZ where Gettis doesn't try for it, another BS INT on Moore's record, ending the game.
Game 6 (SF)
A 10-play drive, culminating in a tying TD pass (10-10) started at the 8:44 mark of the 2Q, so I won't include that.
Our 6th series began with 1:12 left in the half, though, and featured Moore in the SG, in the hurry-up, so I will. From our 20, he goes: Pass complete to LaFell for 9, complete to Gettis for 6 (FD), and then sacked by a safety blitz.
Series 12, we're down 13-20, 4:30 left in the game, start at our 37. From here on, all plays are from the shotgun, hurry-up offense. Pass complete to LaFell for 9, complete to Gettis for 4 (FD), complete to LaFell for 9, incomplete (tipped at LOS), false start on Garry Williams, complete to Rosario for 10 (FD), illegal contact penalty on them (FD), complete to D-Will for 4, again complete to D-Will for 4, and with 1:59 left, 23 yd TD to Gettis in the EZ to tie it, 20-20.
Series 13, 1:08 left, still tied, from our 43, after the Marshall INT, Moore goes pass complete to LaFell for 35 (FD), and after 3 runs to kill clock, we kick the winning FG.
Game 7 (STL)
Series 5, Q2, down 0-10, 2:00 left in half, shotgun, hurry-up. Moore goes: pass complete to Smith for 12 (FD), complete to Stewart for 7, complete to Smith for 20 (FD), complete to Goodson for 2, calling Time Out with 0:55 left, complete to Goodson for 1, incomplete to LaFell deep right sidelines (announcer Charles Davis says LaFell cut his route short) We settle for a FG, to make it 3-10.
Series 10, Q4, down 10-20, 2:28 left. We start from our 2, after a downed kick. Game is probably out of reach, barring a miracle, but it's hurry-up, from the gun, so I'm including it. Pass complete to Goodson for 4, complete to LaFell for 5 (he stopped his slant pattern a yard short of the FD marker (?), complete to Smith for 5 (FD), and the last pass, downfield to Smith is intercepted, due to Smith running a lazy route, and not turning to the ball. Moore is shown to be mad as hell, and later quoted, when asked what happened on the play to make him angry, "a lot."
So let's tote it all up.
Moore has run a hurry-up, shotgun (many times no-huddle) offense at the end of 2nd and 4th quarters, a total of 7 times.
Total time elapsed: 10:04
Plays run: 39 (including 3 rushes, and 2 penalties)
First Downs made (not counting scoring plays): 11 (that's more than 1 a minute)
Yards Gained (not counting FG yardages): 256 (that's 25 yds per minute)
Points produced: 20
For you statistical ratio types, here are some interesting percentages: the above represent just 5.3% of the time we've had on offense, through our first 7 games, and 9.1% of all the plays we've run. Yet they account for 21.2% of our pass completions, on only 14.9 of our pass attempts, 10.9% of our First Downs, 14.5% of our yardage, 22% of our FGs, and 25% of our TDs! That's 24% of our offensive scoring, in 5.3% of the time.
Summary: after looking at these figures, how can anybody say Matt Moore doesn't have:
1) control of his offense?
2) no need for a running game to make him effective?
3) the efficiency to be an "elite" QB, given proper blocking protection?
4) the brains and accuracy to run his own offense (screw Davidson and his runs up the middle on 1st downs)
...and 5) why the hell don't we shake things up, and run this hurry-up offense ALL THE TIME? It would wear down defenses, through eliminating their free substitutions, would energize our team and fans, and would increase our scoring by a multiple of what it's been.
I intend to send this post to Tom Sorenson at the Observer. I'm tired of Moore getting toasted for failures that aren't of his making. Maybe Tom will shed some public light on the subject.