Though there were a number of bright spots in this game for the Panthers in the end they earned another loss in typical fashion. The agony continues...
The Panthers knew they had to play a perfect game to have a chance against the 10-2 Falcons. That chance went down in flames with the first play from scrimmage, Jonathan Stewart fumble. Though he rebounded for a big game with 133 yards on 18 carries (7.4 ypc) it set the Falcons up for a quick TD and had everyone shaking their heads five minutes into the game. It was absolutely the worst way a 1-11 team could start.
The Falcons proceeded to build a 17 point lead before the Panthers offense woke up in the 3rd quarter. It started with a rare end around by Steve Smith mixed in with a big run by Stewart and a TD run by Goodson. Goodie showed some serious shake-n-bake on that TD run. At 17-7 we briefly thought they might get back into it. But the defense proceeded to allow the Falcons to score a TD; this was after having the Falcons stopped on 3rd down inside the 5 but a penalty gave the Falcons another shot. Like I said, a very typical Panthers loss in 2010.
There were some nice performances by some Panther players to highlight in today's quick hits:
- RB Jonathan Stewart had runs of 48 and 42 yards though he failed to grace the end zone; Stewart is once again running with authority as he looked to punish DBs trying to drive him out of bounds
- DE Charles Johnson had a sack, three QB Hurries, a tackle for loss and 4 combined tackles. Johnson is playing with strength and leverage and has become hard to handle for every RT lining up in front of him on passing downs
Here's some key game stats:
- Panthers 3 of 13 on 3rd down (23%) versus Falcons 9 of 17 (53%)
- TOP: Panthers 25 minutes to Falcons 35
- Falcons 73 offensive plays to Panthers 58; Interesting though that the Panthers averaged more yards per play: 5.0 to 4.5 for the Falcons
- Two Panther turnovers to 1 for the Falcons
- 5 Falcons sacks to the Panthers 3
I saw this picture and just couldn't resist: