Panthers QB Dissection: What Grade will They Earn?


There's been a lot of talk about how our QB's played Thursday.  And while I've seen a few posts about the game, I haven't seen one devoted to the QB's.  They have been the position I've been most eager to see play this year, DL included.  I missed the first half because my high school football team had a scrimmage, but luckily I had access to a DVR.  Unfortunately it malfunctioned a little bit, so Moore's first drive and Cantwell's two minute offense are not included.  So let's see what the tape says, starting from the sack fumble of Moore...... 


 3-10-CAR 50 (13:38) (Shotgun) 3-M.Moore sacked at CAR 50 for 0 yards (28-T.Zbikowski). FUMBLES (28-T.Zbikowski), recovered by CAR-73-M.Bernadeau at CAR 33. 73-M.Bernadeau to CAR 33 for no gain (55-T.Suggs)

We lined up with 3 receivers, two backs, Moore in the shotgun.  On the play, it was a clear blitz look, with the safety Zbikowski cheating up.  Moore didn't audible, the OL did a good job of holding their blocks, DeAngelo Williams in particular.  There were just too many men, and Moore was caught completely unawares.  I would love to know what Moore was thinking on this particular play, and I'm reminded of something I said last year, that he lacked some pocket awareness.  You can't really spin this play any other way, it was a bad play for Moore. 

(next possession)

2-12-CAR 18 (8:39) 3-M.Moore pass short right to 80-D.Jarrett to CAR 25 for 7 yards (50-A.Barnes)

This play was better, we lined up in the I, sent Jarret in motion, the pass was a nice, on target throw to Jarret, who made the most of it.  Simple play, simple route, pretty good gain, and a good sign, as I've seen Jake execute that play with Moose countless times.  

(next play)

3-5-CAR 25 (7:57) 3-M.Moore pass incomplete short right to 10-A.Edwards (22-P.Miller) [90-T.Pryce]. Penalty on CAR-72-D.Robinson, Offensive Holding, declined

We lined up with three receivers, Moore took a five step drop and underthrew Brandon LaFell on an out route.  However he appeared to be hit as he let the ball go. 

 (next possession)

1-10-CAR 45 (6:57) 3-M.Moore pass short middle to 47-J.King to BLT 49 for 6 yards (26-D.Landry)

We lined up with two TE's, it was a quick pass for a short gain that did exactly what it was intended to do. 

1-10-BAL 43 (5:39) 3-M.Moore pass short left to 42-T.Fiammetta to BLT 32 for 11 yards (28-T.Zbikowski). Penalty on BLT-90-T.Pryce, Defensive Offside, declined

We lined up stacked on the line with only one receiver, play-action, Moore to Fiametta in the flat for a good gain. 

2-11-BAL 33 (4:43) 3-M.Moore pass deep right to 47-J.King pushed ob at BLT 16 for 17 yards (29-C.Williams). PENALTY on CAR-69-J.Gross, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at BLT 33 - No Play

I-form, TE to the right, play-action, nice pass to King on the sideline.  Unfortunately it was taken away. 

3-15-BAL 37 (3:39) (Shotgun) 3-M.Moore pass deep right to 80-D.Jarrett to BLT 18 for 19 yards (29-C.Williams). PENALTY on CAR-69-J.Gross, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at BLT 37 - No Play

Beautiful pass, great zip and heighth on a 25+yard throw.  Utilized Jarret perfectly. 

(next play)

3-25-BAL 47 (3:10) (Shotgun) 3-M.Moore pass short right to 42-T.Fiammetta to BLT 39 for 8 yards (43-H.Nakamura)

Same formation as the previous play, Moore was pressured slightly and checked it down.  Would have liked to see him be a little more aggressive, but that's just me.  Live to fight another day. 

(next possession)

2-2-CAR 28 (11:18) 2-J.Clausen pass short left to 22-T.Sutton to CAR 36 for 8 yards (53-J.McClain, 63-T.Cody)

Just a little screen to get Clausen comfortable.  Nothing much to see here. 

(next play

1-15-CAR 31 (10:13) 2-J.Clausen pass incomplete short middle to 80-D.Jarrett (54-P.Burgess). Burgess knocks down pass in the backfield 

I form tight, little play fake dink that didn't impress me, pressured, rolled out, pretty bad throw that could have been picked.  Didn't look comfortable. 

(next play)

2-15-CAR 31 (10:08) 2-J.Clausen pass short middle to 22-T.Sutton to CAR 38 for 7 yards (53-J.McClain)

Checked down to Sutton. 

(next play)

3-8-CAR 38 (9:24) (Shotgun) 2-J.Clausen pass deep middle to 81-K.Moore to BLT 37 for 25 yards (29-C.Williams)

Shotgun with one back, Clausen gets excellent protection, and delievers a nice, high throw that was a little risky, but put in good position for Kenny Moore to make an outstanding grab.  That's one thing I like to see QB's do, throwing passes that make receivers open. 

1-10-BAL 23 (7:59) 2-J.Clausen pass short middle to 40-J.Vaughan to BLT 16 for 7 yards (48-E.Jones, 41-T.Fisher)

This is the infamous across the body screen play.  I think this was an alright play.  It was a poor throw mechanically, but spot on accurately, and not nearly as risky as some make it out.  The closest guy to the play was behind Vaughan.  Good heads up play by Clausen.  

3-6-BAL 19 (6:19) (Shotgun) 2-J.Clausen pass incomplete short left to 81-K.Moore [54-P.Burgess]

Clausen missed on this one.  He did have Trevor Pryce in his throwing lane, but still, this is a play he needs to make. 

(next possession)

1-4-BAL 4 (3:18) 2-J.Clausen pass incomplete short right to 11-B.LaFell (29-C.Williams)

Again another controversial play.  Very good throw by Clausen, a couple of inches higher would have been better, but in this case LaFell HAS to come up with the ball.  If you get two hands on a pass, there is absolutely NO excuse for it not being a reception.  I saw the defenders hand in there, but LaFell is bigger, stronger, and more talented than that defender.  I do like how Clausen acknowledges his part in that though. 

(next possession)

1-10-CAR 40 (1:11) (Shotgun) 2-J.Clausen pass incomplete short right to 80-D.Jarrett

Poor snap, Clausen just threw it away.  I would have liked to see him try and make more of the play, but hey, better than a pick.  ;) 

(next play)

2-10-CAR 40 (1:07) (Shotgun) 2-J.Clausen sacked at CAR 34 for -6 yards (99-P.Kruger)

No one really got open.  He might have had a man on the post deep, but he was stepping up at that point and I don't think he could see him. 

3-11-CAR 39 (:58) 2-J.Clausen pass deep middle to 88-D.Rosario to BLT 42 for 19 yards (45-K.Hamlin)

Beautiful play, threw it straight between Rosario's eight's with great zip.  I've raved about this play enough. 

(next play)

1-10-BAL 42 (:52) 2-J.Clausen scrambles up the middle to BLT 31 for 11 yards (43-H.Nakamura)

Good wheels on the play, should have taken it out of bounds to kill the clock. 

(next play)

1-10-BAL 31 (:26) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 2-J.Clausen sacked at BLT 37 for -6 yards (56-T.Gooden)

Bobbled the snap, but should not have taken the sack.  It kept the clock running. 

(next play)

2-16-BAL 37 (:19) 2-J.Clausen pass short left to 22-T.Sutton to BLT 30 for 7 yards (41-T.Fisher)

Had to dump it off here, Sutton needed to get out of bounds.   Coach has some work to do in this department. 

(after half)

1-10- (13:05) 2-J.Clausen pass short middle to 40-J.Vaughan to BLT 47 for 3 yards (58-J.Phillips)

Clausen was pressured, stepped up and shoveled it to Vaughan.  Avoided the sack, which was good. 

3-6-BAL 46 (11:43) (Shotgun) 2-J.Clausen pass short right intended for 19-D.Jackson INTERCEPTED by 29-C.Williams at BLT 31. 29-C.Williams to CAR 37 for 32 yards (64-R.Petitti). PENALTY on BLT-61-A.Jones, Low Block, 15 yards, enforced at CAR 44

Nice throw, especially considering the conditions.  He stepped up, delivered an accurate pass that probably would have been caught had Jackson kept his feet. 

(next possession)

1-10-CAR 29 (9:45) 2-J.Clausen pass short right to 82-G.Barnidge to CAR 33 for 4 yards (29-C.Williams)

Made a bit of an awkward throw that was off target, but he was pressured and it was wet.  Barnidge still caught it. 

(next play)

2-6-CAR 33 (9:04) 2-J.Clausen FUMBLES (Aborted) at CAR 30, and recovers at CAR 30. 2-J.Clausen to CAR 30 for no gain (50-A.Barnes)

Wet ball, but I have seen some bad center exchanges between Clausen and whomever.  This is a little worriesome, especially considering Tebow and Bradford haven't had that much trouble with snaps. 

(next play)

3-9-CAR 30 (8:28) (Shotgun) 2-J.Clausen pass incomplete short left to 10-A.Edwards [45-K.Hamlin]

Off target snap again, Clausen pressured and threw it away. 

(next possession)

3-9-CAR 20 (3:52) (Shotgun) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete short middle to 40-J.Vaughan

Pressured, threw it behind Vaughan.  

(next possession)

1-10-CAR 25 (2:29) 14-H.Cantwell pass short left to 10-A.Edwards to CAR 37 for 12 yards (22-P.Miller)

Nice quick throw and catch

3-8-CAR 39 (:22) (Shotgun) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete deep right to 10-A.Edwards (29-C.Williams)  

Excellent throw, Edwards just got rocked.  It was put only where Edwards could get it. 

(next possession)

1-10-CAR 45 (13:01) 14-H.Cantwell sacked at CAR 37 for -8 yards (96-L.Divens)

Held on to it too long, was sacked as a result. 

 3-15-CAR 40 (11:45) (Shotgun) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete short right to 12-D.Gettis (35-D.Dutch). Carolina challenged the incomplete pass ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1.)

Cantwell rolls out and throws to the sidelines.  Gettis couldn't get inbounds.  Meh play, at least Cantwell put it where only his guy would get it.  Poor challenge by Coach Fox though. 

2-6- (8:55) 14-H.Cantwell pass short left to 82-G.Barnidge to BLT 41 for 9 yards (58-J.Phillips, 37-C.Hawkins).

Three step drop, nice laser to Barnidge. 

1-10-BAL 41 (8:21) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete short left to 10-A.Edwards.

Edwards drops the screen pass.  Cantwell may have thrown it too hard.  Not making excuses for Edwards, again, two hands, one catch.  But some QB's don't throw catchable balls. 

2-10-BAL 41 (8:18) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete short middle to 40-J.Vaughan.

Another drop, but another bullet on a short pass. 

3-10-BAL 41 (8:14) (Shotgun) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete deep middle to 86-J.Petrowski [48-E.Jones]. PENALTY on BLT-48-E.Jones, Roughing the Passer, 15 yards, enforced at BLT 41 - No Play.

Overthrown, but was hit as he threw it. 

2-5-BAL 21 (7:28) 14-H.Cantwell pass short right to 10-A.Edwards to BLT 20 for 1 yard (35-D.Dutch)

Edwards catches the smoke route this time. 

3-4-BAL 20 (6:45) (Shotgun) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete short right to 12-D.Gettis (35-D.Dutch).

Cantwell rushed and Gettis had a defender draped all over him. 

4-4-BAL 20 (6:41) (Shotgun) 14-H.Cantwell pass incomplete deep left to 10-A.Edwards (43-H.Nakamura)

Nice placement, but Edwards can't hang on.  I hate to say it, but a real receiver likely makes that play. 

1-10-BAL 27 (5:41) 16-T.Pike pass incomplete short left to 86-J.Petrowski.

Pike play-action and sends a duck towards the sideline that was on target, but he didn't zip it, and the defender broke it up.  Why I prefer strong armed QB's. 

3-8-BAL 25 (4:49) 16-T.Pike sacked at BLT 28 for -3 yards (43-H.Nakamura)

Stepped up, caught around the legs by the blitz.  I don't think he really could have done much, probably not stepping up would have helped. 


And that's it.  Thanks go to for supplying the pbp, modern technology for the DVR, and Big Davis for inspiring the format.  Here are the final grades. 

Matt Moore: B+

Moore had a solid performance and made some good throws.  That sack strip brings his grade down a bit, along with the fact he didn't have as many opportunities as Clausen.  Still, very solid, I don't see much to be worried about, I believe we will be just fine with him executing our offense. 

Jimmy Clausen: A-

I saw some incredible throws from Jimmy, and like has been mentioned countless times, he didn't look like a rookie.  He was making checks and audibles like a veteran.  I did see some rookie mistakes still, but there's nothing there that can't be ironed out with experience.  If for some reason we have to start Clausen, I don't think we'll miss a beat. 

Hunter Cantwell: C+

Definitely a mixed bag for Cantwell.  He showed off his arm, but also exposed his lack of touch.  He made some pretty accurate downfield passing, but was inconsistent short.  Overall I think we have a promising third stringer, and someone who will definitely beat out Pike, but no challenger to Moore/Clausen.  I think we could flip him for a fourth round pick eventually to a team like Minnesota or Oakland who like to pass vertically, but I see too much inconsistency here. 

Tony Pike: D

This is more a grade of his talent than his performance, as he only attempted two pass plays.  However both plays exposed his weaknesses, his lack of strength in not only his arm, but overall.  Needs a year on the practice squad and in an NFL conditioning program.  However, he is accurate.  The only thing that saves him from an F. 

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