Well, how do I explain my feelings at this moment. Disappointed? Nah, that's probably the understatement of the century. I think I'll just say that I am overall just irritated with the Panthers in many phases of the game.
First off, apologies must be made. I got on the Matt Moore bandwagon. I made the mistake of believing that Matt Moore was the reincarnation of Tony Romo himself. I was led to believe that he was the greatest thing to happen to our team since Bob the Builder made some improvements to the stadium, and I am sorry for that.
With that aside, I'm upset with my Panthers today. I've thought of many ways I could detail just how upset I am, but before that happens how about I just run through a list of guys I don't like on our team.
1. Jeff Davidson
Public enemy #1. I never have liked him. Never have, never will. Others like him, but I get irritated when he constantly abandons the running game, sometimes at the drop of a hat. Tell me, how the hell do you get within 4 yards end-zone with a QB that has only started 8 games in his 5 year career, and throw the ball 3 straight times and end up with a interception? Honestly. We're talking about a team that prides themselves on running the football, and you throw it 3 straight times instead of putting the goal-line formation out there and letting Jonathan Stewart or Deangelo Williams go pound the ball for a touchdown. Seven points, thrown to the wind.
Where is the logic here?
2. Charles Godfrey
This one I saw coming. I've been telling you all about this guy since Chris Harris got traded. "We're going to miss Harris when the regular season rolls around." I said to you guys. "Godfrey has had two years to step up and prove to us he's a good player, and he hasn't shown anything until his job was threatened by Sherrod Martin."
Well, look what happened. Sure, Charles Godfrey got two interceptions. Both were balls that the receivers tipped into the air for easy picks. Anyone can make plays like that when it's delivered to them on a silver platter. But whenever the Panthers needed him otherwise in coverage, Godfrey was nowhere to be found. On the other hand, he is easy to see whenever Hakeem Nicks is prancing around and celebrating his latest touchdown. His hands are on his hips, and he's counting the clouds.
This is my favorite play from Godfrey in the 2nd half. Take a good look at #30 here. Watch as Godfrey drops all the way back away from all the action, and then sits on his ass while Bradshaw blows by him. Sherrod Martin literally has to come all the way back up from where he was playing in run support and make the tackle, with Godfrey jogging in behind him.
http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2010091206/2010/REG1/panthers@giants#tab:watch ((5th one from the top))
I'm going to say this right now. Until further notice, he is the weakest link in our defense.
3. Greg Hardy
No, actually I like this guy. Greg Hardy needs to get more playing time. Despite being forced to backup and special teams duty, the man still manages to show up and score a safety with a blocked punt. Surely now the Panthers coaching staff will recognize his talent and give him more time on the field right?
4. Matt Moore's interceptions in the End-zone
This was the difference in the game. Three interceptions from Matt Moore, all three in the end-zone. This right here was the difference between victory and defeat. Let's say we convert all three of those interceptions to field goals. The Panthers lose against the Giants 27-31. Does that sound as bad as 18-31? Not at all. This was mentioned in John Fox's post-game press conferences with good reason. They were opportunities wasted because Matt Moore forgot which color of blue was the good one.
And the more interceptions that Matt throws, the more the defense has to spend out on the field, wearing them out and leaving the other team ripe to pull away with touchdown after touchdown.
Next week we will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They will be a good opponent for us to break in Jimmy Clausen. It's going to be an entirely new week. I think it's safe to assume that we'll see an entirely new offense on the field with him under center, for better or for worse. We need to establish our running game and make our opponents fear it, and then we can worry about Jimmy Clausen making plays down the field to Steve Smith, Dante Rosario, and Brandon Lafell. Until Deangelo Williams and Johnny Stewart get back to making 10-20 yard runs on a usual basis though, it's all for naught.
Our defense will get better as the year rolls along as well. Remember, a lot of the bad play in the 4th Quarter was because they were just out there for so damn long. But we need to fix these blown coverages, especially with Charles Godfrey. I truly hope that this was just one bad game for him, or else teams will be throwing to his side of the field all year long. Captain and Brayton didn't have good games either, and the interior of our defensive line is nothing to be proud about. We'll get better as the year rolls on, but steps need to be taken to improve it. It could always be worse, in Ron Meeks I trust.
Those are my thoughts for this Monday Night.