The Panthers got a little dose of reality tonight in a 20 - 10 loss to the Dolphins in a game that really wasn't as close as the score suggests. It's going to be hard to find something positive to write about from that first half. After the Panthers first team spotted the Dolphins a 17 point lead in the first half, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stringers mounted a late but futile comeback.
The Panthers did have a few bright moments and I can't certainly put up something completely negative. So here it goes:
- RB Terrell Sutton filled in nicely at RB and displayed the versatility OC Rob Chudzinski is sure ot love. Five rushes and five receptions for 63 yards and a TD. The TD was a very tough 4 yard score that included a 2nd and 3rd effort getting into the end zone.
- LB Thomas Williams led the Panthers with 6 tackles. He again looked good and will be a final cut down decision for sure
- There is no doubt this offense is much better when TE Greg Olsen is on the field. Though he only had two receptions he seems to be the first read for this offense right out of the gate. Don;t be surprised if he is our leading receiver through the 1st half of the season.
We got a little more after the jump...
The defense definitely got more conservative in this game. We didn't see near as many blitzes from the defense and the Panthers hardly ran the ball early; DeAngelo Williams only had 3 carries. Neither played to our strengths. The Dolphins on the other hand controlled the clock on offense and keep the Panther offense on the sideline.
Neither QB distinguished themselves. Cam Newton went 7 of 14 for 66 yards. Jimmy Clausen in turn went 9 for 15 for 69 yards. One good thing is neither QB turned the ball over. The bad thing is I'm still not sure which I would start. Might as well let Derek Anderson start if I have to make a decision right now. I certainly don't envy Rivera on this one.
In UDFA bubble player action DE Ugo Chinasa caused a fumble after pursuing the play. Conversely DE Thomas Keiser cost the Panthers 7 points when he caused on a 12 men on the field penalty on a play the Panthers caused a turnover inside their own five yard line. Keiser did redeem himself slightly when he recovered the a fore mentioned fumble caused by Chinasa.
For the most part we won;t get to week 3 quick enough.