GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Cam Newton says "Look Mom, I can set NFL records while sitting down with no helmet!"
I feel as good about the Panthers loss as anybody, as good about a loss as I can ever remember. As easy as it is to pin the loss on the punt return team I can't help but look at the penalties as well and wonder if maybe we should have been driving for the winning FG instead of the tying TD. Little did we know when we got a penalty returning the opening kick off that it was a bad omen. Unfortunately we saw nine more rack up, some at critical points to stall drives. HC Ron Rivera has plenty to work on this week in order cut down on these mistakes:
# 1 - Holding on LB Jordan Senn - costs the Panthers 11 yards and forces them to start their opening drive at the 8 yard line
#2 - After recording a sack DE Charles Johnson gives 5 yards back for encroachment
#3 - New Panther WR Arjitutu gets called for an illegal block that negates a 12 yard Armanti Edwards return, total loss is 16 yards
#4 - The very next play Shockey false starts for 5 yd loss; leads to a Panthers punt
Six more after the jump...
#5 - False start by Jeff Otah, 5 yards (42 total so far)
An Illegal Hands to the Face against RT Byron bell was declined
#6 - A 29 yard run by Jonathan Stewart is negated by a BS holding call on LG Travelle Wharton; total cost is 39 yards (up to 81 total); leads to a punt
#7 - Holding on Jeff Otah for 10 yards
#8 - Unsportsmanlike Conduct on Cam newton for going to his knee to celebrate the TD, total BS; 15 yards
#9 - On 3rd and 11 LB Thomas Davis gets an Illegal Contact penalty after the Panthers caused an incompletion; Panthers still force a punt, 5 yards
#10 - On 1st and 10 Naanee gets a false start that eventually leads to the punt returned for a TD by Peterson, 5 yards
Summary: 116 yards in penalties overall that essentially killed two Panther offensive drives and indirectly led to the Peterson punt return that endded up being the winning points.
Honestly when I started this analysis I was expecting the impact of the penalties to be more dramatic when the result. Okay...I'm convinced, let's blame the special teams punt coverage for the loss!