QB Cam Newton and the rest of the 1st team starters were given one try to generate some offense and they didn’t disappoint. Newton lead a very Panthers-like 14 play, 68 yard drive that chewed up some clock (6:32) and gave the Panthers a 3-0. Let’s be real, once in the red zone the Panthers played it conservative and were still a single stride away from a Ted Ginn TD.
Here’s a look at the drive in detail with my comments in italics:
- 9-J.Tucker kicks 65 yards from BAL 35 to end zone, Touchback.
- 1-10-CAR 25(15:00) 19-T.Ginn left end pushed ob at CAR 42 for 17 yards (22-J.Smith). Oher got a nice 2nd level block; the Ravens DE Z. Smith was completely fooled on the direction of the play
- 1-10-CAR 42(14:50) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 1-C.Newton pass short left to 88-G.Olsen pushed ob at BAL 48 for 10 yards (32-E.Weddle). Nice timing moving right to left between Newton and Olsen
- 1-10-BAL 48(14:30) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 1-C.Newton pass short middle to 88-G.Olsen to BAL 45 for 3 yards (57-C.Mosley). Newton held the ball half a second too much and cost Olsen a chance at YAC
- 2-7-BAL 45(13:57) 43-F.Whittaker right guard to BAL 44 for 1 yard (54-Z.Orr). No room at all.
- 3-6-BAL 44(13:27) (Shotgun) 1-C.Newton pass short middle to 11-B.Bersin to BAL 35 for 9 yards (36-J.Powers) [54-Z.Orr]. The first of Bersin’s six catches, this one a 3rd down conversion.
- 1-10-BAL 35(12:45) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 35-M.Tolbert right tackle to BAL 28 for 7 yards (57-C.Mosley; 35-S.Wright). The Tolldozer cut back to the right after some initial contact.
- 2-3-BAL 28(12:14) 35-M.Tolbert left guard to BAL 26 for 2 yards (93-L.Guy; 54-Z.Orr). Tolbert was stopped behind the LOS but only through sheer will did he make it close to the 1st down line.
- 3-1-BAL 26(11:50) (No Huddle) 35-M.Tolbert right guard to BAL 24 for 2 yards (32-E.Weddle). A classic ‘you can’t stop him’ run up the middle.
- 1-10-BAL 24(11:19) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 1-C.Newton pass short right to 13-K.Benjamin to BAL 19 for 5 yards (35-S.Wright). A high and to the outside pass, KB can make this kind of catch look easy all day long.
- 2-5-BAL 19(10:36) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 1-C.Newton pass short right to 19-T.Ginn to BAL 10 for 9 yards (50-A.McClellan). A WR screen that worked even though the blocking came up late because Ginn turned on the jets.
- 1-10-BAL 10(9:50) 34-C.Artis-Payne left guard to BAL 10 for no gain (32-E.Weddle; 54-Z.Orr). Stoned.
- 2-10-BAL 10(9:09) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 34-C.Artis-Payne left guard to BAL 7 for 3 yards (95-K.Lewis-Moore). A read option Newton should have kept. Or should I say would have kept if this game counted.
- 3-7-BAL 7(8:28) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 1-C.Newton pass incomplete short middle to 19-T.Ginn. Led him a good yard too much.
4-7-BAL 7(8:22) (Field Goal formation) 9-G.Gano 26 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-44-J.Jansen, Holder-5-M.Scifres.
Obviously I would have preferred a touchdown there but given the limited playbook they kept it vanilla. Two runs up the middle and then a crossing pattern across the back of the end zone was a pretty safe set of plays.
At the time I was expecting them to try KB with a fade to the corner. I mean they were on the seven yard line, a perfect spot. KB is such a weapon.