To put it bluntly, the Carolina Panthers played like garbage today. Washington outplayed them for four straight quarters, and came away with a 23-17 win that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Panthers were simply outplayed and outcoached by an inferior team... again.
This routine is getting old, but yet here we are. The Panthers will continue to wallow in mediocrity as long as they continue to let this incompetent coaching staff poison the deep well of talent on the roster, and fans will continue to drink the water being offered by the front office and ask for more despite the fact that the water tastes funny. C’est la vie, I guess.
Here are three winners and five loser’s from today’s clown show.
Devin Funchess: Funchess went off today. Five catches on eight targets for 74 yards and an impressive touchdown where he looked like Randy Moss. It’s a shame that his efforts couldn’t give the Panthers a win, because if anyone deserved to win the game today it was Funch.
Torrey Smith: Smith showed up big today for the Panthers, hauling in several key receptions late in the 4th quarter when the Panthers were trying to come back and steal a victory. He caught the Panthers’ second touchdown and the two-point conversion that brought the Panthers back within three points late, and that’s all we can really hope for from our No. 3 option at receiver.
Thomas Davis: It was a breath of fresh air to see Davis back on the field today, and he made up for lost time with six tackles and two passes defensed. He did admirable work covering Washington tight end Jordan Reed today as well. I hope we see more quality play from Davis going forward.
Honorable mention: Cam Newton. Newton had a good day despite the terrible decisions made by the coaching staff that handicapped him. He ended up completing 27-of-40 passes (67.5 percent completion) for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and ended the day with a 93.2 quarterback rating. He also added 43 yards rushing on nine carries. The more I type this, the angrier I get. We really shouldn’t have lost this game.
Who was today’s biggest winner?
This poll is closed
Ron Rivera: Ron, Ron, Ron. You cannot keep doing things like you did today and keep your job. It’s simply unacceptable for you to throw in the towel and punt on 4th and 1 when you have 6’5”, 250 lbs. Cameron Jerrell Newton at quarterback. Do. Not. Punt. In. Those. Situations. Let Cam be Cam and trust him to get you one yard. We saw what happened right after you turtled up and punted. D.J. Moore failed to down the ball inside the five yard line. The Panthers defense forced a three-and-out, and then Moore fumbled the punt return, giving Washington excellent field position. They took advantage of it when Alex Smith found a wide open Vernon Davis (who apparently was invisible to the defense) for a quick touchdown. None of that happens if you go for it on 4th down, Ron. Learn from this.
Norv Turner: Norv, I’ve been on your side since you were hired, but you made me look foolish for believing in you today. What the hell was that garbage at the end of the first half, Norv? Rivera called a timeout on 4th down to give the offense time to get something on the board before halftime, and after a punt was downed inside the five you decide to call two running plays to Christian McCaffrey up the middle? And then on third down you decide to take a deep shot (that predictably didn’t work)? What was that about?
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about that last drive. It’s 2nd and 5. Why are we taking two deep shots in a row there? The first one? Yeah, I get it. Try to catch them napping. But it didn’t work, Norv, so what do you do? You call a play to give you five yards and a fresh set of downs... wait no? We take another awful deep shot? Now the game is on the line on 4th down? No one is surprised we failed to convert, by the way. That’s on you.
Eric Washington: Wash, Adrian Peterson is 73 years old. You can’t let him run all over you like that. The Panthers’ defense has regressed horribly this year, and it’s probably because you’re not a very good coordinator. You’re a hell of a defensive line coach, I’ll give you that... but you’re probably in over your head here. That’s not completely your fault because you were given the job by Rivera, but you should probably do a better job of getting the defense in the right place at the right time to make plays instead of making them look like they have no idea what they’re doing out there. Enough is enough.
D.J. Moore: Moore is a rookie and there’s obviously room to grow, but his infuriating lack of awareness on Palardy’s punt that wasn’t downed inside the five yard line is not acceptable. I would say that I’m hopeful he can improve with quality coaching, but I’m not confident enough to make that claim right now. His two fumbles were also momentum killers, though to be fair to him the second one was just an excellent play by Josh Norman. Damn you Charles Tillman for teaching him the Peanut Punch!
I will give Moore a bit of credit for bouncing back after those struggles in the first half, though, and kudos to Cam Newton for showing confidence in him by throwing him the ball despite a terrible first half.
Graham Gano: Sorry Graham, but when you shank an extra point and the team loses you end up here. You did okay other than that, but you have to make those kicks.
Who was today’s biggest loser?
This poll is closed
What do you think, Panthers fans? Who were today’s winners and losers in your opinion? Share your thoughts with us!