This is a blog being written from the press box at BOA Stadium, where the big question is whether or not Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will be coaching his last game. There’s that and other musings in this blog, which is interactive, informative, opinionated and hopefully a little humorous, too.
Well, walking over to the stadium at noon, I will be honest there are a TON of Giants fans here. They outnumbered the Carolina fans 2-1 at the Doghouse. The royal blue jerseys are everywhere.
And on the first series of the Giants, there’s been a Greg Hardy sighting. He sacked Eli for his first of the year. He’s got 49 more to go to reach his announced goal.
Panthers go three-and-out and Cam throws a wretched screen pass and once again Byron Bell gets abused by a defensive end. They lose yards on the series and have to punt. DO NOT BLAME THAT ON RIVERA.
As much as all the Cam Newton apologists want to say he’s struggled because of the offensive line, it’s nowhere near as bad as New York’s. And it was proven again as the Panthers recorded two more sacks, so that’s three sacks in two series.
8:23 FIRST QUARTER
Another simple screen pass to DeAngelo and Cam throws way behind him. Two screens, two brutal passes. There are ZERO excuses for that. He can make downfield throws, but really struggles with the layups.
Then Cam does what Cam does best, and that’s run. He runs for 13 yards and gets a first down on third-and-long.
The drive for the Panthers continues and it’s third-and-inches at the New York 27. That means Rivera will opt to punt.
Cam runs again. The three best plays so far in this game have been Cam runs, one scramble and two planned.
Armanti just got in the game for a play. He’s such a valuable decoy. Defenses have to know where he’s line up at all time. He garners so much attention that they went away from him and tried to trick the defense. It didn’t work.
Now it’s fourth-and-less-than-one at the NY 2. Will Rivera punt? He can’t!! He has no choice but to go for it, especially after last week and being at home.
They hand it to Tolbert and he walks in. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
CAROLINA 7, NEW YORK 0 – 2:33 FIRST QUARTER
Another series, and another sack. This it’s Star getting his first sack. Three series, four sacks. The Giants have a jayvee offensive line. This is embarrassing. Another three-and-out.
And just like that, the Panthers turn the ball over on the punt.
END OF THE FIRST QUARTER
That’s another sack. That makes five sacks in four series.
With 14:40 left to go in the second quarter, the Panthers are two away from tying the team record with seven sacks!
Cam looks so bad. He was just intercepted.
The Giants aren’t helping themselves, either. They get a touchdown and it’s called back due to holding. The next play, Eli is sacked. Six sacks, five possession. Hardy has three in the first half.
And of course the Giants miss a chippy field goal.
People were wondering about Rivera being fired. It may be Coughlin may be the one getting fired at the end of the year. Seriously.
11:38 SECOND QUARTER
Cam i snow 2-for-8 and has thrown one good pass. Ouch. His next passes to Smith should have been picked off, but Ross wasn’t looking. He’s now completed two in a row and the one to LaFell was his best throw. Make that three completions in a row.
Gano boots a 53-yarder!! And it hit the net rather high. It can’t be overstated what a huge bonus he’s been for the Panthers. And with the two fumbles on punts where it hit a blocker, the special teams for Carolina have been very good between Ginn, Nortman and Gano. That’s one area they don’t have to worry about, provided they resign Ginn at the end of the season.
CAROLINA 10, NEW YORK 0 – 6:44 SECOND QUARTER
Giants continue to look beyond brutal on offense. They punt and Carolina is trying to score before the end of the first half. I’ll say it now, if Carolina scores a touchdown before the half, this game is over.
The Panthers are moving and have it at the NY 15 with 49 seconds remaining. The Giants may only win four or five games all season.
Cam throws a perfect pass to LaFell and the Panthers have a 17-0 lead. Seriously, this game is over. I’m going all Billy Packer. And by the way, Tar Heel fans always were made at Packer for saying that in the Fina Four game against Kansas, but the thing is, he was 100 percent right.
That was Cam’s best throw of the game.
CAROLINA 17, NEW YORK 0 – 0:12 SECOND QUARTER
CAM SHINES… FINALLY, AND OTHER THOUGHTS
The Panther continued their ways of the second quarter into the third and fourth quarters and just absolutely waxed New York. It was so bad that the only questions that were left were how many points was Carolina going to score and if the Giants were going to score any.
They did not.
The third and fourth quarters saw Cam be accurate with his passes and none was better than the deep touchdown to Ted Ginn, Jr. It was a perfect throw that hit him in stride.
Sometimes fans think just because a player catches a pass that it was a good throw. That’s not the case any more than it is always the quarterback’s fault when a pass isn’t caught. The Ginn touchdown, however, was perfect.
That’s what’s so frustrating about Cam. At times he looks brilliant and at others he looks barely like a starter, like in the entire first quarter and much of the second.
As members of the coaching staff said, it’s not the long throws that he has problems with, it’s the “layups and gimmes” he has struggled with, like today.
Looking at the defense, obviously it played well. There we some changes on defense with Beason being benched. He never should have been in the starting lineup like last season. The makeshift secondary was never really tested because of the pressure provided by the front seven.
There was nobody that needed that win more than Rivera. And it’s a shame that the Panthers are off this week. They finally get a little bit of momentum and now they have to sit for two weeks. That’s a tough break.
One a side note, New York may not win five games this year. It may be one of the worst teams the Panthers face all year.
It was a very good win and a much needed win. This should stop the Rivera firing talk … for at least two weeks.