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Joe Ovies

Preseason issues could linger for Panthers

Posted August 16, 2013

Preseason football is tricky business.

Opinions on the Carolina Panthers shouldn't be swayed by the final result of Thursday's game in Philadelphia. Win or lose, it's impossible to get a true interpretation out of a meaningless game played in the middle of August.

By the time the second half rolls around, the field is filled with players hoping just to make the next round of roster cuts. It's like trying to gain a true appreciation of your favorite musical artists by listening to a group of tipsy college students on a karaoke night.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's throw caution to the wind and indulge ourselves in a little overreacting following Carolina's forgettable night against the Eagles.

The defensive starters played most of the first half and struggled to stop Chip Kelly's no-huddle offense. While it was nice to see Carolina force three turnovers, the first interception and fumble came at the end of sustained drives of 72 yards and 52 yards, respectively. Subsequent drives by the Eagles resulted in two touchdowns. In total, the Panthers allowed the Eagles to rack up over 250 yards by the end of the half.

It was tough to get a read on an offense missing Johnathan Stewart, who is still recovering from ankle surgery, and Mike Tolbert. In their absence, DeAngelo Williams carried the ball 12 times for 39 yards. Considering most of the offseason talking points have centered on Ron Rivera getting back to basics and utilizing the assets built for power football, that's a good indication the coaching staff will actually follow through. 

Meanwhile, Cam Newton will get a fair amount of attention after he struggled to remain consistent in drives that resulted only in a couple of field goals. Aside from the lone touchdown against Chicago in the first preseason game, there hasn't been much production.

There are reasonable explanations, including conservative play calling and the search for a viable wide receiving option beyond Steve Smith and Greg Olsen. The Panthers didn't really do anything to address the lack of catching threats, despite the acquisition of Ted Ginn, Jr. in the offseason. He caught just two passes in 13 games for San Francisco last season.

So that leaves the trio of David Gettis, Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards to finally breakthrough.

And therein lies the rub for the Panthers. When general manager Dave Gettleman talked about Newton's stats being "lost in the sauce" due to the 13-19 record and the time to win was now, I'm not exactly sure the expectations for this team are any different from last year. The Panthers are a borderline playoff team.

While Newton deserves his own share of the blame for his mistakes, Carolina won't be making the postseason again if the defense continues to give up big drives. Unfortunately, fans and pundits saw little of that changing based on Thursday night in Philadelphia.

17 Comments

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  • charlesboyer Aug 18, 1:10 a.m.

    I have a solution. How about contracting the Panthers or relocating them to Las Vegas?

    — Posted by Obamacare saves lives

    Not a very good solution, or even one well thought of. The league will not contract, and the next team that moves (likely Jacksonville at the moment) will be going to LA, not Las Vegas.

  • Hokies94 Aug 17, 4:17 p.m.

    After watching Brady and the team go to work last night, and watching Vick and the Eagles, the Panthers are a long way from getting it right. I haven't seen the Bills play, but EJ Manuel is showing some major skills based upon reports. He may be the starter this new season.

  • Hokies94 Aug 17, 2:15 p.m.

    It's looking like a typical Panthers season - start off awfully, be in the race for the #1 pick... View More

    — Posted by charlesboyer

    Right now I'm inclined to agree. They haven't done hardly anything in these first two games.

  • quadrathlete Aug 16, 5:24 p.m.

    Ok, I recorded and watched the panthers first half. Cam was AWWFULLLL.

    The third down where he rolled right, he should not have, he has and still has Happy Feet.

    He did not see/pick up an easy blitz and handed off instead of a quick throw to smitty whos defender was 10 yards off. He had the option)

    Many other basically bone head plays like that, he does not have the HEAD to be an effect franchise QB. I know he was the choice we had to make in the draft but dawg he just stinks.

    We got talent everywhere but Cam aint got it to make it. Gettis is back and a bad , with him, Smitty, and Lafell, we got the hands. Olsen, the TE is one of the best in the league. Deangelo and two other backs have the skills too. Unfortunately, Cam is a Joke. Ive pulled for him and rooted for him. Now Im on the let Cam go bus.

    The D will get better and better as the season moves on, and will be a pretty good D. Remember, rookie of the year linebacker and 2 rookie DE. They will be very good soon.

    Bottom line, I see no evidence that Cam is a leader, Cam has any kind of QB

  • Kerlina Tattle Tales SmaKT Aug 16, 2:58 p.m.

    Man sometimes I wish Cam Newton would just leave and go play for some other team. It boggles my... View More

    — Posted by afrocine2

    He would get twice the bad press in a place like New York or Philly or San Fran as he does here. The kid needs thicker skin.

  • afrocine2 Aug 16, 2:51 p.m.

    Man sometimes I wish Cam Newton would just leave and go play for some other team. It boggles my mind when I read this constant barrge of garbage that is slung at this kid. I'm starting to believe that no matter how much of a whiner and pouter he used to be, he is too good for the Carolinas. I love my home state but this is ridiculous! Cam is a good foundation for a winning team, give him support and the surrounding talent to do better. We need to stop pining for Andrew Luck because when he had a chance he did not want to be drafted by the Panthers. Every incompletion, every interception causes us to go into a fit. Ask the Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Jets, Buffalo, Minnesota fans what it feels like to lose constantly. We are rebuilding with a very good young QB. I just pray that we don't run him away with all of our whining.

  • randrmomanddad Aug 16, 2:10 p.m.

    Apparently...good folks like joe know more about football than the Panthers, unlike the Eagles, the Panthers are not going to risk Cam Newton running for a Touchdown in the Red Zone. During PRESEASON. Nor are they going hurry up offense, No trick plays...flea flickers or any thing else...basic half speed football on Offense and Defense......THE PANTHERS ARE PREPARING FOR SEATTLE, Not Pittsburg, Baltimore, Chicago, or the EAGLES.!!!!

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 16, 1:02 p.m.

    I have a solution. How about contracting the Panthers or relocating them to Las Vegas?

  • sburks1906 Aug 16, 12:41 p.m.

    I'd be shocked if the Panthers finished with more than 8 wins. Just not a lot of talent defensively.
    http://www.theklowntimes.net

  • wkmeekins Aug 16, 12:17 p.m.

    it might have been a vanilla offense so as not to give away our plays but our first string defense sure looked like if it had not been for some turn overs they would have run us out the stadium

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