What makes this even worse is it should have been ruled a safety for the Lions and then flagged for intentional batting. The safety is a scoring play and should have been reviewed in the final 2 minutes. In case anyone is not familiar with the rules of a safety here is the rule. "It is a safety if the offense commits a foul in its own end zone; or when an impetus by a team sends the ball behind its own goal line, and the ball is dead in the end zone in its possession or the ball is out of bounds behind the goal line." This has nothing to do with offense or defense. If a team team's player causes the ball to cross their goal line then there are only 2 outcomes. Safety or Touchdown in favor of the team that did not force the ball into the end zone. If the ball were fumbled and laying motionless at the 1 yard line and a defender were to slide and hit it into the end zone and then recover it in the end zone, then the defensive team would give up a safety. Whoever creates the impetus of the ball going into the end zone is the team charged with a safety. Calvin Johnson did not fumble the ball into the end zone, the fumble occurred at the 1-yard line and the force driving the ball into the end zone was created by Kam. That make it even worse by the officials and the crew responsible for reviewing plays in the last 2 minutes. They screwed up twice on one play at the end of the game that determined the outcome.
Here is to hoping for some 53 defensive sets you can easily change to a 46 with: CJ - KK - Star - Ealy - Allen Shaq - Luke - TD Norman - Harper - Tillman All the LBs can cover so you could do a lot with this on field combo. This would be great in the red zone and goal line.
What you are witnessing is not over pursuit. He is setting the edge and forcing the player to come at him for a tackle or be pushed into the DL, LB, and S coming down hill. The fact that he has the range and speed to beat the offensive player outside to set the edge is very impressive and shows discipline.
A 30% receiving rate is not developing normally for a rookie. 2015 Draft Class > Funchess ranks 18th of 20 rookie receivers who have been targeted at least 1 time. We will see how this progresses through the season, but he is on pace to be among the worst of the rookie WRs. Rookie WRs over the past decade > Funchess ranks 191st of 195 rookie receivers with 10+ targets in their rookie season. Let's hope for a dramatic turn around.
This is a statement on Ealy not showing up more than anything else. If CJ or Alexander were healthy, this trade is never done. This is directly related to Ealy not getting the job done. So, whatever the Panthers give up for Allen will be attributed to the cost of attaining Ealy. Allen and Addison as the DEs. Ealy is going back on the shelf.
Defenses are sitting on the running game and challenging Cam Newton to beat them. Cam now has the keys to the offense and is changing plays up a lot to get out of running plays. As soon as defenses start playing Cam Newton breaking the pocket, doubling Olsen over the middle, and making sure they have a safety over the top with Cam's deep ball, then the running game will start gashing defenses. Teams are putting 8 in the box and at times sneaking a 9th in the box. If Cam keeps taking the top off of the defenses and making them respect the deep ball, then defenses are in trouble with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert.
Atlanta gives up 24+ points a game. Atlanta needs to play defenses they can blow up with the passing game in the 4th quarter to come back and win. Julio Jones must have a big game and not be shut down. The Falcons must not fumble the ball at all to stay in the game. The Falcons defense is garbage. Matt Ryan is a turnover machine and we know it. Julio Jones must win the game and Rivera/McDermott know how to shut him down. When it comes to match-ups the Panthers have a tremendous advantage against the Falcons. To beat the Falcons offense you sit on the big play which Ryan always wants and physically beat on Julio Jones at the LoS. Make them dink and dunk while pushing the pocket in on Ryan, and Ryan always makes mistakes. If the Falcons play the Panthers like they did their first 3 games of the season, the Falcons can kiss any chance of coming back late in the 4th quarter goodbye.
Ginn, Brown, Cotchery, and Norwood > Funchess. Gave up 3 draft picks for Funchess. Funchess has been targeted 6 times and caught 2 passes. (128th in catch %) That puts him among the bottom 10% of NFL WRs.
Seriously, it is too early and I expect him to get more targets as the season goes on. If he is at this pace come week 8 to 10 and the receivers the Panthers have are better options, then the organization has a problem. My only fear is we have another WR who cannot pick up the playbook which leads to many on field mistakes ala Dwayne Jarrett.
You do not draft players in the first 3 rounds you do not intend to start. Never trade up unless they are going to be an immediate impact player. So, the Panthers used a 2nd, 3rd, and 6th round pick on Funchess. Oh, yeah he better start in his first season - especially ahead of Brown and Ginn. At the very least, Gettleman screwed up bad in the draft.
Shula does not call specific plays anymore. He sends in formations, and based on the formation and the defense Cam has a few plays to choose from at the LoS. Shula finally figured out that you have to let Cam be Cam. Stop forcing him to pocket pass and read through 4 to 5 progressions. Let him get in his rhythm and choose to go no huddle when he sees an opportunity. Now if they can just get rid of the scripted plays for the first couple drives and let Cam play his game, then I will be happy.
The Panthers have a garbage receivers and a poor OL. The issue is the Panthers were so horrible at both positions last season that becoming slightly better makes some fans think we have a superior OL now because it is better than garbage. The OL is still among the bottom in the NFL, and the receiver position is the worse. The fact the Panthers had to put a rookie at the #1 position last season and may have to put a rookie at the #1 position this season speaks volumes. It is unheard of to put a team in a position to rely on a rookie as a team's #1 WR.